Instigator / Pro

The Coronavirus Spread is the Most Influential Event in the Last Decade


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 2 votes and with 2 points ahead, the winner is...

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Last updated date
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Two days
Max argument characters
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Two weeks
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Multiple criterions
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Contender / Con

Decade: 10 years, starting from 2010 to 2020

Coronavirus: a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Event: a thing that happens, especially one of importance.

Influential: the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others

Burden of Proof is shared

Round 1
Let's start with statistics. Coronavirus has affected 15 million people worldwide with over 600,000 dead. In US, the worst country of them all, we have 4 million infected and 145,000 deaths. It's clear that this disease is incredibly influential even using pure numbers and my opponent will have to find something that affects same or more people to even contest this pandemic.

Let's move on to economics. The virus has caused massive stock market downfall (and perhaps even crashes) because people are less likely to buy things (or, stock up quickly and then stay at home). Graphs make it obvious that the correlation is indeed causation. Employment is also severely dropping, since it's difficult to keep anyone who has blue collar jobs unless they are essential (as otherwise they are at risk) --

In terms of science, the virus has big impacts too. According to, the travel restrictions, conference cancelations, all prevent new scientists from progressing. On the bright side, due to the pressure of the situation, scientists are encouraged to come up with new methods of research, such as faster communication for research ( Nine industries used 16 super computers to work together to find a way to improve research on the virus. ( And the internet has received more strain than ever due to the virus restricting entertainment methods. (

The virus also has terrifying effects on cinema. Nowadays people basically don't go to the movies any more, and nobody is releasing new films, ( as it would be incredibly risky to watch them. Theaters are closing down, making performances focused more on live streams and recordings. As this source states, "he cost of “going dark” is significant. Nica Burns, whose company, Nimax, has six theaters in the West End, estimated that the lockdown would cost her business £2.5 million over three months. " And that's just one company.

Similarly, Coronavirus has power over education as well. Countless schools have been forced to close, and change to a virtual learning environment. "As of 7 June 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic" ( 98.5 percent of the world's student population are effected by similar closures and disrupted from learning.  ( I'm not going to go into too much details or sources, but it's logical that student debt, homelessness, health care, internet access, would have many problems, especially with disabled children.

Finally, Coronavirus has severe impact on politics. China had implemented a quarantine for months in order to stop the virus from spreading, and has been necessary to be effective. ( In addition, " on the grounds of COVID-19, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took full power and effectively suspended all prerogatives of the legislative branch. " ( Even America, a very open democracy, is considering what actions to take, what policies to enforce, such as states fining people for not wearing masks, and the media encouraging social distancing.

I've read some of the comments that dispute if the Coronavirus was a "singular event". It's true that it has multiple waves, and mutates along the way. But as far as we're concerned, the symptoms and the deaths that occur are similar enough that the scientists would still categorize it as a type of COVID-19. 

Summary: Coronavirus has worldwide and incredibly powerful impact on life, economics, science, cinema, education, and politics. It's doubtful that any other event in the last 10 years had more impact than this.

