The Future Repeats Itself: Covid-19 and its Historical Comorbidities

Ari Heinrich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The year 2020 was marked by a series of rolling crises. The Australian wildfires at the start of the year were a catastrophic sign of the global climate crisis. Xi Jinpings announcement in September that the Peoples Republic of China would become carbon neutral by 2060 could help alleviate the crisis, but China has to fix its coal problem first. The big story was, of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic. Appearing to originate in a Wuhan wet market, by years end the pandemic had claimed nearly two million lives worldwide, put whole countries into lockdown, and sent economies around the world tumbling into recession. China itself successfully suppressed the disease at home and recorded positive economic growth for the year proving, at least according to the Chinese Communist Party, the superiority of the socialist system. Not everyone was convinced, with persistent questions about the CCPs initial coverup of the outbreak, and how the lack of transparency helped it become a pandemic in the first place. The China Story Yearbook: Crisis surveys the multiple crises of the year of the Metal Rat, including the catastrophic mid-year floods that sparked fears about the stability of the Three Gorges Dam. It looks at how Chinese women fared through the pandemic, from the rise in domestic violence to portraits of female sacrifice on the medical front line to the trolling of a famous dancer for being childless. It also examines the downward-spiralling Sino-Australian relationship, the difficult co-morbidities of Chinas relations with the US, the end of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong, the simmering border conflict with India, and the rise of pandemic-related anti-Chinese racism. The Yearbook also explores the responses to crisis of, among others, Daoists, Buddhists, and humourists because when all else fails, theres always philosophy, prayer, and laughter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina Story Yearbook 2020: Crisis
EditorsJ Golley, L Jaivin & S Strange
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherAustralian National University Press
ISBN (Print)9781760464387
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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