I had been avoiding writing about this topic since very long because I used think that with the media flooded with news of corona, people would like to have their minds off and read about something positive, something good. But well as I realize writing about such a historic pandemic is inevitable. As time passes by the virus has taken numerous prey and billions of lives affected. Terms like ‘social distancing’ have become very common. With countries imposing lockdowns and the people under quarantine the economy of the world has taken a set back.
The virus has a huge impact on the socio- economic lives of countries. The hardest hit according to me are the daily wage workers. Even in mega economies like the US unemployment rate has touched 15% to some sources and is likely to surge further.
Everyday we see news channels reporting the hardship of workers. This problem is more serious in India where there have been numerous cases of workers violating the nation wide lockdown in order to go to their hometowns. Well I don’t think they are to blame. Life in cities is very expensive as compared to the rural areas. Also these people live hand to mouth. The pandemic has left them jobless and they only have two choices – die of the pandemic or die of hunger. They prefer rather to risk dying of the pandemic than hunger because the chances of dying due to the pandemic are low but the chances to die of hunger are certain. The government though has been introducing several appreciable measures and is trying to help people but the implementation lacks uniformity.
The pandemic has not spared the big businesses as well. Share markets all over the world especially in US, China and India have seen large falls. In India the sensex and the nifty have been very volatile since the outbreak of the virus. Billions of rupees are vanishing from the market in a day since the investors are pulling out their money out of fear.
Investors fear the spread of the coronavirus will destroy economic growth and that government action may not be enough to stop the decline.
In response, central banks in many countries have slashed interest rates. Governments are introducing several historic stimulus packages to support the economy. The cumulative loss to global GDP over 2020 and 2021 from the pandemic crisis could be around 9 trillion dollars, greater than the economies of Japan and Germany, combined.Although there is one good news, the falling economy has brought together several countries together for what is now a common goal for them- economic recovery. G20 nations pledged a “united front” to the fight against coronavirus, saying they were injecting USD 5 trillion into the global economy to counter the pandemic amid forecasts of a deep recession.
Well all that is about economy let us take the look at the environmental front. With all the factories shut down and very less vehicles on road pollution levels have dropped dramatically all over the world. Countries have restricted air travel too so the skies are also clear. At last we can see some stars even in metropolitan cities.
Last year, India accounted for around half of the world’s 50 most polluted cities, according to Swiss firm IQAir, with emissions caused partly by industry, vehicle exhaust and coal-fired plants. The worlds most polluted rivers at least are getting cleaner day by day. There is 500 percent decrease in TDS( total dissolved solids), industrial effluents and sewage from various cities. All the major polluted cities in India have seen dramatic improvement in air quality and the AQI of all cities is either in the good or the satisfactory category. According to a report more than 77000 lives have been saved in a single month due to the decrease in air pollution.
Although it is quite noticeable that environment and economy share an inversely proportional relation.
Well no matter what I would like all of you to stay at your homes for the time being and stay cautious of the virus. Wash your hands properly. Also we should not fret about the lockdowns and think only about our economic losses and all. This is very crucial time, utilize it for self improvement, repairing broken bonds and strengthening the existing ones. This is a very special time get to know your loved ones better, no amount of money in the future would buy you these moments back. Stay safe. Stay tuned.