By Zaman Bajwa
Once again the World is under attack but this time the threat is much bigger than ever. More than two hundred countries are affected by Covid -19 and millions of people are under lockdown due to this situation.
Natural disasters and pandemics are as old as human civilization. In many times of human history such type of infectious diseases have affected civilization and changed the dimensions of whole World. By the passage of time humans shifted to the villages and cities, started agriculture to deal with famine and hunger but this revolution also exposed them to large scale infectious diseases.
In past, the Black Death in Europe (1347-1351) killed approximately 25 million people. Similarly, the Spanish flu in 1918 that killed over 50 million people all across the World and then in 1968 the Hong Kong flu took one million people lives. These mass level killings forced the communities to think and research about such pandemics and strong their health systems for future preventions.
Scientists and medical experts all over the World are trying to find the way out to tackle this disease and to prepare vaccine for Covid-19 but there is no positive news till now and it may take years for mass level production. Social distancing is the one and the only way to keep you safe from this disease. The people are maintaining a specific distance everywhere to break the spread of corona virus.
Due to the lockdown many governmental institutions are closed or employees are working on alternative shifts and days. The Corporate sector companies allowed their employees to work from home. The educational institutions are closed and they have shifted their classes on digital platforms. Teachers are providing lectures online and the examinations results will be based on assignments and projects. This experience can be beneficial to get rid from the traditional school system and a chance for developing countries to upgrade and equipped their education system with modern methods of learning.
One day this pandemic will end as the previous disasters did. So, I ask one question myself, what will be the effects on community and how will be our life after Covid-19? In my opinion their will be a great change in personal behaviors and the community as well. This Covid-19 will spread depression and psychological issues in community and economic recession on government level. The rift of power and diplomatic influence will also increase.
China was the first country which affected by this Covid-19 and recovered from tragic situation and now helping the rest of World to tackle with this pandemic. China is leading the fight against Covid-19; she has provided aid to worst affected countries like Italy and Iran. Millions of masks and medical equipments are going too supplied by china all across the World.
The spread of Covid-19 is on peak in United States and hundreds of people lost their lives. President Donald Trump is not happy with the performance of World Health Organization and showed serious concerns regarding spread of this virus. USA is struggling against Covid-19 and in a big hurry to bring the vaccine to sustain its superpower image as china already put her in great danger by her effective measures to deal with this virus and by her soft power to helping others.
This pandemic already started to shake the poor economies and Word Bank also announced that Asian countries will be effect badly from this crises. Labors and daily wagers are out of work because manufacturing industries are closed due to lockdown. This unemployment and less buying capacity may result in elimination of small retail business as well. Import, export, International treaties shall be worst affected.
Being a scholar of development studies I have learned that every disaster brings an opportunity of development as well. Global community is revisiting its health policies and investing more and more in health sector. Underdeveloped countries like Pakistan is also getting benefit from the situation, rebuilding its health sector and going towards self sustainability. The Ministry Of Science and Technology with help of Pakistan Engineering Council is in process to develop its own Covid-19 testing kits and Ventilators.
Covid-19 will be a game -changer in the society. Work from home will become corporate culture as it will increase the performance of employees and reduce the office expenses as well. E-commerce will get boom; digital apps like zoom will get more popularity and business. People will adopt hygienic livelihood and more concerned about cleanliness. Healthy lifestyle and proper diet will be adopted to increase the immunity against such pandemics. Government will be forced by people to invest more on Health care units. Globalization will get a break for a while; procedures for migration from the affected countries will be stricter. To avoid from lockdown situations the investments and manufacturing units in a single region will be avoided. Healthy lifestyle and proper diet will be adopted to increase the immunity against such pandemics.
Writer is an Islamabad based Human Rights activist and Freelance Journalist. He tweets @zamanbajwaa