Instigator / Pro
27
1791
rating
395
debates
67.22%
won
Topic

[February Tournament 2022] The majority of the world is better thanks to Covid.

Status
Finished

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

Arguments points
12
0
Sources points
8
4
Spelling and grammar points
4
3
Conduct points
3
3

With 4 votes and 17 points ahead, the winner is ...

RationalMadman
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Miscellaneous
Time for argument
Three days
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Open voting
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One week
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Four points
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15,000
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10
1500
rating
9
debates
33.33%
won
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~ 1,314 / 5,000

Rationalmadman vs Computernerd: [Round 2] [February Tournament 2022]

Definitions are as follows:

---------------

'thanks to' is a colloquial phrase that doesn't literally require people to thank nor does it imply we ought to feel genuinely grateful, it means that the benefits and/or drawbacks that Pro and Con will respectively present are due to Covid (overall).

~

'majority of the world' means that most of Earth (primarily its human population). It can include other aspects but ultimately this is about the world as a whole, which both sides agree includes humans and in this debate humanity is certainly included as a factor.

~

'better' means
'in a more suitable, pleasing, or satisfactory way, or to a greater degree'
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/better

'more attractive, favorable, or commendable
more advantageous or effective'
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/better

--

The debate structure is Round 1 is opening arguments and should not have many rebuttals from Con to Pro, if Con violates this then voters should consider to penalise for it.

Round 2 should be rebuttals, no new arguments are allowed but new evidence and rebuttal-supportive angles are permitted.

Round 3 is conclusions and defense against rebuttals as well as reinforcement of rebuttals.

Round 1
Pro
Introductory Speech

When I tell you that Covid was responsible for the world becoming better, your instinct may well be to want to smack me in the face for the disrespect to those that died. I do not deny how controversial my stance is, I picked it as a brilliant clickbait title that is what this tournament is all about (getting the site famous thanks to catchy debate titles). The reason I'm willing to take the flack for being Pro on this debate is that I am here to show you both that debating as an artform and mental sport really does exist and has not died out even in this simplistic Twitter age and because in terms of everything other than economics and those that died or suffered from Covid, I actually do think that there's ways to realise that the world has improved in certain ways. This is not a huge 'thank you' to Covid, this is a celebration of how courageously and brilliantly we fought it as well as an observation of certain unintended positive consequences of what lockdowns and other shifts in society towards Covid entail.

==

The Left Wing in all nations has gained a major argument to defend many poor-helping aspects of its agenda. The Right Wing had also differently gained more legitimate understanding of their battle and perspective.

About 9.2% of the world, or 689 million people, live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank.

almost half the world’s population — 3.4 billion people — still struggles to meet basic needs, the World Bank said. 

There has always been the same argument on repeat from the right wing of many nations; we can't afford to help them all. What is it that couldn't be afforded exactly? Suddenly, when Covid-19 spread across the planet. For the majority, if not entirety, of the world, it was suddenly revealed just how much could be spent to help out struggling businesses (or even totally shut down businesses like bars and massage parlours etc that required in-person interaction and couldn't possibly adjust to a cyber-interacting lockdown world). It was also revealed just how heavy a hit something like the state-funded NHS of the UK could take. In September 2021, with Covid already well underway the right-wing Conservative government estimate it would be spending £5.4 billion which is $7.3 billion USD at the moment. Similar things were seen elsewhere, needless to say that vaccines being free in nations took billions of spending as well. The world is estimated to spend spend $157 billion on COVID-19 vaccines through 2025.

On top of the fact that no nation ever again can pretend it never had enough to spend on many programs and things it had always feigned debt and this boogeyman of a bankrupt economy on, we have had other left-wing aspects of Covid's processes come through as well. Society as a whole, in practically every single nation, has finally admitted that societal safety and wellbeing eventually does come before short-term economic prowess.

Even more interestingly, the right-wing of many nations have benefitted in a different way; they finally have an actual argument other than 'taxation is theft'. The right wing of many nations have formed the majority of protesters, most recently and notably Canada however it's been throughout Europe and many nations during it.

If one is a right wing populist, Covid has finally given them a proper opportunity to see freedom at the sake of those that die, perish and suffer held in juxatposition with restricting those freedoms for the greater good. This hasn't been a straightforward battle and balancing the two has been a perilous issue for many nation's governments. Even if one isn't a populist, the right-wing in general were annoyed during it jumping at any opportunity to even use WHO comments against the lockdowns.

Both sides of society have begun to gain proper arguments about their side of politics. The right wing have gained their 'economic freedom over societal wellbeing' platform with actual oppressive rules happening for what the left says is the greater good. The left wing have finally had a solid chance to prove irrevocably that the reserves in the nations which governments had access to were able to cover debts but even more so, they were able to justify funding to get the poor laptops for their homes (many had to share previously but schools had to provide for the poor in many countries so that students could attend lessons while their parents were working on their household computers etc):

Even if one thinks laptops to poor students in UK and US isn't enough proof (I can get more countries and more proof later), this went beyond that in terms of what has shifted and happened. 

