One thing I learn about globalisation is that a problem in one place can quickly spread around the world. So, a second thing I learn is never to feel smug about other people or countries’ disasters. In time, we will all trip over and fall flat on our faces. Globalisation makes me appreciate karma. It’s a term that doesn’t just apply to finance, trade and economic crises. We have been dealing with the globalisation of viruses and protests. No surprises there; the world we live in is highly connected. An outbreak in Wuhan spread around the world. Oh, it must be the fault of the Chinese! It may be, but wait till next time another pandemic – and there will surely be more global outbreaks to come – surfaces in your backyard. But that has already happened, though Americans seem to have all suffered amnesia. “In the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged,” the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention wrote. “It was detected first in the United States and spread quickly across the United States and the world.” Globally, “[between] 151,700 and 575,400 people died from (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated”. Trump administration to halt Chinese passenger airlines from flights to US Washington didn’t insist on calling it the American flu then. Hong Kong suffered more than seven months of violent protests. American politicians rhapsodised: “A beautiful sight to behold!”, “We admire and support you.” Blah blah blah. Tom Cotton is a Republican senator in the US who co-sponsored the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which is now being cited to end Hong Kong’s separate customs status. Now he writes in The New York Times : “This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy … One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers.” I feel no pleasure, only distress, at the unrest in the US. If you bother to look beyond your backyard, the entire world has been convulsed by mass protests. Covid-19 temporarily disrupted them. Last year, there was widespread unrest in Paris, La Paz, Prague, Port-au-Prince, Beirut, Bogota, Berlin, Catalonia, Cairo, Harare, Santiago, Sydney, Seoul, Quito, Jakarta, Tehran, Algiers, Baghdad, Islamabad, Budapest, London, New Delhi, Manila, and Moscow. It was across six continents and affected democracies and dictatorships alike. I don’t pretend to understand such seismic changes in the global landscape. But this I do see: my problem is your problem.