Economic Growth or Grimmer : Amidst the Coronavirus

Jinine Laishram *

Coronavirus outbreak is becoming the most infamous distressing news for human beings at the moment as if the spread of this new virus kills millions all over the world. Now, my curiosity is that how we will rationalize the fact that air pollution kills more than 6 million people every year leaving more millions suffering from air polluted health problem.

Airborne pollutants are responsible for about one third of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer, as well as one quarter of deaths from heart attack.

Whether one likes it or not, in the meantime one aspect of the coronavirus outbreak is the profound reduction of toxic air pollution in China, South Korea and some other countries as well. It is because human activities of market economy and consumerism have been axed.

How will we rationalize this fact? Will we relate it in a perspective of bright side of the virus? Will we rationalize it again in a rebuttal way that this clean air comes down at the cost of thousands of lives and businesses and market economy?

Then go reverse and rewind today’s modern world of economic development at the height of comforts and conveniences in the era of artificial intelligence, we do find that it comes down at the cost of Mother Nature, poisoning the air and water, and future offspring.

Further with the little notice and awareness, the ever growing gap between haves and have nots, the ever distressing spread of inequality is rather spiral going out of proportion.

Interestingly, respective governments across the world show their serious concerns too over the virus activity. On a worry and misery spectrum, no doubt COVID-19 displays many a dark lights of deaths, massive infection, suspension of daily activities, closures of offices, more importantly paralyze of market, trade and commerce.

It appears that, this time around most of the governments, their diplomacies, a good few commercial agents, though there may be some doubts profiteers of pharmaceutical industry and bankers be sincere and serious.

The eventual issue and apprehension is the loss in businesses. Economic damage done by this virus seems to be rather more important than the actual challenge in health sector, and of course, the loss of human lives.

The big worry is economic side of the COVID-19. As we the humans are so accustomed to profit making activities of selling and buying of goods and services, we do forget bad side caused by consumerism and market economy. We do not want to talk about the serious adverse impact of market economy.

Once this killer virus is gone, and businesses come back to their normal places, remember we will start exploiting Mother Nature again, producing more toxic substances making air and water dirtier towards making up the previous losses. Here the simple question is that why all these businesses for? The answer is for growth and money.

Regarding money, in fact we need money but not for fulfilling our real needs any longer. We want money to satisfy our greed otherwise. The money is not anymore for a modest livelihood but buying cars, flashy gadgets, clothes and endless items.

Here I am going to relate coronavirus to my earlier write-up Growth but the Grimmer.

The extraction of natural resources increased from 22 billion tons in 1970 to 70 billion tons in 2010 (Reuters); now, it is about 180 billion tons annually. The world emitted 37 billion tons of CO2 in 2017 (CarbonBrief).

Consequently, global solid waste generation is on a pace to increase 70% by 2025, rising from 3.5 million tons per day in 2010 to more than 6 million tons in 2025 making unclean Mother Earth.

The global cost of dealing with all that trash is rising too; from $205 billion a year in 2010 to $375 billion by 2025, with the sharpest cost increases in developing countries (World Bank).

The earth is losing 18.7 million acres of forests annually impacting increased greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, disruption of water cycles and water scarcity, increased soil erosion, disrupted livelihoods and overall ecosystem of the blue planet (WWF).

The global solid waste generation is to increase 70% by 2025, rising from 3.5 million tons in 2010 to more than 6 million tons per day in 2025 making unclean the mother earth. Every minute, one garbage truck worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean. Yearly, a colossal 1.4 billion pounds of trash end up in our beautiful oceans.

Of this waste, much of it is plastic. There have been 275 billion plastic bags produced worldwide in just 2017 alone. Every second, a massive amount of 160,000 plastic bags are being produced and used. By the end of this year, we will have used 5 billion plastic bags. According to The World Count of these 5 billion bags, 5 million of them will make their way into the ocean.

Global water pollution caused by untreated toxic industrial discharge, contamination with chemicals from modern market and human waste makes 80% of wastewater of the planet. This impacts the habitat and quality of life of fish and other wildlife.