Whether you see this as left-wing ethos in action (because some of it was subsidised in nations but some was pure charity from companies and people), the homeless during Covid, especially in the earlier months were given generosity that hasn't been seen in the entire history of humankind pretty much. I mean this could be a contention all on its own really, since homeless people had lives literally saved (imagine the rehab that comes with your drug dealer not meeting you as you're on lockdown and then a miraculous offer from a hotel or something to let you stay there, you could have fixed your life just like that or if you are mentally ill and finally get the help you needed or at least a step in the right direction whereas before you were ignored).

This happened both at a government level for several nations and a charity level.


Of course, not all nations directly had the benefit of it. Instead, for them the neglect and terrible outcome has given the left wing within them a brilliant argument as to what is wrong when a society neglects is poor. Sure, the homeless can just about get by and survive until something like Covid hits.


This and other aspects have basically benefitted the left wing mostly but both wings certainly. They finally have had a real situation arise where unlike ever before they can see first hand the impacts, benefits vs harms etc of their ethos and way of leading a society and caring or not caring for the poor at the sake of their own personal wealth and/or freedom.

This is very likely to spark debates and passion for politics like never ever before at least for decades in human history since a war or something.

==

The world had a period of unprecedented peace (other than China with Hong Kong)

Just before Covid broke out, there were all kind of tensions on Earth. You may think this is a bad taste point to be making considering that just as Covid has ended, Russia and Ukraine may well be about to break out in a war that could lead to world war 3 but that is actually further support, not disproof, of my point.

Turkey and Greece were having tensions regarding immigration but Covid lockdowns rendered it moot. I am not saying that benefitted the migrants at all, they were stuck and Turkey wanted them pushed to Greece but the point I am making is that across the planet all kinds of tensions, if there were any, suddenly became relatively moot and tame. You don't really have time and energy to hate another nation during 2020 or even a fair portion of 2021 as a leader of a nation. Your main priorities would be to cope with Covid and keep your people safe from it.

Even more interestingly, this went beyond a distraction to direct reason for neighbouring nations to cooperate, no matter how big a rival they were to each other. Nations across the planet (again, except for China with Hong Kong) found reason to share their data on Covid, help each other with research, really pool together with the WHO and whatever else. 

Health is now a part of global food, environment, oil, and water agreements, and it is addressed at major global and regional summits, including the G7 and G20 summits. Every SDG that has been negotiated has shown that health is an important component and outcome. Therefore, this explains why GHD plays a central role in every subsequent round of SDG-related negotiations. Given this background, the global health agenda is now viewed as a common challenge for developing and developed nations (13). COVID-19 offers many different examples of health diplomacy but is mostly characterized by fragmentation. There is much evidence showing the aspects of poor leadership and cooperation between big countries. Amid this fragmentation, as a regional response, the European Union (EU) vaccine initiative emerged recently independent of the WHO (7). GHD can be interpreted as a political shift toward achieving the goals of improving global health while maintaining and strengthening broad international relations, particularly in the areas affected by conflicts and limitation of resources (14). The first UN General Assembly resolution on the coronavirus (UNGA 270.74) called for international cooperations to combat the virus (5). In short, we discuss a few large economies that failed to show their leadership or direction to the other developing nations in many aspects and have failed even in diplomacy with their counterparts.


The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions, and help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the Bank Group has committed over $157 billion to fight the impacts of the pandemic. Provided from April 2020 to June 2021, it includes over $50 billion of IDA resources on grant and highly concessional terms.

On April 2, 2020 the first group of projects using the dedicated COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility (also called the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP)), amounting to $1.9 billion and assisting 25 countries, was rolled out. On May 19, 2020 the Bank Group announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 have reached 100 developing countries – home to 70% of the world’s population. On October 13, 2020, $12 billion was approved for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens. On June 30, 2021 President Malpass announced the expansion of financing available for COVID-19 vaccine financing to $20 billion over the next 18 months, adding $8 billion to the previously announced $12 billion. In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy resources in existing World Bank financed projects, including through restructuring and use of projects’ emergency components as well as contingent financing instruments designed for catastrophes, including pandemics.

==

The environment was immensely helped by the economy-hindering inactivity that certain industries faced due to lockdowns

I really feel that this point is self-evident and won't discuss further until Con provides a rebuttal. I will link several sources supporting this though. Since Con can't rebut until Round 2 as per the rules of the debate, I'll mention some proofs. Click the hyperlinked words if you're curious where the quoted article is sourcing from.

A reduction in water travel and activity could reduce the risk of ships striking and injuring or killing marine animals. It may also reduce the marine disruption that occurs due to noise pollution from ships, fishing sonar, and recreational boats.

The pandemic may even benefit wildlife by disrupting the hidden, generally illegal supply chains that destroy wild populations, including those that fuel the wildlife trade.

One study found that daily global CO2 levels dropped by 17% during the early months of the pandemic. Similarly, other research showed that levels of the pollutant nitric dioxide lowered drastically, by 20–40%, across the U.S., Western Europe, and China.

An analysis of data from 44 Chinese cities also found that pandemic travel restrictions resulted in reductions of between 4.58% and 24.67% in five major air pollutants.

An American study suggests the reason for this, finding that between March 27 and May 14, 2020, in one Massachusetts neighborhood, car travel reduced by 71%, and truck traffic fell by 46%.

Experts suggest that the unprecedented decrease in air pollutant emissions during the pandemic could reduce seasonal ozone concentrations.

==

Vaccine research and technological development is off the charts. Science research changed forever.

