"Any way the wind blows" - Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
We made it out of Niamey and to Brussels two weeks ago. We were allocated seats on a Belgian Air Force plane that left the DRC and flew back to Belgium via Niamey. We were very fortunate to get seats; clearly there was significant demand. For now, commercial flights remain suspended and it is not clear when they will start again. The flight itself was particular – military medics with protective suits and masks checked us before bordering and we landed at a military airport in Brussels with all the formalities were done in a huge canvas tent. We appreciate how privileged we are to have had this option which is clearly out of reach for close to all the people in Niger.
There is a lot of confusion / unclarity about the current situation regarding the virus. There is some evidence that even though Africa seemed to have avoided the worse scenarios, cases are rising and are also having an impact on management of other health risks such as malaria and hepatitis (interesting article). Even the situation in Europe is very unclear. Nevertheless, the massive negative economic impact of the situation so far remains confirmed.
Recent, in addition to the economic impact, there has been attention for the political impact. Several elections have been postponed and different countries have taken exceptional measures at the limits of their constitutions. At least for some conflicts, the virus is a serious complicating factor. There is some debate about what the long-term impact could be.
We will see what the future brings.
18.06.2020, Brussels, Belgium.
Online encampment of A. S. Barry. Disparate and not-so-disparate thoughts on international relations, development, writing, and life.