Can we achieve global prosperity after COVID-19?

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Dr Sami Ullah

THE globe has observed one of the big crises in the shape of COVID-19 with the closer of more than 200 economies within last two quarters. The intensity of this virus varied based on the characteristics of the countries but everyone is affected. Currently, there are 14.65 million people effected with 0.61 million deaths throughout the world caused by this deadly virus. There are still 5.3 million active cases, out of which 99 percent are in mild condition and only one percent are in critical zone. Overall, the recovery rate is 93 percent with 7 percent fatality. This pandemic hits severely the people with any sort of chronic disease or emotionally imbalance personalities through phobia. By analyzing all the information on COVID-19, the severity of attack is entirely different for all the countries. The highest number of deaths is observed in USA (143,000), Brazil (80,000), Mexico (40,000), UK (45,000), Spain (28,000), Italy (35,000), France (28,000) and Belgium (10,000). Whereas, the lowest number of deaths is recorded in Tanzania (21), Malta (09), Angola (29), Togo (15), Chad (75), Zimbabwe (25), Sri Lanka (15), Nepal (40), Sudan (693), Nigeria (789), Bangladesh (2600) and Pakistan (5600). There is huge difference in the active cases and death rates based on the country profile. Such type of information would be helpful for public policy makers for designing pro-poor decisions in future.
COVID-19 has slowed down the economies of more than 200 countries and the severity of the crisis is not lighter as compared with the Great Depression of 1929. Currently, every country is facing deficit in budget, deterioration in trade, increase in youth unemployment, closure of businesses and even educational institutions are not imparting education properly. All these causes are the source of emotional and psychological disorder for children, parents, youths and working class. There is a variety of conspiracy theories regarding COVID-19 but we have to accept this bitter reality and also plan the inclusive future for our next generation. On the basis of given statistics, it is observed that COVID-19 hit severely majority of the developed countries with highest number of cases and fatality rate. On the other hand, the above numbers clearly depict that there is very low intensity of attack on the poor nations in the perspective of active cases and death rate. Even the impact on economic indicators of poor nations is mild, as compared with developed ones. The important question arises in the mind of every one about the causes and consequences of this discrimination among poor and rich countries.
Almost all the health practitioners are convinced that immunity level in the human body will help fight any sort of disease or virus. There is a variety of contributing factors in the strength of human immunity and the main thing is living conditions. In developed countries, state is responsible for the provision of health, education, employment and even social safety nets. There is no need of additional efforts and activities for their quality living, even they are emotionally very sensitive. On the other hand, the people in developing countries are facing a lot of issues regarding food, education, basic health facilities, employment, saving for the events along with crisis of floods, earthquake, political unrest, etc. Such sort of major issues having a very high intensity in their living and they are capable of managing the COVID-19 easily, both physically and psychologically. They are considering COVID-19 as low intensity disease in comparison with tough working conditions, severe weather, load shedding, multi-dimensional poverty and vulnerability.
In a nutshell, we have to prepare the globe for managing any type of crisis because lock down for crisis control is very costly option. In developing countries, people are very strong and hard worker but need of the day is to empower them in soft skills for inclusive development otherwise they will become more vulnerable in future. Whereas, the people of developed countries are exceptional in soft skills but lagging in hard jobs and there is dire need to empower them in hard routine and activities. Immunity development through change in life style would be helpful in managing health based crisis in comparison with artificial modes of immunity development. In the times of crisis, policy makers may learn the skill of inclusive development by strong coordination with developed and developing economies for transfer of life style habits and soft skills. Such type of inclusive policies would be helpful in sustainable development and prosperity of both developed and developing economies in future. Even these interventions are very effective in creating the balance in poor and rich nations for building peaceful societies. So, this is the appropriate time to re-think on the development and sustainability patterns of the globe, by observing the intensity of COVID-19.
—The writer is Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Gujrat, Pakistan.

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