About 1.2 billion world population live in water-stressed areas. Some 600 million Indians are facing sever water crisis. Indian 21 cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020 (NITI). To achieve its goal of becoming a leading global power by 2050, China which hold 20% of the world’s population is also facing its looming water shortage.

Human wants are unlimited therefore we get always confused our real needs with greed. Usually, we want to gather things as much we can. What’s why through selling and buying activities, humans work to get more than what we had before, which called profit.

On top of this, humans sacrifice our lives and time to make new ideas or products, sometimes out of thin air to sell to someone in order to make profit. Inequality in society gives opportunity for market. If we all have same amount of wealth and wellbeing, no one will sell and buy kidney.

If all people are healthy, doctors and chemist related industry will lose their market and business, people in health sector are not happy when there occur little diseases and deaths. So, more medicines are made by pharmaceutical companies in order to generate job employments and business growth.

Coffin makers are not happy when less deaths happen there. Hence, do we need maintain a potential gap between where the demand and supply flow to run market dynamic always profitable?

The simple fact is that market economy is vigorously selling products to the consumers with persuasive advertisement taking advantage of the “human wants are unlimited”. It is done without disturbing interference from the governments.

Therefore, to make money, in the process, the resources and energy are snatched ever more freely from the Mother Nature as if they were unlimited, and consume them ignoring that our offspring also need this same limited resources.

For sure, market economy always should take into account the fact that growth of balloon is limited, cannot be inflated beyond a certain bulging size. The frequent forgetfulness among the profit hungers makes growth mere bubbles.

That’s why now and again the bursts bring all sort of miseries to the highly industrialized world.

* Jinine Laishram wrote this for Imphal Times and The Sangai Express
The writer is Asst Prof, International Collage , the University Suwon, South Korea
This article was webcasted on March 09, 2020

