The corona virus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold, cough to acute respiratory syndromes which has let some of the developed nations like USA , Italy paralyzed. Let us understand some facts about this COVID19 pandemic and how it has transformed our perceptions about life on many dimensions. So far in India there have been 8988 active cases with 339 deaths, while the good news is that 1035 have been cured and discharged. While the worldwide statistics reveals 19, 25,190 Corona cases with 1, 19,701deaths with 4, 47,833 cases recovered.
To deal with this situation our Government has already announced a 21 day lock down which has been just completed. There were various questions raised at this point by the people of this country. How far this lock down has been helpful in containing the spread of this virus?. Will the lock down be further extended?. While there are debates that we need to test more people in India for infections and test kits are not available and there is a dearth of N 95 masks and ventilators to deal with this situation if more people are going to be affected in the weeks to come. To combat this situation the central Government announced a lock down for 21 days which was completed on April 14, 2020. After assessing the situation a few state governments extended this lockdown to 30th April, 2020.Let us see how this lockdown has impacted the lives of people in India.
- After a spike in Covid cases, India has put in place strict restrictions on inbound travel. The WHO has also declared it a pandemic after more than 20, 83,326 confirmed cases and over 1, 34,616 deaths in 210 countries. India has suspended “all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, and project visas” until May 3. This has left many people across the world stranded in different places. We never imagined a world that could be disconnected the way it is now. This will likely have a cascading effect, affecting the hospitality and tourism industries. Hotels and restaurant chains across the country are empty and are likely to remain so for several months, sparking worries of large-scale layoffs.
- This apart in India large number of migrant and daily wage workers who have been stranded in many cities to which they have migrated for work and they are unable to return their home town to join their families. Daily wage earners have no other source of income and they have to depend on the state governments who are providing them with food and shelter. It is more important to understand that these migrant workers are mostly illiterate and have migrated to distant cities to work and send money to their family for their survival. With thousands of migrant workers stuck miles away from their homes, the seamless distribution of cash and food needs to be the government’s top priority. Nearly half a billion Indians earn daily wages and have no meaningful savings will struggle to survive.
- No one ever imagined a world where the total surface, air and water transport world come to a grinding halt. People who want to travel on medical emergency and other emergencies to other cities are put to untold sufferings. The Government first announced that they could obtain passes online, but there were no response to people who applied online. We now see people travelling to the district headquarters to meet the officials and obtain such passes; people are made to wait for 4 to 5 hours. We wonder at this point whether the basic rights enshrined under the constitution has been taken away. While lockdown is a must under such a situation the state and the central Govt have a duty to streamline this process of obtaining passes for travel for emergencies.
- We all need to buy our daily necessities like groceries, milk, vegetables, and medicines. Due to travel restrictions people are put to lot of hardships even to go out to buy these necessities. Thanks to the initiative of few state governments who have made some arrangements to deliver these basic necessities at the door step. But in many places I can see people have to stand in long queues and wait to buy these essentials with no choice but to pay the asking price and take what is available most of the times. It is the responsibility of the Government to make all these essentials at controlled prices to people during such times.
- The unorganized industry which includes the micro and mini enterprise, employs 94% of the population and contributes 45% to its overall output is already bearing the brunt of the lockdown with thousands finding themselves unemployed overnight. Unemployment was at a 45-year high last year. Industrial output from the eight core sectors at the end of last year fell by 5.2% – the worst in 14 years. Small businesses had only just begun to recover from the controversial 2016 currency ban that came as a body blow to the cash-consuming informal economy. Further many It giants like Google and Microsoft announcing their decision to halt all hiring is not a good sign. Many companies that have offered paid internship to students are indecisive and the students have been asked to wait. Now, many economic experts are of the firm opinion that the coronavirus outbreak is likely to further cripple the already frail economy by throwing developed economies like India several years back.
- If supply chains don’t work properly, a lot of food will be wasted and lead to massive losses for Indian farmers. With the lockdown in vogue the moment of essential perishable food products like farm produce such as fruits and vegetables including milk has been paralyzed. This has resulted in not only major losses to the farmers but also posed a challenge to their survival and livelihood. Experts warn that India is also at the brink of a major unemployment crisis.
- It is heartening to read reports like the air, water and noise pollution levels have come down by more than 80 %. We see the nature trying to connect with us to remind us that we have done too much damage to this eco system. No doubt that science and technology has to be used for the development of mankind, while preserving the balance of nature and well-being of all the species on this planet cannot be sidelined. The world is paying the price through loss of several human lives. Covid has sent a warning to human population that if we do not collectively take steps to undo the damage that we have done, we may have to face many such virus threats that may invade the lives of our future generations. Let us all think now and create a system of coexistence that is sustainable.
- Covid 19 has removed the purchasing power of people and reminded us that life is more important than money. No matter how much money I have, I cannot buy what I want. With the lock down continuing and looming uncertainty we do not know when this world will come to normal. Staying alive has become the priority of every individual no matter who he or she is?
- It is very disheartening to read news this week about how people protested to burial of a Doctor who lost his life due to Corona with which he infected due to his treating patients. People have attacked the health care workers brutally and also damaged the Ambulance and injured the ambulance driver and his associate. Imagine a situation just if doctors refuse to treat and stay indoors what will be the situation. Is this the world we have created? Have we lost the innate humanity we had? If you cannot lay a dead person to rest in peace during such a period are we truly a democracy? Only time has the answer to all these questions.
I have never envisioned a world like this in my 58 years right from my birth and this new experience has changed my total perception about life in many dimensions. Everybody was so busy running and keeping themselves busy doing everything they thought was important. But today COVID has reminded mankind that they could also stay indoors and leave a better less polluted world, staying healthy and creating a planet that is more pristine. The way forward is our response to this situation will determine when normalcy can be restored. The central and the state Governments have a major responsibility to move swiftly, marshal its financial and human resources, and build temporary Covid-19 treatment facilities; procure necessary equipment, including test kits; and buy personal protective equipment, hospital beds, oxygen-flow masks and ventilators. At the same time, it has to train health workers in infection control and safe testing and provide them with full protective gear so that they can treat patients without any fear as they too have a family. If India fails to fill these serious gaps in its capacity, the pandemic will exact a heavy toll.
B.Sc (Engg)., MBA., M.Phil.,P.hD(Mgmt)., LLB., LLM., IELTS(Camb)
Patel Group of Institutions, Bangalore
Sunstone Eduversity Noida
I have more than 30 years of experience in training students especially for IELTS,PTE,GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL .Through my years of experience I am familiar with the kind of mistakes that students typically make which acts as a hindrance to achieving desired scores on these tests. I am also a British council member and Certified trainer for IELTS (International Language Testing System, Cambridge UK) and BEC (Business English Certificate, Cambridge UK). Through my systematic training methodology combined with rigor I help candidates maximize their scores on these tests. I offer training which is highly customized and focused on a one to one basis. I offer both online and classroom training with excellent training and practice tests. I use an independent platform to deliver my online training programs to students in more than 5 countries which include Canada, UAE, Australia etc.
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