Instigator / Pro
23
1377
rating
133
debates
30.83%
won
Topic

The Coronavirus Spread is the Most Influential Event in the Last Fifteen Years

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
3
15
Sources points
10
10
Spelling and grammar points
5
5
Conduct points
5
4

With 5 votes and 11 points ahead, the winner is ...

MisterChris
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Miscellaneous
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
34
1726
rating
39
debates
88.46%
won
Description
~ 523 / 5,000

"Last fifteen years": starting from the present, going 15 years back.

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
Pro
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. https://www.google.com/search?q=coronavirus+stats&oq=coronavirus+stats&aqs=chrome..69i57.1974j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8) 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. 
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/D791/production/_113158155_optimised-1-stockimpact_29062020-nc.png. 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) -- https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/FEA1/production/_113158156_optimised-9-unemployment_29062020-nc.png

In terms of science, the virus has big impacts too. According to https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-coronavirus-is-hampering-science/, 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 (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/completely-new-culture-doing-research-coronavirus-outbreak-changes-how-scientists). Nine industries used 16 super computers to work together to find a way to improve research on the virus. (https://www.cnet.com/news/sixteen-supercomputers-tackle-coronavirus-cures-in-us/). And the internet has received more strain than ever due to the virus restricting entertainment methods. (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-can-the-internet-handle-unprecedented-surge-in-traffic.html)

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, (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/amc-theatres-close-all-locations-as-cinemas-us-go-dark-1285012) 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. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/05/theater-survive-coronavirus-art-west-end-broadway/611338/

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" (https://www.ecronicon.com/ecec/pdf/ECEC-04-00312.pdf). 98.5 percent of the world's student population are effected by similar closures and disrupted from learning.  (https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse) 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. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7190468/) 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. " (https://www.sc.edu/uofsc/posts/2020/04/covid_impact_on_politics_barbieri.php#.Xxm8rnuSmUk). 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.

Con

Thanks, seldiora

  • OBSERVATIONS:
The resolution is as follows: The Coronavirus Spread is the Most Influential Event in the Last Fifteen Years

  • CON observes that to AFFIRM, PRO is required to prove that Coronavirus Spread is not only influential, but it is the MOST INFLUENTIAL event in comparison to other influential events within the last 15 years. 
  • CON observes that PRO has not made comparisons to other events, and has thus not fulfilled their Burden of Proof. 
  • CON observes that PRO’s examples of the impact of the virus tend to be negative short-term impacts. CON presents a framework where BOTH the longevity and severity of impact directly correspond to the influentiality of the event. If an impact is severe but not long-lasting, it can not be called “most influential.” Similarly, if an impact is “long-lasting” but not severe, it is not “most influential.” These impacts can be influential in their own rights, but they are not “most” influential.
Applying this framework to PRO’s case rules out every example he gives. CON will now work through PRO’s examples and provide counterexamples of events that are more influential. 

  • DEATH:
CON considers corona deaths a very severe event, but this event does not carry longevity. Dr. Fauci predicts a vaccine will roll out next year, and the associated deaths will decrease substantially and eradication may be possible. 

For the category of death, CON provides this example of a more influential event:

  • World emissions have ramped up significantly in the past 15 years, which will lead to more than double the current global warming death rate:
Researchers believe that global warming is already responsible for some 150,000 deaths each year around the world, and fear that the number may well double by 2030 even if we start getting serious about emissions reductions today.” 

The result is millions upon millions of deaths spanned over decades, not just over a few years.

  • ECONOMICS:
CON does not dispute that Corona has caused economic losses. However, the economy will rebound and recover, as it has time and time again. The economic impact will hurt, yes, but it is not the most influential economic impact of the last decade and a half. 

For the category of economics, CON provides these examples of more influential events:
  • The advent and growth of online retailing. For the first time in human history, online stores are becoming more important financially than physical stores. This will permanently change how humans conduct themselves economically. 
  • The 2008 market crash. The Dow Jones has declined by about 28% between February 11 and March 12, 2020 compared to an almost 50% decline in 2007-08.