This is so very obvious with mRNA and technology but that isn't alone what I mean here.

I am referring to collaboration, data sharing, coding programs to crack vaccinationsscience is like never before. 

The shift in society towards tech-based collaboration goes way beyond science of course and the software and ways it's being done are unprecedented, years ahead of where they should be.

Prior to the pandemic, many businesses viewed technology as a means to save money and reduce unnecessary spending. When data can be analyzed and emails automatically sent when triggered, for example, it frees up the sales team and marketing team to focus on other tasks that cannot be handled through automation and technology. However, a digital transformation also offers businesses tremendous opportunities to innovate and find their way to the front of their industry.

Before the pandemic hit, nearly half of businesses reported that they saw technology as a means of reducing company costs as one of their top three digital priorities. However, with the pandemic spreading and businesses beginning to discover the other values of technology, only 10 percent reported this as a top reason after the beginning of the shutdowns. Instead, more businesses reported that modernizing their capabilities, gaining a competitive advantage, and creating a business culture that was focused around digital technologies all outpaced concerns about reducing costs.

We are entering a new age of science and technology, catapulted forth by Covid.

This goes beyond just a nerdy 'yay' for science, we are talking about international tensions reducing, science collaboration taking a priority over all else. A world where we develop together.


We are entering a new age, brough forth much sooner directly due to Covid.


Con
RESOLUTION: THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD IS BETTER OFF THANKS TO COVID-19

DEFINITIONS:
'majority of the world' means that most of Earth (primarily its human population). It can include other aspects but ultimately this is about the world as a whole, which both sides agree includes humans and in this debate humanity is certainly included as a factor.
~
'better' means
'in a more suitable, pleasing, or satisfactory way, or to a greater degree'
'more attractive, favorable, or commendable
more advantageous or effective'
-Description

PRELUDE:

I am not blind to the fact that COVID has developed some positive outcomes. Nor am I denying that Covid has not helped a lot of people, albeit in an indirect way. However, I want voters to realize that this is not the debate here. The resolution, is a majority. It is well established that a majority is over half. So, I must prove all arguments mentioned leans in the direction of CON

I have read RM's claim that he does not directly support Covid, and I can understand that. However, I would like to draw attention to this quote:

 that the world has improved in certain ways.
So, it is my duty as CON to prove that there are a higher ratio of negatives to positives as an outcome of Covid-19.

ARGUMENTS

1. The Psychological Argument
This argument will focus on the mental struggles of individuals throughout this pandemic. This will include students, workers, families and an entire generation. 

Schools
Schools were hit very hard by this pandemic. Students grades and determination slummed in 2020 and most of 2021. According to frontiersin.org:
The studies on the effect of COVID-19-related school closures on student achievement selected for our review reported mixed findings, with effects ranging from−0.37 SD to +0.25 SD (Mdn = −0.08 SD). Most studies found negative effects of COVID-19 related school closures on student achievement. Seven studies reported a negative effect on mathematics (Clark et al., 2020; Kuhfeld et al., 2020b; Maldonado and De Witte, 2020; Tomasik et al., 2020; Depping et al., 2021; Engzell et al., 2021; Schult et al., 2021), five studies on reading (Clark et al., 2020; Maldonado and De Witte, 2020; Tomasik et al., 2020; Engzell et al., 2021; Schult et al., 2021), and two studies on other subjects, such as science (Maldonado and De Witte, 2020; Engzell et al., 2021). This is in line with expected learning losses due to COVID-19 related school closures and the assumption that, in spring 2020, the ad hoc implementation of online teaching gave students, teachers, schools, and parents little time to prepare for or adapt to measures of remote learning.
The highlighted statement supports that students and parents were under psychological stress to prepare for this new environment, and that led to a negative effect on their grades. Although the next paragraph of this text provides a positive result, I would like to stress that these results were from online developed platforms, thus negating any need to prepare.

Workers:
A majority of jobs suffered from Covid too. Most commercial jobs, such as ones in malls and modern establishments, were lost for over a year as lockdown prevented commercial real life interaction. This caused massive job losses and widespread financial trouble. This caused many people to lose their livelihood and way of life due to Covid. According to this site:

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), global working hours declined by 17.3 percent in the second quarter of 2020.[7] This is equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs lost.[8] By the end of the year, total working hour losses were roughly four times greater than during the Great Recession in 2009.[9]
This loss of jobs must and should be accounted for by voters as an effect that Covid has brought upon us. 

The Economy:
This is a pretty obvious example but I will mention it. Along with the loss of jobs, this brought havoc on to the economy. Since there were less jobs, global GDP dropped by 4.5 percent. This loss was echoed globally. As shown in this link, I want to direct you to the line graph shown. This is a devastating loss, and this is unmistakable. 

CONCLUSION:

I want voters to understand I don't disagree that Covid is good in some ways. However, The resolution states that the MAJORITY of the world must be better off from Covid. So, if PRO is unable to refute this point, Vote Con. If I am unable to defeat Pro in this battle, Vote Pro. 

(Sorry this was so short, ran out of time and had to churn out an argument in 20 minutes. Please take this into account when voting.)


Round 2
Pro
I find it odd that in a single-point constructive from Con, he finishes by insisting this is about the majority of the world being better off.