I Argument: The length of a decade
I.a There are major flaws in Pro’s proposition “The Coronavirus Spread is the Most Influential Event in the Last Decade.”Rather, the flaws are actually relevant to Pro’s Descriptive definition: “Decade: 10 years, starting from 2010 to 2020.” I completely agree with Pro’s initial definition of “decade,” but not as identified by his reference to specific years.
I.a.1 Here’s the flaw[s]: First, the number of years contained in a decade is, indeed, ten years, but the follow-up by Pro indicates “2010 to 2020,”  inclusive, which is eleven years. 
I.a.2 And, second, Pro’s proposition clearly designates this “Coronovirus event” as being influential “in the Last Decade,”  which, if started as of January 1, 2010, is properly identified as ending December 31, 2019.
I.a.3 It is a similar error made during a period called “Y2K,” i.e. “Year 2000” which was alleged to be the first year of a new century; the 21st. The whole world celebrated January 1, 2000. But. They. Were. All. Wrong. 2000 was the concluding year of the 19thcentury, ending December 31, 2000. January 1, 2001 was the beginning year of the 21stcentury.[1]
I.a.4 The Coronavirus may well be the “most influential event” in the current decade, 2020 to 2029, but that remains to be seen, and is outside the parameter of this debate, according to Pro’s decade definition, which cannot now be altered in this debate as the Description must now stand as written. And nothing Pro has argued in his r1, or in remaining rounds, including the health effects of the virus, or the economy, unemployment, or science, social events, education, politics, or whatever else Pro may list as influential factors, will ameliorate that error of the calendar.
I.b Therefore, Pro has confused the proposal with his definition, rendering the whole of his argument null and void, because the effects of the Coronavirus, to earn the privilege as “the Most Influential Event in the Last Decade”is an incongruous reference. The Coronavirus was still contained, as of the close of “the last decade,” being 2010 to 2019, in China. It was influential to 1.3B+ Chinese, but not to the remaining 5.7B+ inhabitants of the rest of 190+ countries; therefore, not the “most influential”event.  
I rest my case for r1, and turn the calendar page to Pro for r2.

Round 2
My opponent argues that what I said was incorrect about the math of "decade", which is true: I mistyped 2010 in the opening. Decade does not necessary mean 2010~2019, it is actually "a period of ten years:" The "last decade", which means previous ten years, infers from present back 10 years. People can't even agree when decade begins or ends (, making my mistake perfectly understandable, I mixed up "last ten years starting from present" with "starting from 2010, the next ten years over" My opponent has also not mentioned any event that is more influential than merely the Chinese impact, and he would lose even in that case too.
I Rebuttal:The length of an influence
I.a Considering Pro’s flawed definition of an eleven-year decade, which, as demonstrated in my r1, invalidates the entire debate, and in light of my hope that Pro will, regardless, carry on the debate, as evidenced by the effort of an r2 argument, and, based on his r1 conclusion that I have not offered a more influential event for my corrected decade [2010 to 2019], ignoring that I do not fire all my guns at once [not all arguments in one round, I will humor my hope, and my opponent, with additional argument. 
I.b First, however, I will rebut Pro’s r2:
I.b.1 Pro indicated that a decade “…does not necessarily mean 2010 – 2019.”  Correct; it is any period of ten years, per the definition of “decade.” However, Pro did designate 2010 as the beginning of his decade of argument within which the Coronavirus must allegedly be the most influential of the decade, which, by my r1 argument, must conclude in 2019. Therefore, I repeat the conclusion of my r1 argument: as of the close of 2019, the Coronavirus was not yet “the most influential event”of even that decade, but only was under the condition that Pro’s decade extended to the eleventh year: 2020. As that does not meet the definition of a decade, and since I charge that even though Pro admits the mistake, it renders his argument null and void. I see no other course of a decision.
I.b.2 Pro offered a source in his brief r2 argument,
- which, though interesting information relative to the coincidental ten-digit telephone number, including U.S. area code, [like a ten-year decade?], and the search for cell phone carrier information – this information does not appear relevant to the debate subject. Perhaps Pro can explain.
I.b.3 Pro followed this referenced source with another to indicate people’s difficulty to “agree on when the decade ends.” The article, again, is an interesting bit of information, but I question the relevance of this reference, as well. We do have designated centuries, periods of 100 years, such as our current 21st century. However, decades do not have socially significant designations that will always begin and end on particular years, so the reference, again, has naught to do with this debate. This debate was defined, erroneously, on a period designated by Pro as beginning 2010, and ending 2020. Refer to my complete r1 argument, and above, I.b.1.
II Argument: Significant event of the decade 2010 to 2019
II.a For the sake of argument, let’s discuss an event that might compete for the top influencer of the proper decade ending 2020; 2011 to 2020. At the close of our proper decade, in 2019, literally 13 days prior to its close, the President of the United States, for only the third time in this country’s history, suffered impeachment at the hands of the United States House of Representatives, affecting the lives of every voting adult in the U.S., at least; some 138M people.[1]
II.a.1 138M people affected by impeachment of the President, against, to date, not yet August 2020, 130,250 dead by Coronavirus in the U.S, is 0.9% affect by the virus. Considered against the worldwide Coronavirus-caused infected as of now, using Pro’s figure of 15M, 10.8% issue of influence against the impeachment. There was a risk within the period of time between the impeachment and the resulting Senate trial to convict the President [remove him from office] that may have had worldwide effect, however, two points negate the effect. 
II.a.1.A First, the risk of removal of the President was low considering a majority of the Senate consisted of members of the President’s party.
II.a.2 Second, and more to the point, the decision of the Senate fell outside the far limirt5 of the close of the decade, 2010 through 2019, rendering the risk of change in the U.S. Presidency after the close of the decade, rendering it the same non-effect as that of the Coronavirus in 2020. Therefore, by the numbers of this argument, the Coronavirus is not the most influential event, even limited to a political event, in a corrected 2010 to 2019 decade, let alone a decade as defined by Pro.
I conclude this round of rebuttal/argument, certain of my meeting my Burden of Proof that, contrary to the debate proposal, the Coronavirus is not the most influential event of the proper last decade, 2010 to 2019. I await Pro’s round 3.