  • SCIENCE:

Compared to scientists having to work to find a cure for Corona in creative ways, the last 15 years have held much more influential scientific developments
  • Huge advances in AI, which has huge potential for the advancement of the human race. 
  • New DNA tech, that allows us to alter the DNA of humans and animals alike. This allows us to treat genetic diseases and create new sources of food that will last for centuries. 
All of these events are more significant scientifically than coronavirus.

  • CINEMA:

    CON considers this part of the ECONOMICS category. 

  • EDUCATION:

The negative changes PRO lists are short-term. CON reminds voters that a vaccine is on the horizon. 

Ironically, PRO also demonstrates the importance of virtual learning, a development over the past 15 years. With the virtual learning option available now, coronavirus has a lessened impact. The virtual learning option is perfect for people housebound or in remote locations, and the technology will help generations to come. 

  • POLITICS:
CON agrees that governments have had to adapt and overcome the global pandemic through political means, however CON reminds voters that coronavirus is a short-term issue politically.

CON considers these events more influential politically:
  • The election of Barack Obama, the first black president. His presence in the White House helped to heal some of the nation’s racial wounds and was a historic moment. 
  • The election of Donald Trump. No other political event in recent history has turned the world on its head as much. 

  • CONCLUSION:

PRO’s case does not fulfill its BoP because it did not compare Corona with any other recent event to prove that Corona is “most influential.” CON compares instead, and finds that PRO’s case is short-sighted in comparison to the advancements and events of the last 15 years. 

PRO has not proven that coronavirus spread is the most influential event in the last 15 years.

CON looks forward to PRO’s response.



Round 2
Pro
my opponent has listed Global Warming as a potential contender for event with greater influence, but has not supported the idea that it has completely changed society. People lived the same way before and after global warming. They didn't have to wear masks, social distance, so on and so forth. He lists no big political ideology change (especially people taking power) just for global warming. Global Warming may cause more deaths, but most people don't act upon it. 

He then says that the 50% stock market crash is far worse than the 28% crash right now. But he's only looking at the U.S. It's absurd to only look at us as a country. Tell me, do you think the Dow Jones crash effected the other countries in the world? There's no evidence for this. And the crash didn't even cause any scientific change or big travel bans. 

He attempts to state "huge advancements in AI" but this is extremely vague and overly broad. This site alone lists 10 ways that people are using technology even more as a result to combat the virus (https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/03/13/coronavirus-how-artificial-intelligence-data-science-and-technology-is-used-to-fight-the-pandemic/#5315ba075f5f), sending in drones, tracking the virus, developing data, so on and so forth. He then claims that DNA tech could create new food to last centuries, but even this still only seems to effect food industry, rather than entire people's behavior, politics, so on and so forth. 

He brings up how important virtual education is, but this point is moot as it was developed in 1986 and has been used for decades already. (https://lightbulbmoment.info/2017/02/05/history-of-the-virtual-classroom/#:~:text=Invention%20of%20the%20%E2%80%9Cvirtual%20classroom,use%20of%20computers%20for%20education.) Its effects have been constant and have not been as severe as killing people, causing political rifts, riots, financial influence, so on and so forth. 

My opponent contradicts himself by stating Trump's election turned the world on its head more than any other leader -- inferred to include even Obama. It's hard to say if this is true or not, especially since Trump himself is a controversial issue. I'm 99% certain that his effects on science, people's illness/deaths, and education is less than Coronavirus, as he mostly focused on politics and finance. In fact, I'd argue that Coronavirus actually CAUSED Trump to seem even more important, as his approval ratings dropped because of his poor decisions. 

Conclusion: My opponent has indeed proved that In *each individual impact*, some event could beat out Coronavirus. But they didn't affect all lives in every way possible, which is why I believe this disease is the most powerful of them all. Keep in mind, that not only are the industries that we see and buy are effected, there's also tourism (made near impossible now), food (people stockpiling), cinema as I mentioned, so on and so forth. Coronavirus doesn't have to win in every single influence, it just has to have a bigger effect overall. I rest my case.

Con
Thanks, seldiora.