Con's argument is actually mysterious because he frames it as a psychological argument but the things he focuses on are grades, jobs and GDP.

Therefore, I will dismiss the psychological aspect as unproven by Con and especially as this is a tournament debate, I encourage all voters to maintain tabula rasa and dismiss it as unfounded assertion.

As for the grades and adapting to Covid restrictions being troubling for schools, I don't think this hurt the majority of the world and will explain why. If something hurts everybody and is based on bell-curve output, it has actually not really 'hurt' the majority of the world at all. If the entire planet was pretty much affected by struggling to adapt to long-distance learning, it would mean that if anything more allowance, lenience and compassion to struggling students was given, compared to ever before. This is supported, for instance, by the fact that for the first time since computers began being involved in learning, nations began to have freely given/borrowed computers to the children of poorer families in nations such as the US, UK, France etc. 

In other words, by exacerbating existing issues and adding on pressure so that even non-struggling students began to feel problems with learning, the entire teaching force and ways that schools go about assisting students had to adapt, no matter how insensitive or ignorant they were to the problems beforhand. Thus, I argue and vehemently assert that Covid's affects on education have benefitted the majority of the world due to the adjusting that schools and their staff will have done to be more accessible to students. 

Some ways (which will probably last for a long time, well beyond the aftermath of Covid) include:

1. Accelerating education inequality: Education inequality is accelerating in an unprecedented fashion, especially where before the pandemic it was already high

2. A leapfrog moment: Innovation has suddenly moved from the margins to the center of many education systems, and there is an opportunity to identify new strategies, that if sustained, can help young people get an education that prepares them for our changing times.
This unprecedented acceleration of education inequality requires new responses. In our ongoing work on education innovation, we have argued that there are examples of new strategies or approaches that could, if scaled up, have the potential to rapidly accelerate, or leapfrog, progress. Two years ago, in “Leapfrogging inequality: Remaking education to help young people thrive,” we set forth a leapfrog pathway laying out a map to harness education innovations to much more quickly close the gap in education inequality. We argued that at two decades into the 21st century, the goal should be for all children to become lifelong learners and develop the full breadth of skills and competencies—from literacy to problem-solving to collaboration—that they will need to access a changing world of work and be constructive citizens in society. We defined education innovation as an idea or technology that is new to a current context, if not new to the world. And we proposed that those innovations that could help provide a broader menu of options for delivering learning were those with the potential to help leapfrog education, namely:

1) innovative pedagogical approaches alongside direct instruction to help young people not only remember and understand but analyze and create;
2) new ways of recognizing learning alongside traditional measures and pathways;
3) crowding in a diversity of people and places alongside professional teachers to help support learning in school; and
4) smart use of technology and data that allowed for real-time adaptation and did not simply replace analog approaches.

When we surveyed almost 3,000 education innovations across over 160 countries, we found that some innovations had the potential to help leapfrog progress, as defined along our four dimensions, and many did not. We also found that many of the promising innovations were on the margins of education systems and not at the center of how learning takes place. We argued that to rapidly accelerate progress and close the equity gaps in education, the wide range of actors involved in delivering education to young people would need to spend more time documenting, learning from, evaluating, and scaling those innovative approaches that held the most leapfrog potential.

Today we are facing a very different context. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced education innovation into the heart of almost every education system around the globe. Based on a recent 59-country survey of educators and education administrators, Fernando Reimers and Andreas Schleicher note that: “The crisis has revealed the enormous potential for innovation that is dormant in many education systems.”[1] The question is no longer how to scale innovations from the margin to the center of education systems but how to transform education systems so that they will source, support, and sustain those innovations that address inequality and provide all young people with the skills to build a better future for themselves and their communities. By doing this, we ultimately hope not only that those who are left behind can catch up, but that a new, more equal education system can emerge out of the crisis. Fortunately, across the world, communities are increasingly valuing the role that schools play, not only for student learning, but also for the livelihoods of educators, parents, and others, as we discuss below.

3. Rising public support: There is newfound public recognition of how essential schools are in society and a window of opportunity to leverage this support for making them stronger

4. New education allies: The pandemic has galvanized new actors in the community—from parents to social welfare organizations—to support children’s learning like never before.

Alongside increasing recognition of the essential role of public schools, the pandemic has galvanized parts of communities that traditionally are not actively involved in children’s education. As school buildings closed, teachers began to partner with parents in ways never done before, schools formed new relationships with community health and social welfare organizations, media companies worked with education leaders, technology companies partnered with nonprofits and governments, and local nonprofits and businesses contributed to supporting children’s learning in new ways.

The idea of children’s education being supported by an ecosystem of learning opportunities in and outside of school is not new among educationalists. The community schools movement envisions schools as the hub of children’s education and development, with strong partnerships among other sectors from health to social welfare. Schools remain open all day and are centers for community engagement, services, and problem-solving. Proponents of “life-wide” learning approaches point out that children from birth to 18 years of age spend only up to 20 percent of their waking hours at school and argue that the fabric of the community offers many enriching learning experiences alongside school. In our own work on leapfrogging in education, we argue that diversifying the educators and places where children learn can crowd in innovative pedagogical approaches and complement and enrich classroom-based learning. More recently, the concept of local learning ecoystems has emerged to describe learning opportunities provided through a web of collaboration among schools, community organizations, businesses, and government agencies that often pair direct instruction with innovative pedagogies allowing for experimentation.There is evidence ranging from the U.K. to Nicaragua that young people engaging in diverse learning opportunities outside of school—from classic extracurricular activities such as music lessons to nonformal education programming—can be quite helpful in boosting the skills and academic competencies of marginalized children. But until recently there has been only limited empirical examples of local learning ecosystems. Emerging models are appearing in places such as Catalonia, Spain with its Educacio360 initiative and Western Pennsylvania, where several U.S. school districts have engaged in a multiyear Remake Learning initiative to offer life-wide learning opportunities to families and children. One of the opportunities emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic may just be the chance to harness the new energies and mindsets between schools and communities to work together to support children’s learning.