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Chassad village Arson- Mar 17 : Gallery
  • Status Update 03 April : Govt of Manipur
  • A Panic-Stricken Crowd :: Poem
  • Covid-19: what ails one, ails us all
  • PM's Statement on COVID-19 [Apr 3]
  • Manipur BJP Statement [Apr 3]
  • Appeals to Prevent Forest Fires
  • FIR asisu handokkadabani
  • Message from Nagaland Opposition [Apr 3]
  • From Nationwide lockdown to what else ?
  • The virus respect no religion
  • Mr. Khadang - Film Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Status Update 02 April: Medical Directorate
  • Thotsang, Chao Sai, Makanmi: eMing
  • Muslim- one of most misinterpreted community
  • Stop Xenophobia against North East People
  • Essential Commodities Shops - Bishenpur
  • Beneath all that Darkness :: Poem
  • 17 in Assam, two in Manipur
  • Ode to the silent angels
  • Shopping - 30 March #2 : Gallery
  • Status Update 01 April: Medical Directorate
  • Drug users during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Reflections in the shadow of Covid-19
  • An absolute sacrifice
  • Report Clarification : Govt of Manipur [Apr 1]
  • Schools to remain closed beyond 31st March
  • Construct Quarantine centre at Koirangei
  • Pledges Rs 50 crore to PM CARES Fund
  • Fresh hotspot in Delhi's Nizamuddin
  • New findings on character of Coronavirus
  • Wars, Devastation & events in Kakching #2
  • COVID: Janata Curfew -Mar 22 #2 : Gallery
  • Support to stay home and pray
  • Racial prejudice against NE people
  • 'Release prisoners on bail/ parole'
  • Music Video 'Live Your Life' released
  • Donation to CM's Covid-19 Relief Fund
  • Farmer Producer Companies to collect
  • Heed the lockdown call
  • Health Advisory needs to be reviewed
  • Shopping - 30 March #1 : Gallery
  • Status Update 30 March: Medical Directorate
  • Stop Hate in the Time of Corona
  • April Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Manipuris stranded in State : Nodal Officer
  • Covid-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Mask distributed at Kumbi
  • Nothing spreads like fear
  • Letter to Prime Minister on Racial Attack
  • Lockdown : Ensuring food for all
  • Covid-19: Manipur Strategy to Prevent & Win
  • Status Update 29 March: Medical Directorate
  • Covid-19 or Racism, which one to fight first ?
  • MHA to Chief Secys of States [Mar 29]
  • Home Delivery- Imphal Dists [Mar 29]
  • Shop List opened - Bishenpur [March 29]
  • Violating anti-defection law
  • Why PM want Leishemba to be RS MP #2
  • Manipur Govt Orders [28 March] : Gallery
  • Status Update 28 March: Medical Directorate
  • Medical material airlifted from Delhi to Imphal
  • Coronavirus Combat; not just Govt's fight
  • Lack of availability of Medicines, Water..
  • Research to plug gaps in COVID-19 testing
  • RIMS areas disinfected - [March 26] : Gallery
  • Status Update 27 March: Medical Directorate
  • Manipur Govt Orders/Directives : 27 March
  • FEGOCTA donate 1 Day Salary to CM's Fund
  • Cure for COVID
  • What a respect to the caregivers !
  • Charity Mission Committee on COVID-19
  • NH7 Weekender : Online music festival
  • Lockdown amid curfew
  • PDS rice to CMHT excluded Keishamthong?
  • Curfew in Imphal - [March 24] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 helpline numbers in Manipur
  • Screening at Mao [Mar 20] : Gallery
  • COVID 19 & Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897
  • Decoding Tax Jargon through March Ending
  • NPF urged Nagaland Govt on COVID-19
  • Food items to Child Care Institutes
  • Hand rub bottles manufactured & distributed
  • Studying the total shutdown in Manipur
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Social Distancing observed [Mar 25] : Gallery
  • An appeal to all on COVID19
  • What is love ? :: Poem
  • Career option in Geomagnetism
  • Kohima gets a brand new song
  • Communique on Covid-19 : Nagaland Oppn
  • CM Covid-19 Relief Fund created
  • 12 on board flight with patient quarantined
  • Quiet celebration of Cheiraoba
  • Quarantine started- Mao -Mar 24 : Gallery
  • Leikai Public curfew -Mar 24 : Gallery
  • Stop stigma of Covid 19 +Positive Friends
  • Media : Essential services during lockdown
  • Acts of Kindness, Unity among Communities
  • Racist attacks on people from North-east
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed
  • Enforce total lockdown in Nagaland :: NPCC
  • Ugly response to positive case of COVID-19
  • First Case in Manipur
  • Lamphel Nawa Kombirei at Cheiraoba
  • Woman returned from UK has Coronavirus
  • Screening at Mao - Mar 22 : Gallery
  • Why PM want Leishemba to be RS MP #1
  • Janata Curfew - 'Go corona' festival
  • Panacea for Economic Collapse: COVID-19
  • Total Lockdown till March 31st
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba - Meitei New Year Day
  • Giving racial twist to coronavirus
  • Need action to those mocking PM
