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Coronavirus — Global Brief: Your Health Depends On Helping Poor Countries

A local doctor perfoming a temperature check up for the locals in Kenya
A local doctor perfoming a temperature check up for the locals in Kenya

The insidious path of COVID-19 across the planet is a blunt reminder of how small the world has become. For the coming weeks, Worldcrunch will be delivering daily updates on this crisis from the best, most trusted international news sources — regardless of language or geography. To receive the daily Coronavirus global brief in your inbox, sign up here.


The unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 has simultaneously generated both global solidarity and new heights of navel gazing. You've probably stumbled across the the VIPs sharing their self-absorption on social media. But there are also millions of others who are rightly laser focused on the well-being of their families, the fate of their careers and the challenge of being locked inside their homes for weeks on end. And yet at the same time, many are doing their best to support neighbors and local healthcare workers — and try to imagine a better world for all.

While citizens of the world's richest countries — currently the worst affected by the virus — cheer on their own troops and look to one another for guidance, the path to returning their own home turfs to normality may ultimately require looking abroad, and more specifically at how the pandemic will be tackled in the developing world. As we've seen, this virus travels across borders at lightning speeds — and may indeed flare back up in a "second wave" even after it may appear defeated in any one country.

This means that medical and economic aid should be a global calculation, and inevitably poorer countries will need the most help. "It is clearer than ever that none of us will be safe until all of us are safe," reads a blog post from the World Economic Forum calling for immediate debt cancellation to nations in the developing world.

Quoted in Le Monde, UN Chief Antonio Gutteres puts it this way: "The virus will come back up from the South to the North. So it's in the interest of countries in the North to make a massive investment in Africa." Though coronavirus has pushed each of us deeper into our respective bubbles, the world has never been smaller.

Rozena Crossman​


  • Toll: More than one million cases have been registered around the world, Europe accounts for around half. The U.S. records world's highest daily toll with 1,169 deaths.

  • Democrats delay: US Democrats postpone Democratic National Convention to anointpresidential nominee until August.

  • U.S. masks: New York City urges residents to wear masks in public, as White House is expected to issue new face masks guidelines.

  • No exams: France cancels end-of-year national school exams.

  • Gender restrictions: Peru and Panama introduce restrictions of public movement by gender, alternating days out for men and women to slow virus spread.

  • That Mexican beer: Brewer of Coronahalts production of beer, after being declared non-essential business by government.

  • What!? Twins born in India during lockdown namedCorona and Covid.

Barcelona-based La Vanguardia

COVID-19, THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: As more countries scramble to replicate South Korea"s flattening of its coronavirus outbreak, one key element in their model appears to be the effective use of tracking technology to limit the spread. The use of geolocation technology to curb COVID-19 has raised concerns over fundamental data protection, especially in countries like China, South Korea and Israel where tracking has been more intrusive, enlisting credit card records for purchase patterns, GPS data for travel patterns, and security-camera footage for verification.

In Spain, the government plans to launch a similar app that will track the movements of its citizens to verify proper social distancing, reports Barcelona-based La Vanguardia.

The Health Ministry in Israel, has launched an app called "Hamagaen" — Hebrew for "The Shield" — that informs users about points of contact with known COVID-19 cases (Times of Israel).

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration has also been using geopolitical data to map out the movements of millions of Americans during the pandemic, but some experts believe that the spread in the U.S. is far beyond the point where tracking could be a viable way to undermine the spread.

MASKS WAR: It's a seller's market, as national and regional governments around the world are facing shortages of masks. A northeastern region in France ordered two million masks from China to supply its hospitals, but competition is fierce. Grand Est regional President, Jean Rottner told Les Echos: "Americans pay cash and three or four times the purchase orders so we really have to fight."​

Things will pick up again, and then we will see what's left. Like everything else in the world, this industry was becoming too fast, too global.

— Berlin-based Die Welt dives into the emptied orchestra pits to see how the crisis could reshape the classical music world in major ways. Read the article, translated from German by Worldcrunch: Staying Composed: Classical Music In The Time of COVID-19.

WHY WAS THIS TOWN SPARED? While across Italy, the total number of COVID-19 cases has topped 100,000, there is a town in the hard-hit northern part of the country that has registered zero infections. La Stampaasks if there are clues in this exceptional town to understanding how the virus can be stopped.

The town, Ferrera Erbognone, is now slated to be part of a study conducted by the Mondino Institute of Pavia, to test the blood of local residents to see if there is a medical explanation.

The study will determine if there are antibodies capable of fighting off the coronavirus that are specifically present in the local population.

Mayor Giovanni Fassina doesn't think it's genetics. "We are like everyone else. Our population has been loyal in respecting the (quarantine) precautions."​​

Having a party while in lockdown? Hundreds of residents in Newcastle, UK, did it, disco style.

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The Colonial Spirit And "Soft Racism" Of White Savior Syndrome

Tracing back to Christian colonialism, which was supposed to somehow "civilize" and save the souls of native people, White Savior Syndrome lives on in modern times: from Mother Teresa to Princess Diana and the current First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

photo of a child patient holding hand of an adult

Good intentions are part of the formula

Ton Koene / Vwpics/ZUMA
Sher Herrera


CARTAGENA — The White Savior Syndrome is a social practice that exploits or economically, politically, symbolically takes advantage of individuals or communities they've racialized, perceiving them as in need of being saved and thus forever indebted and grateful to the white savior.

Although this racist phenomenon has gained more visibility and sparked public debate with the rise of social media, it is actually as old as European colonization itself. It's important to remember that one of Europe's main justifications for subjugating, pillaging and enslaving African and American territories was to bring "civilization and save their souls" through "missions."

Even today, many white supremacists hold onto these ideas. In other words, they believe that we still owe them something.

This white savior phenomenon is a legacy of Christian colonialism, and among its notable figures, we can highlight Saint Peter Claver, known as "the slave of the slaves," Bartolomé de Las Casas, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess Diana herself, and even the First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

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