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Pandemic Plus: Exacerbated Threats of Coronavirus

The rampant blowout and uncontrollable spread of the blemished coronavirus have engulfed almost every nation and every person on the horizon of the world, either directly or indirectly.

The repercussions of COVID-19 might not be as visible for the countries which are already under siege by some civil or administrative problems, nature-based accidents (earthquake etc), or countries under war but in the long run, they will observe the enduring effects of this virus.

Those republics which have been at war for decades and had no time to rebuild or re-establish their motherlands; would have a drastic effect, shall the coronavirus reaches their towns and streets. It is because as of today, there are no proper medical facilities in such countries (for example Afghanistan, Syria) and almost no healthcare providers thus it would be just as when people used to die of plague or malaria because no cure reached them.

For instance Libya, by now there are only twenty-four confirmed cases in this war-torn country. But the question is, how many people might have the means to go and get themselves checked? Wouldn’t they be more focused on survival and have both ends meet instead of getting out there in danger and get tested? Wouldn’t they be more worried about not getting caught by the rival groups rather than going to the hospital for a disease which the might or might not have? War-zones where there is already too much chaos, even a little amount of panic would result in grave results so people might not even try to get tested. Similar is the case with Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.

In the occupied territories such as Indian held Kashmir or Palestine, the situation is no different. When there are a months’ long curfews and it was already hard to get medical attention when women moan in their houses because they had been in child labor for hours, how the outbreak of such contagious medical problems will be controlled or cured?

And even if a country is not in war does not necessarily mean that everyone in that land will get tested and treated for this infection. It is because of recent wars, many have migrated and/or were forced to leave their belongings because of some drone attacks or tribal conflicts. The circumstances of such people who live in condensed camps that are overpopulated and under-facilitated are no different. Where there is not even enough space that a full-grown person could sleep on his/her back without somebody else’s body touching theirs, self-quarantine and self-isolation are near to impossible.

In the third world countries like Pakistan, where an average of persons per household in 6.7, there is yet again minimal chances to not catch a communicable disease. According to the recent observations, after the outburst of COVID, if a single person of a family has caught the transmissible coronavirus, there is a likely chance that the rest of the members will also be tested positive for the virus because of the congested and joint family systems. And with inadequate health services, the number will only grow.

Even if the impact of coronavirus is observed on other macro factors that a nation faces, they are also more than those which could be easily handled. With the inception of the infection, there has been a tremendous effect on the exports and tourism industries. The growth of giant economic powers such as China has declined to 4.5% in first-quarter, which is a great shock for the country. Similar is the case with countries like Pakistan. It is estimated that an economic loss of almost Rupees 1.3 trillion is being suffered by different sectors of the country. Pakistan’s GDP may decrease by more than 4% due to lockdown. Thus this virus may be the last nail in the coffin of Pakistan’s economy.

Not only this but taking a bird’s eyes view on the tourism industry, the cash inflows depending on this variable have also diminished. The travel business contributes to almost 10% of global GDP as well as 10% of global employment. According to a rough estimate, the tourism sector of only the US can lose up to 24 billion dollars this year.

What is needed to be done in these unfortunate times is to stand together, not physically but morally? There should be a truce and seize fires in the war facing and occupied parts of the world. Nothing is more expensive and cheaper than mere humanity. Everyone should keep their disagreements aside and consider the citizens of every other nation, province, or town as humans.

Citizens should be trained and educated about how they must behave post-coronavirus. There should be special online sessions on how not to take advantage of these unfortunate times and work on oneself to not gain profit and not be an opportunist.

The governments should impose laws and censorship on the spread of news related to this virus. It should be done so that some trouble mongers may not upload and viral false and fear-inducing videos and articles about COVID-19. There must be a check and balance about the videos which are apparently providing self-monitored and homemade cures for such a universal problem so that illiterate and innocent people do not fall victim to such scams.

After this medical war, proper psychological therapy sessions must be introduced free of cost in order to understand those whose loved ones have suffered from the disease and also for those who were affected by it financially and how others should react and behave towards such people. If only we all could understand that misfortunes are a part of life and can happen to anyone at any time, it would be easy to understand and care for others not only on individual or micro levels but also on international and macro levels.

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