As for the jobs struggling aspect, while of course jobs that involved interaction suffered, I don't think ever before have healthcare workers been so appreciated and valued (sad but true). I also think that from delivery work through to website development and even surveillance and data analysis work, many jobs and careers opened up much more than before while other lines of work and even study became more accessible because online teaching at university level, as opposed to school, to adults is quite convenient and meant that attending a lecture was a matter of being online at a certain time or even being able to see the recording later.

Pro says that GDP dropped but GDP is all relative. If the majority of the world has a GDP drop all at once, everybody is going through a bad thing and overall it hasn't really harmed them relative to the rest. GDP being high or low is all relative to other countries, if anything what Covid did to infrastructure and GDP was similar to what it did to education and even hygiene practises; it gave people a reason to improve them. The reason I didn't really build my case on that is that it could be argued this was done in spite of Covid and that Covid just happened to be the agitator but what is irrefutable and what I believe Con will struggle to defeat is that Covid specifically, due to how it altered the world during its time, has pushed forth progress like never before and that indeed includes how teaching is done and jobs and workplaces function. We are a whole decade, minimum, ahead of schedule in terms of being a more cyber-aware and internet-interactive world professionally and academically, due to what lockdowns forced upon us in a way only something like Covid could have done.

Adaptation and evolution involve pain and suffering to drive the changes required. You cannot extract your troublesome tooth without the pain associated with tooth extraction happening for a period before it heals and is better off. Life and the world has gone through a painstaking journey but did the majority come out swinging and improving? I argue they absolutely did, in fact eCommerce is like never before (in a good way).

Remote Working
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not identical across each sector, but almost all industries saw an unprecedented shift in the way they operate. For physical retail and hospitality this meant mass closures and furloughed staff, while for other businesses it meant a spike in remote working as offices were forced to close.
In April, when the first nationwide lockdown was in effect, 46% of the UK workforce did at least some work at home, with 86% doing so as a direct result of the pandemic. The shift away from the office was even more pronounced in the US, with an estimated 56.8% of employed Americans working from home at least some of the time. The “new normal” of work has brought increased flexibility to many jobs but also created new difficulties as traditional avenues for networking and employee onboarding have been restricted.
Some, like Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, believe the current state of affairs is an “aberration” that will die out once the pandemic is under control. However, among SMEs there is every indication that the shift to remote working will be permanent. Most firms have seen workplace productivity remain steady or even improve after shifting to a remote working model, and physical offices remain a significant overhead for smaller companies. With some analysts estimating that as much as 70% of the US workforce will be spending time working remotely by 2025, it’s easy to imagine that a good number of firms will seize the opportunity to change their working models for good.
Most firms have seen workplace productivity remain steady or even improve after shifting to a remote working model.

Financial Sector Digitisation
Hand in hand with the flight from physical offices, the pandemic has brought the benefits and foibles of digital tools into focus. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the financial services sector; in a single week during March 2020, the use of fintech apps and mobile banking services leapt 72% in Europe. Trading apps gained millions of active users on the back of stock market volatility and stay-at-home orders, sending Robinhood daily trading averages above 4.3 million in June.
In a single week during March 2020, the use of fintech apps and mobile banking services leapt 72% in Europe.
More traditional institutions have been forced to adapt to meet their more tech-savvy challengers as their legacy systems come under increasing strain. For major banks, with profit margins cut drastically by pandemic-induced credit loss provisions, this has meant placing greater focus on improving their online portals and security measures and diverting resources from the high street. HSBC has announced plans to close 82 of its UK branches as a direct consequence of this shift in strategy. Barclays and Lloyds Bank intend to shut down 63 and 56 branches respectively, while the Bank of Ireland aims to close 103 – more than a third of its locations.

Growth of eCommerce
According to a UNCTAD study, both developed and developing nations saw a historic rise in eCommerce sales even as individual customer expenditure fell. US and Canadian eCommerce orders in particular grew 129% year-on-year from April 2019 to April 2020.

This move was hardly unprecedented; the 2003 SARS crisis left a lasting impact on business by launching the growth of Alibaba, JD.com and other Chinese businesses that have since become giants. Indeed, the strongest rises in online shopping during the COVID-19 era were seen in Turkey and China, with Chinese communication platforms WeChat, DingTalk and Tencent Conference benefiting from heightened interest from businesses just as Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams did in western markets.
Con
PRELUDE:

I think an apology is in order. These debates were centered to get more attention, and I didn't put enough time in my R1. Regardless, I will spend more effort on this argument in order to refute my opponents points. 

Also, forgot to include a Physical section, to which I was going to include workers.