Round 3
My opponent argues that my proposed "decade" must be 2010~2019 and arbitrarily designated 2010 as the starting point. Let's suppose I made an even worse mistake and accidentally assigned 2000~2010 as "the last decade". Does this make sense to the definition of "last"? Of course not. I must have been too tired and been preparing for a different debate. I stand by my original proposition in round 2, that "last decade" should end on the present and go back to the beginning. 

Let's think about what this debate actually means. Despite the fact that Coronavirus was only reported to begin in Dec 31st, 2019 (, it still begun in the 2010~2019 decade, which means it is still safe within the realm of even my opponent's proposition. 

Consider a different topic. On October 29, 1969, the internet was invented. If I said "The internet invention was the most influential event that occurred in October 29, 1969", surely you'd concede. Even though it had no effect on that precise day, it would go on to revolutionize the entire world, help communication, jobs, computer science, so on and so forth. Even if a president was impeached on that very day, you could still argue that the world-wide prevalence of the internet would surpass the impeachment of the president.

Similarly, The Coronavirus occurred within that decade, or last decade, whatever your argument is. It doesn't matter. My round one arguments still strongly stand as the Spread begun on the end of 2019 and went on to cause the massive change within the world. My opponent has not shown that the impeachment of the US President had nearly enough impact to KILL 100,000+ people, to destroy the economy of countless areas, to STOP cinema in its tracks, to cause POLITICS in many countries to SHIFT, to encourage SCIENCE to lead progress forward. My opponent arbitrarily tries to argue that "in the beginning of 2020 the virus had little effect on people", which makes no sense. The debate is NOT, "within the decade of 2010~2019, the most effects were created by Coronavirus". Influential in the debate was defined as being able to cause change, produce behavior. I have proved that in 2020 onwards, Coronavirus would go on to completely change people's lives. Similarly, the idea of "Internet is the most influential event on Oct 29, 1969" would still be widely undisputed, as it would go on to cause such change in society, despite doing nearly nothing on that very day. My opponent tried to move the goal posts, but do not be mislead.

