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Corona’s Consequences

February 2, 2021

Around the world, pandemic-related lockdowns have hit our globalized economy hard. Supply-chains have been disrupted, industries crippled. The Coronavirus has laid bare the risks of global interconnectedness.

München Lockdown
Image: Frank Hoermann/SvenSimon/picture alliance

Is the crisis the beginning of the end of globalization?

In early 2020, when much Asian production and manufacturing was shut down, the effects were quickly felt in supply chains. The flow of raw materials and other products that drives global trade dried up. Hamburg port operator HHLA reported losses of up to 40 percent, with supply shortfalls bringing production at German factories to a temporary halt. Coronavirus-related lockdowns in Europe led to garment workers in Bangladesh losing their livelihoods.

Maschinenbau in Deutschland
Image: dpa/picture alliance

This documentary shows how such global dependencies function during a pandemic. Is it time to bring back local production, to ensure populations are provided for even in times of crisis?

Deutschland Coronavirus - Schulranzenhersteller Thorka
Image: Patrick Pleul/dpa/picture alliance

This film shows that many are thinking hard about the issue. Companies are diversifying their supply chains, or stepping up digitalization efforts. In Germany, public funds are being used to encourage home-grown production of protective equipment in order to secure supplies in the future. But for the majority of German companies such measures would make production drastically more expensive.

Näherin Textilverarbeiterin Bangladesch billige Kleidung
Image: Reuters

Globalization is in many ways the cause of exploitation and social injustice, yet if developing countries were to lose huge orders without compensation, the result would likely be dire. "Many more people will die from hunger than from the pandemic," fears globalization expert Ian Goldin of Oxford University. But could the Coronavirus crisis also bring positive changes, like a fairer division of labor, more conscientious consumption, less pollution, and more social responsibility? 

Broadcasting Hours: 

DW English

TUE 16.03.2021 – 01:15 UTC
TUE 16.03.2021 – 05:15 UTC
WED 17.03.2021 – 09:15 UTC
SAT 20.03.2021 – 08:15 UTC
SUN 21.03.2021 – 12:15 UTC

Cape Town UTC +2 | Delhi UTC +5,5 | Hong Kong UTC +8
Lagos UTC +1 | Cape Town UTC +2 | Nairobi UTC +3 
San Francisco UTC -7 | Edmonton UTC -6 | New York UTC -4
London UTC +/-0 | Berlin UTC +1 | Moscow UTC +3

DW Deutsch+

WED 17.03.2021 – 09:15 UTC
SAT 20.03.2021 – 08:15 UTC

Vancouver UTC -7 | New York UTC -4 | Sao Paulo UTC -3