REBUTTALS:

As for the grades and adapting to Covid restrictions being troubling for schools, I don't think this hurt the majority of the world and will explain why. If something hurts everybody and is based on bell-curve output, it has actually not really 'hurt' the majority of the world at all. If the entire planet was pretty much affected by struggling to adapt to long-distance learning, it would mean that if anything more allowance, lenience and compassion to struggling students was given, compared to ever before. This is supported, for instance, by the fact that for the first time since computers began being involved in learning, nations began to have freely given/borrowed computers to the children of poorer families in nations such as the US, UK, France etc. 
From what I understand, PRO is claiming that following the restrictions from COVID, more help was given to struggling students then before. 

However, PRO has failed to take into account the perspective of the people who are giving help. Principals worked overtime for months to fix all the problems with online learning. Teachers had to adapt to this new environment, creating worksheets, paying for platforms, and integrating their entire books into a online form. 
One could argue that the ratio of students to teachers in a middle-school/high-school class are (from my experience) 30-1, this assumes the students are going through the same work schedule of 5AM to 10PM, which they are most definitely not. 

PRO has also argued that these changes will last for a long time and will effect the amount of attention previously bad teachers have on their students. But... when Covid is gone, they would have no reason to be different. Sure, the routine is different, with different strategies, but their attitude and attention towards their students is not going to change by much. 

I'm not going to copy paste the entire quote, since it easily takes up thousands of characters, but I will mention the points and my argument against it.

1. Accelerating education inequality: Education inequality is accelerating in an unprecedented fashion, especially where before the pandemic it was already high

2. A leapfrog moment: Innovation has suddenly moved from the margins to the center of many education systems, and there is an opportunity to identify new strategies, that if sustained, can help young people get an education that prepares them for our changing times.
After reviewing various sources and a few hours of thinking, I really can't think of an argument against this. It makes sense. However, I'd like to reiterate the resolution: 
The majority of the world is better thanks to Covid.
Again, majority is over half. The innovation boost in school systems is a small part of the entire debate. 

Rising public support: There is newfound public recognition of how essential schools are in society and a window of opportunity to leverage this support for making them stronger

4. New education allies: The pandemic has galvanized new actors in the community—from parents to social welfare organizations—to support children’s learning like never before.
Like the previous argument, I can't see a rebuttal to this specific point. So, I will simply outweigh the arguments here with some examples of where students have suffered. 

Severe learning losses and worsening inequalities in education
Results from global simulations of the effect of school closures on learning are now being corroborated by country estimates of actual learning losses. Evidence from Brazilrural Pakistanrural IndiaSouth Africa, and Mexico, among others, shows substantial losses in math and reading. In some low- and middle-income countries, on average, learning losses are roughly proportional to the length of the closures—meaning that each month of school closures led to a full month of learning losses (Figure 1, selected LMICs and HICs presents an average effect of 100% and 43%, respectively), despite the best efforts of decision makers, educators, and families to maintain continuity of learning. 
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For example, results from two states in Mexico show significant learning losses in reading and in math for students aged 10-15. The estimated learning losses were greater in math than reading, and they disproportionately affected younger learners, students from low-income backgrounds, and girls.
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  • Children from low-income households, children with disabilities, and girls were less likely to access remote learning due to limited availability of electricity, connectivity, devices, accessible technologies as well as discrimination and social and gender norms.
  • Younger students had less access to age-appropriate remote learning and were more affected by learning loss than older students. Pre-school-age children, who are at a pivotal stage for learning and development, faced a double disadvantage as they were often left out of remote learning and school reopening plans.
  • Learning losses were greater for students of lower socioeconomic status in various countries, including GhanaMexico, and Pakistan.
  • While the gendered impact of school closures on learning is still emerging, initial evidence points to larger learning losses among girls, including in South Africa and Mexico
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Beyond learning, growing evidence shows the negative effects school closures have had on students’ mental health and well-being, health and nutrition, and protection, reinforcing the vital role schools play in providing comprehensive support and services to students.
Note this is not breaking PRO's debate parameters of no new arguments in R2, as this is a more detailed argument of my R1, obeying the rules.

JOBS:

As for the jobs struggling aspect, while of course jobs that involved interaction suffered, I don't think ever before have healthcare workers been so appreciated and valued (sad but true). I also think that from delivery work through to website development and even surveillance and data analysis work, many jobs and careers opened up much more than before while other lines of work and even study became more accessible because online teaching at university level, as opposed to school, to adults is quite convenient and meant that attending a lecture was a matter of being online at a certain time or even being able to see the recording later.
HEALTHCARE:
While being appreciated is nice, the healthcare system has also never been so much stress. Shortages, 24 hour shifts, and low payment to boot. The suffering from Covid outweighs the appreciation from Covid, supported by the loss aversion bias.

DELIVERY WORK:
Pretty much the same argument, longer work hours with the same payment is not worth it.

NEW JOBS:
I think I am rational to believe that more jobs were lost than jobs earned. 

