The World in 2021: On a pandemic, unrest, and an Italian victory

What's going on in the world right now?

 

All of last year's predictions can be divided into two large groups: optimistic and pessimistic. Unfortunately, the former have mostly failed to come true. The virus mutated and became more dangerous, leaving the world with a hard choice between complete lockdown and epidemic catastrophe. The vaccine did not prove to be a panacea. Even in wealthy countries like the U.S., it is woefully inadequate. Not to mention Africa and Asia.

The financial crisis has worsened even in previously relatively prosperous countries. The rich have become even richer, and the poor are on the verge of survival. For example, in Canada, far from political and financial turmoil, almost half of the population is one step away from bankruptcy. This step is only $200 - no more than this amount is left each month with 46% of Canadians after all expenses. The situation is even worse in third world countries.

 

Protests and riots

Not surprisingly, all of the above has provoked unrest and conflict in many countries. 2021 can safely be called the year of political instability and internal confrontations. Mass unrest broke out all over the world:   

 

U.S. The race riots caused by the murder of George Floyd took on a more social character. Problems with the health care system, worsening inequalities (including those based on ethnicity), and layoffs due to business shutdowns and closures were to blame. After all, it was African Americans, mostly employed in low-paying jobs, who were hit hardest by the pandemic and the crisis. The show trial and sentence of 22.5 years did not solve the situation, of course.

Colombia. The protests here began at the end of April. The reason was higher taxes and health care reform. Like other Third World countries, Colombia did not cope with the pandemic and found itself in a deep economic and internal political crisis. President Ivan Duque decided to solve it at the expense of the poorest segments of the population.

Brazil. Coronavirus denial and far-right rhetoric have not served President Jair Bolsonaro well. Throughout the first half of the year, the country experienced periodic mass protests due to the epidemiological situation and social inequality. The America's Cup epic, with its relocation from protest-ridden Colombia, added fuel to the flames. 

Cuba. Stifled by the U.S. sanctions policy, Cuba faced an acute shortage of food and medicine in July 2021. To be fair, the turmoil on the Liberty Island was not so much the result of internal causes as of external provocations. The local government was able to bring the situation under control fairly quickly.

Myanmar. The February military coup d'etat, while not the direct consequence of the coronation crisis, clearly reflected the global trend towards growing tensions and protests.

SOUTH AFRICA. The discontent in a country where more than half of the population lives below the poverty line and a third has no permanent job or income is understandable. The formal cause of the unrest was the arrest and sentencing to 15 months in prison of the former president of South Africa, still popular among the poorest segments of the population

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