The pandemic of 2020-23 can be analysed as an unpredictable natural event, akin to a hurricane or an earthquake, an accident of global dimensions for which humanity was unprepared. Yet, as Dr. Richard Horton of The Lancet suggests, a more appropriate term might be “syndemic,” combining three elements: “the virus, the chronic conditions that make people more susceptible to it, and a situation of deepening poverty and inequality.” In this broader sense, Covid-19 was not just a natural occurrence, but assumed its world-historic proportions because it took place within a global socio-economic order whose very structure determined both its genesis and its impact.
In six issues, published between February and July 2022, the first series of Syndemic Magazine has explored the world the pandemic has re-created. Drawing upon contemporary evidence garnered from around the world, and upon interviews with many leading experts, Syndemic proposes to read the pandemic as “contemporary history,” in all its complication and openness, showing how, globally and locally, 2020-23 meant a series of inter-related crises that place the established order of the world in question.
Can we imagine a modern world not prone to such recurrent catastrophes? Is this the end of the global neoliberal order?
-Dr. Ian McKay, Series Editor