GDP and Progress
Pro says that GDP dropped but GDP is all relative. If the majority of the world has a GDP drop all at once, everybody is going through a bad thing and overall it hasn't really harmed them relative to the rest. GDP being high or low is all relative to other countries, if anything what Covid did to infrastructure and GDP was similar to what it did to education and even hygiene practices; it gave people a reason to improve them. The reason I didn't really build my case on that is that it could be argued this was done in spite of Covid and that Covid just happened to be the agitator but what is irrefutable and what I believe Con will struggle to defeat is that Covid specifically, due to how it altered the world during its time, has pushed forth progress like never before and that indeed includes how teaching is done and jobs and workplaces function. We are a whole decade, minimum, ahead of schedule in terms of being a more cyber-aware and internet-interactive world professionally and academically, due to what lockdowns forced upon us in a way only something like Covid could have done.

I am not going to fight the fact that Covid has brought us farther than we could ever have imagined, I just want to give you a story I thought of:

Imagine you're a young person living with his family. Life is great, until one day a serial killer comes along and murders all of them except you. You're childhood is full of misery, and so you vow to never let that happen to anyone again. You study hard and become a police officer, charged with stopping serial killers.
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But does that make you forget your family. Does it give you your family back?
In case you didn't understand my point, I'm saying that the damage has been done. Millions of children have had their childhoods ruined, through lockdown, losses, sickness, and everything bad with Covid. This was the basis of my psychological argument, which I forgot to add. 
ECONOMY:


Remote Working
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not identical across each sector, but almost all industries saw an unprecedented shift in the way they operate. For physical retail and hospitality this meant mass closures and furloughed staff, while for other businesses it meant a spike in remote working as offices were forced to close.
In April, when the first nationwide lockdown was in effect, 46% of the UK workforce did at least some work at home, with 86% doing so as a direct result of the pandemic. The shift away from the office was even more pronounced in the US, with an estimated 56.8% of employed Americans working from home at least some of the time. The “new normal” of work has brought increased flexibility to many jobs but also created new difficulties as traditional avenues for networking and employee onboarding have been restricted.
Some, like Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, believe the current state of affairs is an “aberration” that will die out once the pandemic is under control. However, among SMEs there is every indication that the shift to remote working will be permanent. Most firms have seen workplace productivity remain steady or even improve after shifting to a remote working model, and physical offices remain a significant overhead for smaller companies. With some analysts estimating that as much as 70% of the US workforce will be spending time working remotely by 2025, it’s easy to imagine that a good number of firms will seize the opportunity to change their working models for good.
Most firms have seen workplace productivity remain steady or even improve after shifting to a remote working model.

Financial Sector Digitization
Hand in hand with the flight from physical offices, the pandemic has brought the benefits and foibles of digital tools into focus. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the financial services sector; in a single week during March 2020, the use of fintech apps and mobile banking services leapt 72% in Europe. Trading apps gained millions of active users on the back of stock market volatility and stay-at-home orders, sending Robinhood daily trading averages above 4.3 million in June.
In a single week during March 2020, the use of fintech apps and mobile banking services leapt 72% in Europe.
More traditional institutions have been forced to adapt to meet their more tech-savvy challengers as their legacy systems come under increasing strain. For major banks, with profit margins cut drastically by pandemic-induced credit loss provisions, this has meant placing greater focus on improving their online portals and security measures and diverting resources from the high street. HSBC has announced plans to close 82 of its UK branches as a direct consequence of this shift in strategy. Barclays and Lloyds Bank intend to shut down 63 and 56 branches respectively, while the Bank of Ireland aims to close 103 – more than a third of its locations.

Growth of eCommerce
According to a UNCTAD study, both developed and developing nations saw a historic rise in eCommerce sales even as individual customer expenditure fell. US and Canadian eCommerce orders in particular grew 129% year-on-year from April 2019 to April 2020.

This move was hardly unprecedented; the 2003 SARS crisis left a lasting impact on business by launching the growth of Alibaba, JD.com and other Chinese businesses that have since become giants. Indeed, the strongest rises in online shopping during the COVID-19 era were seen in Turkey and China, with Chinese communication platforms WeChat, DingTalk and Tencent Conference benefiting from heightened interest from businesses just as Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams did in western market.
One market grew at the expense of another. It's a classic scenario where one market become irrelevant due to a variable, only for another market to succeed from said black swan. In this case, the markets are Interaction Based Jobs (Malls, Commercial Areas, etc.) and Digital Based Jobs (Stocks, Apps, Websites, etc.) Now, with the softening of restrictions, I can argue that we are reaching a digital/physical mix of life. 

But did we need to suffer all of this, lose trillions of dollars, scar billions of people to reach the place we find ourselves at now? If Covid never happened, sure it would have taken a few more years, with not the same effect.  

Was it really worth it.

-CON

Characters Used: 13890.

Round 3
Pro
Imagine you're a young person living with his family. Life is great, until one day a serial killer comes along and murders all of them except you. You're childhood is full of misery, and so you vow to never let that happen to anyone again. You study hard and become a police officer, charged with stopping serial killers.
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But does that make you forget your family. Does it give you your family back?
It doesn't make you forget your family, nor does it make you have your family back. It leads to you progressing in life and taking a path you may otherwise never have taken. I actually don't entirely think that this analogy is accurate because it implies an entire childhood is ruined. Covid caused distress for just under 2 years (or a full 2 depends who and what level of distress we are talking) and the outcome doesn't quite match. Imagine that instead of being a police officer, you became a security guard who always resented that you'd never been motivated enough soon enough in life to become a police officer, that's a much better analogy to use.

