Our elders have a saying that, “the ravaging scorn of a swamp of locust is like a whirlwind, you watch it from afar devouring people’s farmlands, and within a snap of a finger it devours your own farmland with the speed of lightning”.
All too sudden, the novel coronavirus, which started in China and was perceived to be a Chinese problem, has fast caught up with the rest of the world. The virus has paralysed economies the world over, raffled the health care systems of most countries, altered the normal standard of interaction between people and posing an existential threat to humanity the world over.
The virus which was first officially reported in late December 2019, has still not shown any signs of slowing down, with the number of new infections globally increasing exponentially and death toll soaring uncontrollably.
A wise one once said, “a river does not run through a forest without pulling down trees”, certainly, with the borderless monster (Covid 19), flowing through a human forest, it is bound to affect humanity one way or the other. This article, therefore, seeks to put in context, eight possible socio-economic effects of the novel corona virus on humanity.
1. Economic recession: The devastating impact of the novel corona virus on economies across the world has led to Markets recording losses never seen before since the 2008 financial recession. Also, governments and policy makers in some countries are slashing interest rates to try to stabilise economies suffering from the impact of quarantined consumers and disrupted supply chains.
Furthermore, the world’s richest countries are dishing out unprecedented financial aid into the global economy all in an attempt to absorb the shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, considering the above-mentioned factors, coupled with the ever-rising levels of cases and deaths from Covid-19 across nations with no end in sight, a massive global economic recession of perhaps unprecedented dimensions could just be looming.
2. Heightened sense of personal hygiene
Aside social distancing, the single most important personal precautionary measure that has been trumpeted across the globe, is regular hand washing with soap under running water and the application of hand sanitizers. It is now common practice for people to wash their hands and apply hand sanitizers before assessing any public facility, and most public places of interest to societies the world over, have made these things readily available to its patrons.
Also, the use of hand sanitizers which used to be a common practice amongst ladies has now caught up with their Male counterparts. People (both Male and female) now carry hand sanitizers in their bags, cars, in their offices, in their homes and practically everywhere possible, all in an effort to prevent the contraction and spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
It is instructive to know that, as people keep practicing this admirable precaution (washing of hands with soap under running water and application of hand sanitizers), that habit is bound to remain with them even if the tepid dust of Covid-19 eventually settles, thereby heightening their sense of personal hygiene.
3. Shortages in the supply of medical consumables
The demand for certain medical consumables such as nose mask, hand gloves, antibiotics, ventilators, Covid test kits, and other essential PPA’s has exploded globally. Every country that has been hit by the borderless monster (Covid-19), is scrambling to stock up these medical consumables to adequately deal with the pandemic.
The mad scramble for these medical consumables has already resulted in shortages in the supply of these medical essentials in some countries, and with production levels at an all time low due to some factories operating at half capacity and others completely shut down, the signs are most worrying.
Should the virus surge on a little longer, there could be a massive shortage of these medical consumables.
4. Increase in population
In an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus, countries the world over, have had to employ various extreme measures to restrict the movement of their citizenry in order to control the spread of the virus.
These extreme measures have come in the form of partial and full lockdown which requires people to stay indoors. Now, as people stay indoors more than usual without doing anything, boredom is sure to set in and aside watching TV, reading or playing games, adults are more likely to engage in sexual gratification as a means of easing their boredom.
Also, as married people get to spend more time at home than usual, there is bound to be increased physical intimacy (sex) between them. All these heightened senses of physical intimacy may lead to lots of pregnancies both wanted and unwanted and its resultant increase in population.
5. Increase in crime
The devil they say, finds work for the idle hands, certainly, as people are locked up in their homes without doing anything due to lockdown measures being introduced in most countries to control the spread of the novel corona virus, those who are mentally indisciplined will be tempted to engage in petty crimes.
Also, most countries have granted pardon to huge numbers of convicted criminals in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus in their prisons, reality is that, most of these criminals are bound to go back into the life of crimes as soon as they are released. Further, as countries adopt the lockdown strategy, most shops have been locked up with only security personnel patrolling the streets and markets.
In places where there is no security presence, criminals could capitalize on this lapse and loot shops. All these indicators point to a possible surge in crime globally.
The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on economies across the globe cannot be over emphasised. Businesses globally are recording losses that hasn’t been seen in a long while, some businesses are laying off workers and operating at half strength and some have completely shut down temporarily.
In some developing countries, people who engage in daily income activities are all loosing their sources of livelihood due to lockdown measures imposed to prevent the spread of the virus. Countries such as the US and the UK are already recording massive unemployment levels.
All these indicators point to a possible surge in levels of unemployment across the world.
7. Decrease in older population
The number of cases globally, for the novel corona virus as at today 04/04/2020, stands at 1,127,528 with a death toll of 59,949 in just four months since the first case was officially recorded.
Even though, the death toll cuts across all age groups, available information suggests, it’s been particularly uncharitable to older patients. The risk of death from Covid-19 is estimated at 1.38% overall, however, the fatality rate rises with age, from well below 1% for children aged 0-9 years to nearly 8% for seniors aged 65 or older.
Now, with the number of new cases of Covid-19 soaring at an alarming rate and the death toll increasing by the days with no end in sight, it is safe to conclude that Covid-19 has the tendency to reduce the population of older folks globally.
8. Draw people closer to God
The human being by nature is unspeakably vulnerable, when people’s survival instincts are challenged, they easily run helter skelter looking for cover.
In most cases, people look up to religious leaders (pastors, imams and traditional priest), Traditional authorities (chiefs, queen mothers), politicians (presidents, MP’s), Technocrats (doctors, engineers) and even the rich and famous to have their problems solved.
However, with the outbreak of Covid-19, none of this options has offered mankind any hope.
Religious leaders have perished, traditional authorities, politicians, technocrats, the rich and famous have all surrounded to the dictates of Covid-19.
Powerful countries have not been spared either, the United States of America (A global hegemon), Italy the home of Christianity, Saudi Arabia the home of Islam, China the most talked about economic superpower in recent times, India an emerging technological powerhouse, Ghana the most democratically successfully nation in west Africa, Nigeria the most populous black nation on earth and South Africa, the nation with the biggest economy in Africa have all been ruffled by the deadly pandemic.
This development has struck fear into the hearts of many people, with some even concluding that the end times may be near. It has also demonstrated to people that power, money, affluence, influence, and intellect cannot save mankind from God’s wrath. All these, has refocused mankind’s attention to God for his intervention and will in no small way draw a lot of people to God.
Having stated the eight possible effects of the novel corona virus on Humanity the world over, it is important to remind readers of the much trumpeted safety precautions, which still remains the same globally.
1. Maintain social distancing
2. Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water
3. Periodically apply alcohol based hand sanitizers
4. Respect the safety protocols of your country to avoid the spread of the virus.
Kadir Balakov (invisible social commentator)
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