There was a glimpse of hope to everyone when the first vaccine dose was administered. By then, the coronavirus has already done enough damage to people in the United Kingdom, USA, Brazil, Spain and the economy as a whole. . MIllions of reported cases and thousands of deaths. It made such devastation that it exposed the reality of the human civilization that was not as per natures principle. That’s apart, it has shown how the economies are planned and how well infrastructured are our health systems. We have seen mass burnings and graveyards are soaring with dead bodies. This is the case in developed economies.
There were developing and less developed economies where both infra development and per capita income/consumption are far less. Now take the case of India. During the first wave, India economy was suffered, exposed to the pathetic conditions of migrant workers but the fatality rate was very low compared to many countries. Very few deaths (per million) were reported during the first wave in 2020 as compared to many developed economies. In April 2021 the covid19 cases in India are surging exponentially. On this day I write this article, India has reported more than 2.75lakh cases. There was a severe shortage of beds, ICU, ventilators, medical oxygen, shortage of vaccines and also Remdesivir injections. India banned the export of remdesivir and restricted the oxygen supply to 9 specified industries only. And more pathetic is the queuing up of dead bodies at crematories and graveyards.
After seeing all these, there’s a needs to ask ” who is suffering from pandemic”
In late 2020, many economies started to bounce to normal. From highest institutions such as the World Bank, IMF to micro-economies estimated the loss occurred and forecasted the following year’s growth. But who calculated the loss of lives, the pain of the person who lost their loved ones to coronavirus?
Some economies claimed to have done better in managing the pandemic than others. Meanwhile, all major events like elections were held, business acquisitions were successful and conferences moved in virtual mode. Nothing has stopped functioning notably, except a few sectors like tourism & hospitality. A few countries like Taiwan, South Korea were exceptional in managing the pandemic. Of course, they could have their advantages like demography & population, technology advancement, business cooperation and political willingness. Nonetheless, even for the major economy like the USA, UK is no exception to covid deaths. While every country is maximising the vaccination process, in an unprecedented way in India the covid cases are surging at an alarming rate. It seems more aggressive and deadly than the first wave peaked in September 2022. Officially, the figures are very scary but unofficially the situation on the ground is very horrifying.
So let’s go back to our question. As in the case of me(writer) and in case you (reader), we both just look at the number and feel sorry. Beyond that nothing. Because we were not concerned about the dead and more importantly we were not the family/friends who are in those numbers. We haven’t lost anyone to the coronavirus so we don’t acknowledge the pain the family/friends are bearing. If this is the scenario of individuals like us, then how could an economy consider. Neither the president nor the prime minister could certainly acknowledge this. Being at the highest authorities, they get enough protection from everything. They simply convey the regards before the camera with some teleprompter scrolling before them. This is beyond explainable in developing and poor countries. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter whatever, but life is precious and paramount to everyone irrespective of income.
Compared to health conditions in developed countries, it is very substandard and fragmented in low income/developing countries. In India, the second wave is very life-threatening. One year on into the pandemic, the country hasn’t learned anything posts its covid peak in September. The population is not the excuse because there’s already China heading the list. The current scenario in India is very bad. Lot more patients are waiting outside the hospitals for a bed, an oxygen cylinder or some remdesivir injections. Ironically. the net largest manufacturer and exporter of vaccines has now run out of them and started importing. This is very concerning to many countries. As of today, India has exported some 60 million doses to some 70 countries in where India seems to took the advantage of vaccine diplomacy. And as of today, only 1.2% of India’s population is vaccinated completely.
Not the questions but the situation in itself is demanding an answer. All the words and promises were scattered in the air, policies are invisible on the ground and who knows what happened to all the money. We can’t just compare the economy and individuals life. As the well being of humans progresses so do the economic progress. There’s no direct correlation between population and economy. The GDP of the USA, UK, Japan are higher than India’s while their cumulative population is less than India. A year on into the pandemic, India’s health system has shown no progress. Very pathetically, the dignity of dead bodies is waiting in the queue. And more pathetic is the suffering of the infected person searching for bed while holding his/her life at fingertips on wheels. The air we breathe is helpless for them and they are in search of oxygen and a machine to pump. So what has the economy done? What has the elected representative done? whom to be blamed and made responsible? Everyone knows! But why such laxity? And here comes the ideologies and principles they are being governed at the individual/organisational level. But certainly, this should not be at the cost of humans life.