  • COVID: Janata Curfew -Mar 22 #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Govt Orders - Mar 22 : Gallery
  • Status Update 22 March: Medical Dir Lamphel
  • We will get by. We will survive.
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • War against Corona
  • What ails Indian Railways
  • Appeal to Govt during COVID 19 crisis
  • Hats off to the men in white
  • COVID-19: Ima Keithel -March 21 : Gallery
  • Bandh on March 21 : Gallery
  • Social Justice & Democracy in Northeast
  • Sociology of Coronavirus
  • COCOMI extended help to victims of Chassad
  • The Omnipresent Fear :: Poem
  • MU Chemistry Dept makes hand sanitisers
  • COVID-19 : A blessing for Khwairamband
  • Wakching Thagi Sanarei #2 :: eRang
  • Who will rebuild Chahsat village ?
  • The untameable :: Poem
  • Importance of Fish & Fishery in Manipur
  • Challenges for female entrepreneur in India
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • How well prepared is Manipur?
  • More seriousness needed to fight COVID-19
  • Khongu NangGi Baasi :: Shumang Leela
  • Yaoshang Fancy Dress #1 : Gallery
  • Journalistic Challenges in Reporting Chassad
  • Paneer Our Daughter's Delight
  • Civil Site Engineer / Site Manager
  • Architectural Designer at R-Square
  • Research Officer - Financial at Amethyst
  • Chinky to Coronavirus: Racial profiling chain
  • Promises, prosperity, Rights & Responsibility
  • Wars, Devastation & events in Kakching #1
  • When Chassad Blazed Our Hearts Burnt
  • Nagas entering final phase of power struggle
  • Climate change & predator : Any link?
  • Restore Chassad village to normal condition
  • The other side of Covid-19
  • Is Manipur taking adequate steps?
  • Silencing the voice of dissent
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati #3 : Gallery
  • Condemns the burning at Chassad Village
  • Conduct fact finding mission at Kamjong
  • Lost at the edge of uncertainty!
  • Global Youth Peace Conclave postponed
  • Entrance exams after 10 + 2
  • Workshop organized on Einstein's birthday
  • Titular King in the race for RS
  • Coronavirus, H1N1 & garbage in Imphal
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Yaoshang Sports Meet #2 : Gallery
  • Restoring Chassad- the village with no house
  • Manipur Maharaj & House of Lords
  • COVID-19 : Hand sanitizers at Bangalore
  • Appeal to install Covid-19 test in Nagaland
  • Communal violence & over-lap ethnic aspiration
  • Understanding Ponzi scheme
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • Nano Technology in Bio Organic Fertilizer
  • Joydev Thongam: Story behind the muscles
  • COVID-19: Agent to end Economic Globalisation
  • Cannabis in HIV and AIDS
  • Is society gender-sensitive enough ?
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #1 : Gallery
  • Intl Women's Day @ Imphal : Gallery
  • International Rivers Day at Kangoi Area
  • Getting workplace ready for COVID-19
  • A Tale on Yaoshang :: Poem
  • India's improving journo-murder index
  • But Leishemba should also act politically
  • Yaoshang Marathon @ Singjamei : Gallery
  • Wangkhem Rezia : Success Stories NE
  • Guwahati Music Festival #2 : Gallery
  • A Beautiful Mind :: Poem
  • Of Purity and Arrival of Spring
  • Fr Biju Michael - Salesian South Asia
  • Yaoshang Cheng Khaiba : Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba @ Khwairamband : Gallery
  • Intl Women's Day @ Bangalore : Gallery
  • Women's health & nutirition - A glance
  • Yaoshang Rock @Sagolband :: Gallery
  • MOU - Guest House at Mandalay :: Gallery
  • #VOLUNTEER4HEALTH launched at Delhi
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba :: Gallery
  • Festival of Holi- Brahma Kumaris concept
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa @ Kangla :: Gallery
  • Health Camp at Pune :: Gallery
  • International Women's Day at Bangalore
  • Universal access to sexual health services
  • Health Camp on Women's Day at Pune
  • More employment for our politicians
  • Gender Resource Centre in Agriculture
  • Entry points at Indo-Myanmar border sealed
  • Peace rallies urge PM for early Naga solution
  • Reversing masculinization of India's workforce
  • Torch Rally: Journalist Sports: Gallery
  • Politics of South China Sea Disputes : Book
  • 1st Barak Festival @Senapati: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #1: Gallery
  • Phisakol - Film Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • yeniHTa :: Seireng
  • Yaoshang Thabal Peisa donation: Gallery
  • World Meetei Convention @Cachar : Gallery
  • 13th Mega Marathon Manipur #3 : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Wakching Thana Lakpada #2 :: eRang
  • Students @ Class XII Exam #2 : Gallery
  • Bangladeshki Sana Tampha #1 :: eRang
  • Manipur Legislative Assembly Building : Gallery
  • Eepan Thaba -birth ceremony : Gallery
  • Coronavirus prevention @ Moreh : Gallery