OBSERVATIONS:

PRO has neglected to respond to all of last round’s observations, and has thus conceded them. 
PRO concedes that:
  • BOTH the longevity and severity of impact directly correspond to the influentiality of the event. If an impact is severe but not long-lasting, it can not be called “most influential.” Similarly, if an impact is “long-lasting” but not severe, it is not “most influential.” These impacts can be influential in their own rights, but they are not “most” influential.
PRO has failed to respond to the following points and has thus conceded them:

  • Coronavirus is a short-term issue (politically, economically, education, science, deaths, etc.)
  • The presence and prevalence of online retail
REFUTATIONS:

“my opponent has listed Global Warming as a potential contender for event with greater influence, but has not supported the idea that it has completely changed society. People lived the same way before and after global warming.”
PRO downplays the effects of global warming and boxes the definition of influence to “what affects everyday life right now.” 

Ironically, PRO disregards the vast impact global warming has had on life currently:
“Weather catastrophes in the United States have incurred a cost of over $1 trillion in damages over the past 30 years. Climate disruption has driven up food prices increased the risk of West Nile outbreaks across the U.S. and helped fuel wildfires that caused over $1 billion in damages in 2013.” 

Recall that 150k each year die of global warming currently. Over just 4 years, this overtakes Corona’s death count.

Furthermore, over 40% of the world’s population live on coasts. Sea-level rise is accelerating, and that is currently forcing some to migrate inwards, and will force millions of others in the future to also. 

Global warming is both severe and long in impact. Coronavirus is neither (recall impending vaccine that PRO ignores), and PRO fails to respond to this crucial point. Regardless, using either PRO or CON’s framework, CON wins.

“He then says that the 50% stock market crash is far worse than the 28% crash right now. But he's only looking at the U.S. It's absurd to only look at us as a country.”
PRO ignores the fact that both the Great Depression and 2008 Depression started in the US and expanded worldwide. In fact, the 2008 Depression is called the Global Financial Crisis in other countries

“He attempts to state "huge advancements in AI" but this is extremely vague and overly broad. This site alone lists 10 ways that people are using technology even more as a result to combat the virus...He then claims that DNA tech could create new food to last centuries, but even this still only seems to effect food industry”
The technology PRO cites and credits Corona for already existed, it is only being applied to this new situation. Furthermore, PRO downplays advancements in the realms of DNA and AI without considering the long-term prospects. Just taking DNA for example: enhancements will allow us to alter the DNA of humans and animals alike. This allows us to treat genetic diseases, clone, etc. It already permanently changes the way we produce our food, the other changes are imminent. 

“He brings up how important virtual education is, but this point is moot as it was developed in 1986 and has been used for decades already.”
PRO ignores CON’s previous refutation that Coronavirus will only have a short-term impact on education.

Additionally, CON does not claim online learning was not present before 2005, CON claims that online learning did not innovate and develop into a competitive learning format until then. 

“I'm 99% certain that (Trump’s) effects on science, people's illness/deaths, and education is less than Coronavirus, as he mostly focused on politics and finance.” 
PRO misrepresents CON’s argument. CON argues that the elections of Trump and Obama are  “more influential politically than coronavirus” not more influential than coronavirus period. The purpose of this comparison was not to elevate the importance of Trump or Obama beyond Corona but to demonstrate the relatively low impact on politics coronavirus will have in the long-term. 

Regardless, PRO once again ignores CON’s argument that Coronavirus will be a short term political impact.

“My opponent has indeed proved that In *each individual impact*, some event could beat out Coronavirus. But they didn't affect all lives in every way possible, which is why I believe this disease is the most powerful of them all...Coronavirus doesn't have to win in every single influence, it just has to have a bigger effect overall.”
CON would agree if Coronavirus were a long-term impact, but it is not. The effects of coronavirus are outweighed by longer-lasting but more modest-appearing changes in science and in our climate.

CON looks forward to PRO’s response.

Round 3
Pro
I concede. I haven't done my research on Global Warming and forgot about its impacts. Well done, Christopher.
Con
CON accepts PRO's concession and thanks PRO for a fun debate. CON hopes that PRO continues to grow and improve as a debater and wishes him luck.