It is no longer news that COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus, has held the whole world to ransom. When the disease broke out in China some months back, it gave the whole world a chance to prepare ahead. It is however conspicuous that the preparation was and it is still not sufficient, looking at the severe effect of the outbreak. The effect which is seen in every sector and all over the world is not leaving out even the developed countries. The severity of the outbreak caused the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare COVID-19 a pandemic; a Public Health of Emergency of International Concern.
The global impact of the disease generally, cannot be adequately quantified yet. Even though there are strong indications that the aftermath of COVID19 may deal a deathly blow to the global scene especially on the economy, which is the imperative dynamic of the world. Analysts/experts have predicted a global recession and depression in coming days, an aftermath of the ongoing pandemic era which could be worse than recent global recession. IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva recently indicated a global financial crisis, in confirmation of the foregoing IMF stated that in 75 years of its existence, the number of countries(85) seeking emergency financing has never been this high. This is coming in less than 6 months of the outbreak of COVID19.
In response to the pandemic outbreak, countries are taking measures to contain the spread such as border(s) closure, disruption of academic activities, etc. some of these measures have grounded almost all activities bringing economy to a standstill. Funds are shrinking, resources are depleting, projects are halted, unemployment is soaring, the economy of nations (the engine of countries and the world at large) are nose diving.
The peculiarity of COVID 19 disease in terms of the speed of its spread and probable reoccurrence in a person makes it divergent compared to other disease such as measles, Ebola, etc. COVID19 is believed to be spread through droplets from and unprotected contact with an infected person and contact with contaminated surfaces. The ease of the spread is best exemplified by its spread across countries by travellers. While we are groping with the pandemic, it is essential we begin to look for ways to manage the disease in relation to sustenance, in order to avoid an aftermath bigger calamity whenever COVID19 is contained.
Considering the peculiarity of COVID19 in terms of its mode of spread, it seems that if a part of the world is yet to be cleared of it, there is a possibility of the resurgence of the disease emanating from a region that is yet to be cleared of the disease. In China, where the disease was first discovered, it took a period of 3-4 months for China to record no incident of local transmission of the disease. European countries and America have been battling the disease for about two months, while it appears that Africa appears to be at the start of the disease outbreak.
A question that comes to mind is when is it likely that the entire world will be rid of COVID19, the peculiarity of the disease (mentioned earlier) is such that it is essential that the entire world is considerably rid of it simultaneously in order to avoid resurgence. Considering the uncertainty surrounding COVID 19, coupled with the fact that the cure and/or vaccination for the disease is not feasible yet. We may have a situation at hand that will bring the entire world to its knees if a means is not devised to manage it in relation to livelihood survival. In the light of the above, it is high time we considered managing COVID19 for human sustenance in order to avoid grievous disaster that may be greater than the COVID19 itself.
Already, at this stage of less than (six) 6 months of the outbreak, rate of unemployment has increased, oil prices has dropped drastically (oil being a major player and driving force in Nigerian economy) resources are depleting, consequently increase in poverty. There is a need to strike balance between containing the spread of the virus and saving livelihood. It is essential to take into consideration the necessity of protecting health and at the same time ensuring sustenance of livelihood. Health and sustenance are both essential such that they are interwoven and interdependent, a deficiency in one will automatically impact on the other negatively.
This may not be the first time an incident is generally altering the mode of engagement and lifestyle. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, measures were taken to manage terrorism. For example, the security measures put in place at the airport has helped in curbing the impact/spread of terrorism. The world needs to begin to find ways to cope with COVID19 in a way that it will not bring about an unquantifiable disaster, considering its present effect on the global scene and other sectors so far. Policies and measures have to be taken and existing policies revisited that would guarantee sustenance and productivity in the face of COVID19. This is necessary in the face of COVID19 uncertainty.
It is more important that in the aftermath of the pandemic people are able to go back to work, and people are still able to earn wages and salaries. In a country like Nigeria where there is an existing economy predicament, if caution is not taken there may be a lot of downsizing both at formal and informal sector. Already, Nigeria as a nation is faced with different crisis such as internal conflict, high level of unemployment, insecurity among others. The consequential effect of existing stifling measures in combatting COVID19 may boomerang such that crime may be on the rise so also insecurity, among other probable consequence of economy down turn. Even though the economy has been dealt a blow already, there is still time to minimise the effect.
COVID19/health challenges is not underrated, however while battling the outbreak, total concentration solely on it may as well lead to greater catastrophe. COVID19 has already taken a lot from us, without being proactive in minding sustenance, it may end up taken much more than we envisage.
Mrs Sade Abiodun sent this from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
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