Khushi Gupta Sunday, 12 April 2020

The Evolution of Society after Pandemic


Pandemics are like fires - when fuel is plentiful, they rage uncontrollably, and when it is scarce, they smoulder slowly. A long list exists of several health epidemics that have occurred, and even after them the world did not come to an end. Be it the worst of the diseases, situations were taken care of and the world has survived. Each of the health situations that has arrived for the entire world is very different from each other in many contexts, and hence each of these have had different impacts on society. Societies have evolved antithetical after the Bubonic Plague, Spanish Flu, Ebola and many more. Survivors of the pandemics were generally people who were distraught and were left with no feelings. The Black Death, Spanish Flu are the greatest pandemics in the history of this world, they turned the economy upside down. It disrupted trade and put manufacturing on hold as skilled artisans and merchants died by the thousands - not to mention customers who bought their wares. Workers’ wages skyrocketed as arable land lay fallow; landlords, desperate for people to work their land, were forced to renegotiate farmers’ wages. Famine followed. Widespread death eroded the strict hereditary class divisions that had, for centuries, bound peasants to land owned by local lords.People struggled to understand what was happening. In Western Europe a terrified populace often turned to their Christian faith. As a result, the Church became wealthier as many of those stricken, in an effort to assure a place in heaven, willed their property to the Church.

In the early 20th century, flu was viewed as a democratic disease – nobody was immune from it – but, even in the thick of the pandemic, it was noted that the disease struck unevenly.The unevenness didn’t stop there. In general, cities suffered worse than rural areas, but some cities suffered worse than others, and there was also variation within cities. Newly arrived immigrants tended to die more frequently than older, better-established groups, for example. In the countryside, meanwhile, one village might be decimated while another, apparently similar in every way, got away with a light dose.It was only later, when epidemiologists zeroed in on the numbers, that patterns began to emerge, and the first elements of an explanation were put forward. Some of the variability could be explained by inequalities of wealth and caste – and, to the extent that it reflected these factors, skin colour. Bad diet, crowded living conditions and limited access to healthcare weakened the constitution, rendering the poor, immigrants and ethnic minorities more susceptible to infection.

Any other underlying disease made a person more susceptible to the Spanish flu, whereas prior exposure to the flu itself modulated the severity of a case. Remote communities without much historical experience of the disease suffered badly, as did cities that were bypassed by the first wave of the pandemic, because they were not immunologically ‘primed’ to the second.

There are countless efforts underway to develop vaccines and treatments, but these take time; pharmaceutical solutions may not be available fast enough to blunt the first wave of the pandemic. There is going to be a difficult time if we don't follow all the necessary measures that are required to deal with the situation of the Corona. The way the lockdown was announced on a short notice of twenty four hours, and how hundreds of people are stuck at places waiting to go back to their home. Even after the lockdown was announced, there are so many people who are not following the rules and regulations and roaming out have to face stricter consequences for their actions. With the lockdown suspending all forms of work for three weeks, India's poorest from some of the country's most underdeveloped regions now face penury and deprivation. With very little savings and a poor social security net, families in rural India are having fewer meals, borrowing money and braving the threat of police violence in order to go out and work. To deal with this situation so many celebrities, people and many organisations have come together to support this current situation but this would be really difficult if the citizens don't cooperate in these situations.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “ Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope” is what everyone is looking for in these difficult times. This doomsday will end once and we will no longer be asked to distance socially. But this will arrive only if we as responsible citizens follow all the essential requisites, so that situation stabilises and everything can return to pre pandemic life.