COVID -19: Normal Back Again Will Now Be A Myth
COVID-19 is a contagious disease that is caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is a strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness responsible for the ongoing pandemic. The official names we hear often from the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 were issued by the WHO on 11 February 2020. The first known case of Covid-19 was identified in Wuhan city of China in December 2019 and spread worldwide and lead to an ongoing pandemic.
A novel coronavirus was identified by Chinese authorities as a cause on 7 January 2020 and was temporarily named “2019-nCoV”. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets or airborne particles containing the virus. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include body pain, fever, cough, headache, fatigue, breathing difficulties, loss of smell, and loss of taste.
Symptoms may develop from 1 to 14 days of exposure to viruses and at least a third of people do not develop noticeable symptoms. 81% of infected people develop mild symptoms, 14% of people develop severe symptoms and 5% of people develop critical symptoms. World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of Corona Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
COVID-19 as a Pandemic
For a moment in history, it was like nature was taking revenge on human civilization and we were locked inside our houses to be safe from that deadly virus. A time was there when every company shared the same simple mission statement: Protect our people, our customers, and our business.
The terrible human toll of coronavirus and the mounting economic damage brought a singular clarity and urgency of purpose, forcing thousands of company’s experiments in new ways of working and operating. The first case of covid 19 was seen in a 31 year old student who had returned from Wuhan, China on January 23, 2020.
This virus spread so quickly worldwide that it resulted in the shutdown of every sector of the world for a moment. Since this virus was totally new to the world and the initial rumors about the virus hit the mind of every people so badly that fear started to make home in every person’s mind and people were affected psychologically resulting in the decrease of immunity power. We don’t know whether this pandemic is going to end in the near future or not but we are still fighting with the virus hoping to get victory over it soon.
Impacts of COVID-19
Impacts on Trade and Tourism
COVID-19 is proving to be the long-awaited ‘big one’, once in every 100 years; a pandemic capable of bringing societies and economies to their knees. The sector of the economy which is more affected by Covid-19 is tourism. The World Travel and Tourism Council research reported that the tourism sector was responsible for generating billions in revenue and supported millions of jobs. When mountaineering was suspended due to the pandemic; tours, trek, guides, and porters lost their livelihood.
Impact on Agriculture
Covid-19 has a huge impact on agricultural crops, livestock, and fisheries. The travel restriction and lockdown, the measures carried out to control pandemics have affected every stage of the food supply chain, including food production and distribution in the whole world. After a significant decrease in supply and closure of processing companies and proper markets, farmers are compelled to dump milk and vegetables which led to sudden price hikes, black marketing, and a shortage of products in the local markets which directly affects daily life of people.
The government should enforce laws and measures to control the pandemic without disturbing the food supply chain and considering the food security of their citizens in a systematic and safe manner.
Impact on Education
The covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of educational institutions and examinations from ground level to top level. This brings psychological effects to the life of children as well as adults. The means of online education is also a major problem seen in today’s scenario which is not easy, possible, and within reach of every people in developing and poor countries.
The daily news of death tolls, Covid tests, lockdowns, new variants of the virus has increased public anxiety. COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 1.6 billion children and youths in 161 countries to be out of school, which is close to 80% of the world’s enrolled students.
Impact on the Media Sector
The imaginary, misinformation and inaccurate conception about the virus and diseases are spreading quicker from fake and unauthorized news portal websites, contributing to myths and rumors in society. Different myths related to alcohol, adding hot peppers, ginger, and garlic to food, and exposing oneself to temperatures higher than 25° or to cold weather and snow to kill the coronavirus are misleading people.
Therefore, there is a need for the flow of genuine news when communicating on social media and other communication platforms. It is the duty of authorized health organizations and the government to provide timely information through reliable portal platforms and ban unauthorized websites to avoid misleading the public.
Impact on Health
This pandemic crisis has totally changed the working environment, resulting in high-pressure work, and unfavorable and demanding interactions among health workers. Frontline health workers who are proven to be gods in this pandemic, including doctors, nurses, certified caregivers, lab technologists, and pharmacists, with inadequate supplies of PPE, have been giving their best professional services to protect human lives. COVID-19 has increased dishonor and social discrimination among people.
We are still living in an uncivilized society where some house owners have been reported to evict nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals from their rental apartments fearing the spread of the novel coronavirus in their neighborhood. Cured patients upon returning home are socially avoided and discriminated against which leads to a decrease in moral support.
Therefore, people should help to save their dear ones by understanding the disease, building trust, showing empathy to those affected, and adopting effective practical measures.
Impact on Vulnerable People
COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in increasing unemployment, loan defaults, and major economic losses around the globe. COVID-19 causes an economic downturn which can increase the economic instability, health inequalities, and social disparities in Nepal, which can have a huge impact on the poverty levels.
Research has shown that a pandemic like COVID-19 can result in increased mental burden to marginalized or low-income people via socioeconomic disadvantages such as job insecurity, housing instability, discrimination, and food insecurity.
Shortage and Black Marketing
When the news of Coronavirus spread across the world, there was a severe shortage of face masks and protective gear as well as an increase in price following a ban on export in China and India, some hospitals were reported to be sewing plain clothes to prepare masks as a precaution.
A shortage of hand sanitizers was also reported. The Department of Commerce, Supplies, and Consumer Protection conducted raids on many firms and fined many of them. This resulted in the black marketing of goods and services to the public, especially in health-protective equipment.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was like a nightmare when it started affecting worldwide and resulted in the loss of life of many people. The psychological impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown, which is a global issue might be a challenge for an indefinite time, hence it is necessary to emphasize and address coping strategies, mental health challenges, and awareness using the available resources.
The government should be equipped with adequate health logistics, technologies, and skilled manpower, and needs to develop its capacity in health financing to foresee future opportunities and challenges to deal with the current ongoing pandemic and future health emergencies. Nepal needs to be prepared for re-emergence or probably another outbreak by strengthening the health care workforce, conducting mandatory health education and training in schools, investing and expanding the scope of health research, wisely utilizing existing health manpower, and establishing well-equipped laboratories.
The long-term battle with coronavirus may help people to win against it by developing vaccines and medicines or we can wait for herd immunity. However, every pandemic has its end after a certain time so does this pandemic too. Therefore, we can’t say that to be normal back again after this pandemic will be a myth because it’s going to end sooner or later. The situation will be as it was before December 2019 soon. It will still be a mystery whether Corona Virus was naturally originated or man-made.