Samiksha Parhate Friday, 10 April 2020

Is this the Greatest Lockdown in Human History?

Samiksha Parhate
Friday, 10 April 2020

Is this the Greatest Lockdown in Human History?


The rampant growth of novel coronavirus has dropped a bombshell on the world at large and has certainly headed as a bolt out of the blue. This lethal virus with the fatality rate of about 14.8% according to the age groups as recorded by WHO was first found in China. The first case of coronavirus dates back to Nov. 17, 2019, according to the South Morning China Post since then the world has become a global victim of this epidemic. To date, 961,748 cases of coronavirus have been recorded with 203 affected countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances. The data from many affected regions are not even reliable due to political expediency, testing capabilities, and available resources. Most notably a long incubation period of up to 12 days during which infected people may be asymptomatic is yet another reason. It is the recurring theme of how the pandemic has played out so far. The poor, the uninsured, the impotent, the ones on the higher social ladder, the intellectuals are all sitting ducks. The major step taken towards the epidemic was the lockdown which in a way ensures security but disrupts world growth. Instructing people to stay at home is to confine millions to cramped housing.

To summarise, all the factors have led to the great economic fallout which could drive an additional 11 million people into poverty in East Asia and the Pacific unless "urgent action" is taken. Research suggests that those in lower economic strata are likelier to catch the disease. The government is facing an extraordinary challenge to protect over a billion densely packed people. This lockdown has disproportionately hurt marginalized communities due to loss of livelihood and lack of food, shelter, health, and other basic needs. Clearly, a lockdown to stave off a pandemic is turning into a humanitarian crisis. As an individual certified to awareness level, one should train and contribute enough to Flatten the curve movement.

The solutions will, of course, be difficult to inculcate and get used to but for the sake of our economy, the livelihoods of millions, and the health of our society, we have to get started. This epidemic, along with the distress has also shocked people with something superior, The Community spirit. This was showcased in Eastbourne where hundreds of people have signed up for a telephone befriending service to keep their community together, people coming out to their balconies to express gratitude in India, people in Spain singing and supporting each other while being in quarantine. Pollution down- As the burning of fossil fuels has dropped, air quality has improved significantly, the Centre for International Climate Research in Oslo (Cicero) has said and the impact will be felt worldwide.

Even during the time of social distancing, there are ways to help — and plenty of ways to stay connected while making a difference. Rather than stumble through a series of starts and stops and half-measures on both the health and the economic fronts, we should forge a strategy to defeat the coronavirus and open the way to economic revival. This pandemic can be defeated but only through unity. STAY HOME, STAY SAFE!