14 Sep Taster article from the new Issue of Transform
The third decade of the 21st century is proving to be a time of great challenge and change for higher learning. The global pandemic we speak of as coronavirus has been declared a force majeure. It overrides previous considerations and requires the cancellation of what we know and have accepted as ‘normal’. It comes in the footsteps of Australian environmental catastrophes such as droughts and bushfires. It may yet come to be seen as another harbinger of the impending crises of global warming, sea level rises and pollution of our lakes, rivers, seas and land on a truly gargantuan and world scale. It follows the persistence of the unresolved ‘wicked issues’ (Firth, V. Transform: 2018) which bedevil our societies and debase our cultures. We are talking about debilitating poverty, overpopulation, and obscene and bizarre inequalities of housing, income, health and death and disease rates, which give the lie to the simple notion that we are all in this together and we all live in one world!
There is truth in the view that this virus was no respecter of place and status in whom it infected, and death reached out its grasp to both high and low, rich and poor – but there can be little doubt that its most severe impact came to those who were poorest and with least material resources.