Summary: Influential does not merely mean "on this very day, in this very year, it already caused people to change". The debate topic clearly shown that I only have to prove it happened within "the last decade", either last 10 years from present, and even with the opponent's definition, he concedes that the decade includes Dec 31st, 2019, which is when the virus begun. I have given countless evidence that Coronavirus though only beginning in the 2010 decade, had gone on to cause change much more than president's impeachment. Vote for me.
I Rebuttal: Whose argument is this, anyway?
I.a Pro attempts to support his argument by claiming in his r3, “My opponent argues that my proposed "decade" must be 2010~2019 and arbitrarily designated 2010 as the starting point.”  May I remind Pro of his debate creation Description by its first remark:  “Decade: 10 years, starting from 2010 to 2020.”  My “arbitrary” distinction was in properly identifying his “decade” as 2010 to 2019, as I argued in my r1. But, that’s not arbitrary, is it? Pro’s designated decade begins in 2010, and must end in 2019, not on any date in 2020. Is everybody on the same page, now regarding the ownership of start of the decade in question?
II Rebuttal: What argument is this, anyway?
II.a Pro further argues in r3 what a decade “actually means,” even though I had done so in my r1, same references as above in I.a. But Pro performs his magic extension of the decade to eleven years beginning in 2010 by arguing that, although the 
“…Coronavirus was only reported to begin in December 31, 2019, it still began in the 2010-2019 decade, which means that it is still safe within the realm of even my opponent’s proposition.”  I agree, but only so far.
II.b Unfortunately, Pro then attempts another analogy; this time, the invention of the Internet, claiming its inception on October 29, 1969. The claim is not sourced by Pro [I offer one][1], but I’ll forgive the omission; I understand Pro’s argument, and I’ll accept the claim within the argument‘s context. But, he then says, “Even though it had no effect on that precise day, it would go one to revolutionize the entire world,help communication…  [etc.]” 
II.b.1Here is where I must draw the line. On that day [10/29/1969] the Internet’s invention “had no effect on that day,”  just as Pro said.  The “effect” that made the Internet a significant influential event was only to be achieved later. And that, dear readers, is the same delayed “effect” making the Coronavirus effectively “the most influential event of the last decade” only by extension into this decade, beginning 2020, which is beyond the proper decade of this debate. 
II.c Pro has effectively strangled his effort to explain that the beginning of the Coronavirus event was the same as its extended effect since he discounted the beginning of the Internet as not relevant to its later influence. That is a have-the-cake-and-eat-it-too argument, and I will not let it pass. Analogies not withstanding, if they do not support an argument, they fail. Particularly lacking scholastic sourcing, they fail in that regard, as well.
II.d Pro extends this argument to the conclusion of his r3, and finally provides a valid source for his argument, regarding planned activities by WHO [World Health Organization]. However, every point of this reference is dated events occurring in 2020, a year beyond the proper designation of Pro’s decade, as I have corrected it in my r1 as 2010-2019.
I summarize and conclude my argument:
1.    Pro incorrectly defined his argument as an event beginning 2010, extended to 2020, defining a decade as ten years, but extended it to eleven years in order to enable the effects of the virus into 2020. I called out this error and claimed that Pro could not arbitrarily change his argument to conclude his decade should have been 2011 to 2020, yet his extended arguments in r2 and rt3 have done so. Pro’s rebuttal fails.
2.    Pro offered sourcing related to discovery of cell phone carrier information and agreement by people on when decades end. Challenged on the relevance of these references to the debate, Pro dropped these arguments; they fail.
3.    Pro challenged Con to describe a potential event that would fit within the proper decade in question in this debate, i.e. 2011 to 2020, and I offered the impeachment of the President of the U.S. on 12/18/2019. Pro argued only that the creation of the Internet was a greater event, but the Internet became influential far before 2011, so Pro’s rebuttal fails.
4.    Pro accused Con of establishing the beginning of the decade of influence of the Coronavirus as 2010, then accused me of offering that arbitrary date. I have demonstrated that 2010 was, in fact, Pro’s designation, so Pro’s rebuttal fails.
5.    Pro argued that the initiation of an event is not the beginning of it influence, and then argued that the virus’ beginning was influential. The argument cancels itself: failure.
Pro has failed the attempt to demonstrate that the Coronavirus is the most influential event of the properly designated decade of ten years, 2010 to 2019. I ask for you vote.