The corona crisis as an opportunity for the sixth Kondratieff

There have always been epidemics. The plague was in the Middle Ages, the Spanish flu in the 20th century and now the corona pandemic in the 21st century.

This pandemic has brought the whole world into disarray; The vast majority of people had to stay at home for weeks; many self-employed and companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, went bankrupt with the result that there were millions unemployed and the global economy slipped into a severe recession. Additionally, government, corporate and private debt, which was already huge, have risen sharply. It will be particularly hard on people who live in the poor areas.

Lately we have been asked several times to comment on the connection between the pandemic and the sixth Kondratieff. There is a connection, but it is diverse, and we will try to show here only one aspect that is of particular importance in regard to the future of handling pandemics.

Records have shown that the countries with the best healthcare performed significantly better than the countries with a less developed healthcare. Not only the amount of health expenditure was important, but also the use of the funds and the politician´s reactions to the crisis: the German-speaking and the Scandinavian countries did better because they had more diagnostic centers - in order to identify and isolate the sick fast - and had more beds in the hospitals so that the sick could be taken in and cared for quickly. The United States spends significantly more per capita on health than other countries, but they totally underestimated the danger of the Corona virus, reacted too late, and when the amount of sick people exponentially rose, then there were not enough diagnostic tools, not enough beds, and not enough ventilators available, in order to cope with the rush.

You can illustrate this situation with a simple comparison: All countries had a car accident, but in German cars there were airbags (diagnostic options, breathing masks), they kept more distance (more beds) and they used the brakes earlier (early quarantine). There was damage and loss everywhere, but it was significantly less in the countries with a good and preventive healthcare than in other countries.

What should we learn from this: Health expenditure must be viewed from now on more as an investment and not as a nuisance.

It would also be important to improve the healthcare system into a strategically important industry that works for the short and long-term functioning of a country and also for the global community. In order to achieve this goal sustainably, an expansion of the current health care system, which is mainly focused on the lower two levels of health (Figure), is to be developed into a system that is able to guarantee healthy solidarity and healthy cooperation; This is in particular the case with the fourth level of health, the psychosocial health. This level should be assigned a key role in the health care. In disasters like in the current Corona pandemic, it is important that nobody tries to gain benefits at the expense of others - and that the countries support each other medically.

The five levels of holistic health Source: Leo Nefiodow and Simone Nefiodow: The Sixth Kondratieff. 7th edition, 2014

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