The world is falling off a cliff and trying to hold onto something as Covid-19 is marching on with a symphony of destruction.
But four months ago, only a few knew that it existed. Now all the nations are in the "same storm" even if they are "not in the same boat."
Just like World War II, this pandemic has already left a deep trail of wreckage on many nations' collective psyche.
The attack on Pearl Harbor and September 11 changed the US national psyche.
Japan, once called "a country of samurai warriors," turned into a pacifist one with the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But the change this time, when the invader is invisible, has transformed the hearts and minds of all nations: rich and poor, big and small, powerful and weak.
As expected, governments around the world responded differently to the crisis. Many turned inward while others just took it easy.
However, the world has recently become more populist, authoritarian, nationalistic, and xenophobic.
But our "tendency to weaken the systems on which we rely through" "ignorance or neglect," worsened the global vulnerability to shocks.
Yet "it is the terror of knowing what the world is about; watching some good friends screaming: let me out!"
The virus has disrupted modern society in an unprecedented way with economies crashing, borders closing, and supply chains fragmenting.
National and international institutions, transport, travel, and data flows are under pressure too.
When things are like this, the states are tempted to embrace unilateral and isolationist policies. And the Covid-19 crisis has put stress on the states in how they respond.
Many are even scrambling to understand the long-term consequences of the crisis.
The combination of unavoidable economic, political and social consequences of the crisis makes it a perfect storm for the world. But the breadth and depth of many outcomes will depend on how long the world will be in this suspended state.
Covid-19 has hit at a time when the international order's immune system is badly damaged. The current political climate has made things worse, not stabilised the crisis.
Unsurprisingly, many governments are pursuing "beggar-thy-neighbour" and "blame-thy- neighbour" policies even at this breaking point.
The global affairs is always a "work in progress" but the crisis may change globalisation and global governance as we know them.
"This is because connectivity increases the likelihood of inherently unquantifiable extreme events such as financial crises, a nuclear holocaust, hostile artificial intelligence, global warming, destructive biotechnology, and pandemics," Kemal Derviş and Sebastian Strauss of the Brookings Institution said.
China is the place where it all began. The US, where infections spread like wildfire, has the highest Covid-19 cases now.
But China and several other Asian nations, such as Singapore and South Korea, appear to flatten the Covid-19 curve, although a shadow of the second wave still hangs over them.
However, the outbreak is only getting stronger in many emerging markets and poor countries while the experts said that the world is still at least 12 to 18 months away from developing a vaccine.
Also, there is a double risk on the horizon for oil-producing countries across the Middle East, Africa and Latin America as they are going to be torn between hard economic choices and political troubles.
This is because the price of black gold came to be worth less than nothing amid Covid-19 pandemic, only showing signs of slow recovery recently.
However, crises come in two variants: anticipated and unexpected.
A state's response to a crisis depends on its perceptions, approach, and choices in the context of escalating or deescalating threat, time, and pressure.
Also, a states' ability to detect issues and discern the escalation of a potential threat to a serious one depends on the scale of preparedness.
And the inputs from other states and the international system influence the response of the crisis actor.
For the most part, the current crisis has unfolded in ways that could have been anticipated from the prevailing nature of governance in different countries.
The art and practice of dismissing expertise, science, and state institutions had made US President Donald Trump, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's approach to managing the crisis an unsurprising one.
However, the practice of crisis management is all about being constantly on the lookout for secondary and tertiary consequences and ripple-effects that have the potential to originate from any crisis touchpoint, crisis management expert Ian Mitroff said.
The East Asian countries that appear to have responded best to Covid-19 are also those that suffered the most from the 2003 Sars outbreak.
Arguably, their key takeaways from that experience had been the state's centrality in crisis management, necessity to build its capacity to act and manage a deadly outbreak.
However, there are different ways of looking at responses to shocks, crises, and existing challenges.
The problem solvers see the global challenges through the lens of daily realities and search for quick fixes. But those who look at it with a critical eye want to change the system and transform it forever.
As a problem-solving approach is like a low-hanging fruit, it is more popular among the policymakers and governments.
This approach may prove effective to help solve problems like temporarily containing the virus outbreak in some areas or limiting movements and socialisation.
The tangible results, of troubleshooting this way, have so far been increased hygiene awareness, empty streets, and cut in pollution levels.
But a global problem like Covid-19 pandemic needs a systemic approach. The absence of it triggers pandemics and other global threats to resurface one after another, making the world a troubled and vulnerable place.
A situational change, the precondition of crisis, may destabilise the international system. But the world governments and leaders want to maintain the status quo and resist changes.
But a systemic shock, such as the Covid-19 crisis, hits a system hard enough to drive it out of equilibrium.
"A long crisis, which is more likely than not, could stretch the international order to its breaking point," Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said.
"A collection of massive domestic crises will collide, as health systems collapse or come close to it and governments struggle with double-digit unemployment, a severe recession or depression, plummeting revenue, increased expenditure, and mounting debt.
"Intermittent shutdowns, returns to work followed by retreats, and the continued suppression of demand are likely."
Covid-19 once again proved the need for preparing for different possible scenarios.
Both the society and the international system will be shaped by how the world navigates through this troubled water.
The crisis will also be a test of how prepared the societies around the world are to absorb shocks. But when the virus retreats, the world could slowly return to its old self.