Living with COVID 19

Joyshree Heisnam *

The Global Recession has led to market instability. All the educational institution have been shut down and final year students and examinations are postponed. It creates stress on supply chains, decrease in government income, collapse of tourism industry, collapse of hospitality industry, huge unemployment, reduced consumer activity, plunge in fuel consumption, rise in LPG scales.

South East Asians many countries are discriminated and stigmatized in the West. North-East Indians are not allowed to enter shops, harassed, even spat on their faces and are a prey for mainland Brownies. The Chinese government are not in good terms with U.S, Brazil, Australia, France etc.

Corona Virus is the mobile element for the above mentioned issues. Since the inception series of health, economic, social, environmental, political problems are unceasing. Living with Covid 19 is like we are adapting ourselves in an alternate reality.

Covid 19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2(SARS-CoV-2) . It was first discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan city of China. WHO declared it a global issue "pandemic" and health emergency. The pandemic spread to more than 188 countries with more than 5.91 million cases, of which 2.49 million recovery cases and 364,000 deaths .

The virus is spread through people with close contact, via small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, talking. The common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste.

On some cases progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi organ failure, septic shock and blood clots. The onset of symptom is seen from 2 to 14 days. The disease primarily spread soon to old citizens and newborns. The disease enters our lungs which leads to serious respiratory problems which leads to death.

Many scientists and researchers are working hard in developing a vaccine. The only available precautionary measure is by using masks, sanitizers and good hygiene and social distancing. The world is undergoing complete lockdown, quarantine facilities, screening and isolation.

The health related issues are: inadequate medical facilities and short supplies in such a short span of time is a big challenge faced by health workers. They are most at risk, many retired health workers are being called upon by the government to give service eventually many health workers have died in it.

India's pharmaceutical industry expects supply issues and The Trade Promotion Council of India estimates that 85% of active pharmaceutical ingredients imported from China. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement at least one drug worldwide is in short supply because of the lockdown.

The European Union's industry Chief estimates 1 billion losses per worth in tourism sector. India's GDP estimates are downgraded even more to negative figures signaling a deep recession. The rate of unemployment rose from 6.7% on 15th March to 26% on 19th April within a month. More than 45% of households across the nation have reported an income drop as compared to 2019.

53% of business in the country are significantly affected. Those in informal sectors and daily wage groups are most at risk. The inflation affect the migrant workers a lot and even refugees. A large number of farmers across the world who grew perishable goods are facing uncertainty. Various businesses such as hotels and airlines are cutting salaries and laying off employees.

Young startups around the world suffer as funding decline. Stock markets in India posted their worst loses in history on 22nd March. Major world's electronics come from Chinese factories and a long suspension of production will negatively impact overall supply.

Restaurants, food industry, mass entertainment venues such as concert halls, museums, parks, fashion industry are also affected. There is a slowdown in global construction industry and the workers. Employers should provide employees with a safe workplace condition.

The pandemic has not just gifted health and economic problems but also social stigmatization and racism especially profiling of Mongoloid in India. It has sparked unwarranted behavior towards health workers, infected persons, families, certain ethnicities and anyone with even a silver of connection to the disease.The Chinese, North-East Indians are being tagged "coronavirus" along with derogatory comments and are a victim to social media bullies and trolls.

Several health workers of the region who work in mainland states are also facing discrimination and are now returning to their homeland. Dalits, migrant workers also faced hurdles and are either being killed or robbed by Bhakts. Religious leaders create communal tensions eg: after the effect of Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi against muslim communities. Hindu fanatics in Odisha beheaded a man as human sacrifice to stop the pandemic.

The pandemic also spreads environmental concerns in both positive and negative ways. Contingency policies are linked to improvements in air quality, clean beaches, water, less environmental noise. Trees are being saved and the water of Ganga is now cleaner. Negative effects include increased waste and the reduction of recycling. Decreasing GHGs during a short period is not a sustainable way to clean our environment. The huge alarming increase in the number of pests, animals, birds will surely affect agriculture and horticulture.

Various political tensions are being created by Covid 19. It affected the political systems of multiple countries, suspension of legislative activities, isolation or deaths of multiple politicians, rescheduling of elections and ruins international relations. Australia demands huge revenue from China. India is not in good terms with three of its neighbor China, Pakistan and Nepal.

Countries where conflicts and armed actors are prevalent also faced hardships especially those in war. Prison breaks have been reported in Venezuela, Italy and Brazil. In Peru, the authorities have arrested hundreds of citizens for breaking quarantine rules in some cases leading to violence.

The State and Non-State Actors are working hard hand in hand to fight the disruption of the pandemic. They are giving their best efforts in developing vaccine, fundraising for the needy, provide allowances , food grains, essentials, masks, sanitizers, shelters and also quarantine facilities. Government of India announced certain measures and Rs 1.7 trillion relief package for its citizens.

About two-thirds of population will be covered under PMGKYA(food scheme). Farmers currently receive INR 6000/- every year through PM-KISAN scheme. About 86.9 million farmers are expected to benefit from this immediately. 30 million senior citizens, widows, disabled to get one time extra gratia amount of 1000/- in two installments over the next 3 months. Covid19 acts as a tool to check the political stability and accountability of the government.

China, Taiwan, Russia are handling very well and also U.S, U.K can cope up comparing to nations like India. India being a populous and high illiteracy , high unemployment rate cannot tackle well. Corruption is rampant, black money, illegal activities and opportunist capitalists are being benefitted during such perils worldwide. Only government cannot face the challenges and needs the help of Non-State Actors(NSA).

NSA play a significant role in coping the problems. The various activities are pharmaceuticals companies are distributing free kits and developing a vaccine. Moderna's RNA vaccine is amongst the front runners in the race, Chinese CanSino Biologies Inc is also a contender in producing vaccine. Media houses like BBC, Guardian, Economic Times, Alzazaera etc are proving pandemic coverage and news updates despite uncertainties.

NSA like Alibaba foundation donated 5000 tests kits and 2 million masks to U.S and Europe . Bill&Melinda Gates foundation funded $250 million. The International Monetary Fund provides support to poorer countries by giving grants and debt relief. CEO of Twitter, BeyGood Foundation, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga , Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Ryan Reynoalds, have donated huge amount of money. Leonardo Dicaprio launches America's Food Fund with $12 million.

Ya_All an organization in Manipur has been listed in U.N's top 10 Global initiative in Covid 19 for their Khudol initiatives.

NGO's like Red Cross, Green Peace, Jeevan Raths, DONOR, Indian PRDTI are contributing too. Feminists like Finland's woman Prime Minister are effectively tackling too and IAS Tina Dabi's Bhilwara model of Rajasthan is also really appreciable in fighting the pandemic. Amazon, Flipkart and other delivery service workers are the frontrunners in providing essential needs services.

We are all in this together, cooperation, mutual understanding, respecting vulnerable communities is a must. Love and Humanity can only give hope. The vaccine might take some time to develop but we must stand as one to fight the disease. Instead of going for power struggle and trying to polarize by creating nuclear weapons and tests.

The great nations must keep peace and learn from their mistakes i,e: the entire focus of the research were more tilted to missiles tests to occupy power on land, water, cyberspace and air. As Edward Abbey said " Growth for the sake of growth is ideology of the cancer cell." We must protect our environment and preserve biodiversity.

* Joyshree Heisnam wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a student of D.M College of Arts reading B.A 6th Semester in Political Science Department
This article was webcasted on July 26 2020 .

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