I will like to point out that the entire case I've made has been supported by Con, what Con argues is that I haven't proven it was 'worth it' but where has Con proven it wasn't worth it? I also don't understand this economy angle Con is bringing up (which was originally framed as a 'psychological' angle). The GDP of nations and the fact they had to spend billions and could indeed afford to spend it, is linked to my point that until now neither the left-wing nor right-wing of nations truly realised what level and depth of financial reserves their nations had. Since left-wing politics aims to benefit the poor and less easily cared-for within a nation, it has suddenly meant that both the 'norm' and those that struggle more than the 'norm' have finally got objective proof that all along the ability and money was there to have helped. This real-world proof of left-wing politics having always been possible is an argument and level of proof that the rich and right-wing politicians will struggle to pull the wool over the eyes of the general populace ever again with regards to. They cannot say 'we don't have the money for this program' they need to start talking specific numbers and explain why the required spending really is too much. That benefit is something Con hasn't sufficiently addressed and which I argue is invaluably worth it across the world as every nation has finally seen that the government actually could help the desperate, they just were stingy.

Even more interestingly, Con didn't rebuke my entire Round 1 at almost any point in this whole debate. Instead, Con only tried to address my rebuttals to his own Round 1. Therefore, I would like to reiterate the points which will be poor conduct and abusive timing for Con to not adhere to the debate structure and only rebuke in Round 3 (where I cannot reply), since the debate's description clearly laid out the structure.


  • The Left Wing in all nations has gained a major argument to defend many poor-helping aspects of its agenda. The Right Wing had also differently gained more legitimate understanding of their battle and perspective.
  • Vaccine research and technological development is off the charts. Science research changed forever.
  • The environment was immensely helped by the economy-hindering inactivity that certain industries faced due to lockdowns.
  • The world had a period of unprecedented peace (other than China with Hong Kong)
Note that these four points were directly due to Covid (so not hygiene practises done to battle Covid but actual direct progress and alterations to the world due to Covid that made the world better). I believe all four to have lasting effects as well. While some exceptions will occur with the peace, like with China and Hong Kong as wlel as Taiwan and now Russia with Ukraine, the collaboration beween countries and way that everything evolved is strongly linked to the point about science research changing forever and even my rebuttal to Con that involved eCommerce.

You need to wonder why Con spend such a huge part of his Round 2 quoting the same source I did. It is actually flat-out lazy as it wasn't just copying-and-pasting but filling his entire argument with self-destructive quotation that basically was never once addressed other than to ask 'is it worth it?'. 

I would like to notice an interesting dynamic here, every time I point out a long-term benefit to the world that made it better thanks to Covid, Con keeps desperately grasping at anything at all he can say was remotely negative during Covid. What he did with education was to reiterate what he'd already said in Round 1 by pointing out that underdeveloped nations struggled the most with education. I hate to be so blunt as to point this out but countries like Ghana and Mexico as well as rural areas of India and Pakistan have always had issues with their education, brutal ones in fact.

I am not going to bring new evidence in the final Round as that would violate the agreed upon debate structure and it's frankly not necessary. What I am pointing out is that the pattern that happens is that I say the world has been made better in some way, Con agrees with it and says 'but what about this issue'. The world has had issues with the education provided to the poor within it for decades now (ever since 'modern education' began to exist). This has not properly been noticed and addressed to a degree that drove actual change anywhere near to what has happened during Covid. If Con's only rebuttal is that places that already struggled with education ended up doing the worst during Covid in terms of education, we must wonder what point Con is making as I perhaps am missing it. 

That is not a rebuttal to my point, it is supportive of it. Covid made clear many issues that people had ignored and turned a blind eye to. Homeless people had their lives saved (with permanent benefit, think how much it helps you to not be homeless anymore and perhaps have finally gotten help if you were homeless and schizophrenic or had a medical ailment of any kind, be it a toothache or cancer that you didn't know how to go about getting treated). This was achievable because finally hotels had literally nothing to do to improve their brand's image other than host the homeless and offer their rooms up for quarantining for the few who had legitimate reasons to travel. Laptops and other provisions for the poor to get educated at home were provided, which were always an issue but finally more than ever before had schools noticing the glaring problem and stepping up to help (as well as charities and governments).

Con didn't even begin to address the environmental help nor the science research progress. Never before has research been at the level it is now. Covid led to international collaboration on research that, similar to my peace point, was a result of people interacting equally with those living just a few streets away from them as somebody in a country on a different continent that was working on the same research project. The world has become more collaborative and internationally united in the science field than ever before and the ways people go about such collaborations is phenomenal. This of course is linked to computer science which will have benefits seeping into business (not just science) since the softwares aiding collaborative work will inevitable help international businesses conduct meetings and projects in an interactive cyberspace.

I conclude that the world is better thanks to Covid, all Con can do is say 'but national economies and grades took a hit'. Sure, yes they did and that's actually linked to what made the world better, as it motivated improvement.
Con
CONCESSION:

I concede the point that the majority of the world is better thanks to Covid. I was not the right person to debate such a topic, and am not confident in my own viewpoint now. So, I concede. I apologize for forfeiting in a debate tournament without a real-life reason, but any attempt I could try to make was weak, flawed, and would most likely get a straight win for PRO, no matter what I did. 

VOTE PRO