Cultural Impacts on the Globalisation of a Virus

Sukhavichai Dhanasundara, Camilla Sløk, Jaakko Turunen, Alessio Panza, Marina Cavallari, Charles-Amaury Quellec

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Abstract

This book is written by academicians for academicians, students, and non-academicians such as politicians, public administrators, and the general public. The key target readers are the non-academic sector because fundamentally they are most critical in the planning and execution of crisis management strategies, and the general public who are most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore this is not an academic textbook in the traditional sense. It is a report on the development of a global pandemic in real-time, with insights into the ‘findings, assessments, and lessons learned’ as they emerge. An ideal contribution of this work would be to give insights into the elements of a global pandemic crisis along with some critical issues to be considered in addressing, designing solutions, and motivating effective public responses to generate the best outcomes according to the cultural landscape of each nation.

Consequently, the principle objective of this book is the dissimilation of valuable and meaningful information, knowledge, and lessons learned, so as to be better prepared for the inevitable re-occurrence, of similar, or different, life-threatening viruses. This book is not about gaining ‘intellectual’ knowledge, but more pertinently, ‘smart’ knowledge, that is applicable and can be applied during any reoccurrence of a similar crisis. In essence, this book’s goal is to transfer practical and applicable ‘life-saving’ knowledge. ‘Life-saving’ is the key issue because Covid-19 can result in deaths, especially the old, the weak, the sick, and those with low immunity against various forms of diseases and infections. The coronavirus is spread and transmitted through human interaction and connectivity. The virus is in the air that we breathe, or on the surfaces of objects that we touch. Transmission of infection is as easy as breathing the air around us.

This book is not about the medical aspects or perspectives of Covid-19 as a disease. It is about the negative impacts of Covid-19 on our lifestyles, and our social and economic well-being. Therefore the focus and primary objective of this book is to explain and advise on how to protect ourselves to prevent getting infected through appropriate behavioural practice. Consequently, the language, structure, and context of the book are designed to be easily assimilated and understood. This means that this book is not structured to be highly academic or geared for the intellectual audience but to be easily and well-understood by the general public globally. To quote Andy Grove, Co-founder and CEO of Intel, “How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things, but by how well we are understood”.1 Configuring this wisdom into crisis management actions would be something like, ‘ To bring about optimum effective outcomes is not limited to only how well we plan the strategies and execution plans, but on the level of comprehension, acceptance, and conformity of the general public response.”

This book is a Case Study of how Man’s (the species, not the gender) response to the Covid-19 crisis may be significantly overshadowed by deep-rooted cultural beliefs, values, and behavioural norms which are inherent or reflect Man’s environment. Culture is part of the DNA profile of a nation’s people and therefore would influence and have an impact on the crisis response behavioural patterns accordingly. This is why the same Covid-19 that is infecting the world results in significantly different outcomes in different nations. However, these negative outcomes in terms of infections, hospitalization, and deaths don’t seem to be associated with economic wealth, political maturity, or advanced technology because the Top 20 nations most negatively impacted are mostly wealthy. Conversely, the lowest levels of negative impacts from Covid-19 were mostly the poor, under-developed, or developing nations of the world. This would suggest that other aspects more related to human behaviour patterns may have a greater impact on generating negative outcomes. This could be related to the differences in cultural values and aspects.

This book presents case studies and country profiles of selected nations in Asia, namely China, and Thailand, and in Europe, namely Denmark, France, Italy, and Sweden, describing the crisis management leadership of their respective governments, combined with the behavioral responses of their population in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic in Part One. Part Two presents a bigger picture of the globalisation of the coronavirus (Covid-19) along with the possible implications of cultural influences.

However, there is no attempt to compare or make judgments on the crisis management responses of individual nations, nor on their cultural behavioural traits. The readers are best qualified to consider and evaluate the responses, outcomes, and lessons learned with respect to their respective societies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages464
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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