Upon mentioning 2020, almost everyone would immediately term that year as a complete nightmare. Well, no one is to be blamed for thinking that way. The entire human civilization was impacted in ways none can fathom.
Around 2.5 million people surrendered to Covid-19 and never recovered. Whereas 113 million infection cases have been recorded so far.
To be honest, nothing was left untouched by covid. The destruction caused to the economic and social sector would take years to revive even though changes are taking place.
A Long-term Threat To The Human World: Tackling Covid-19
Studies show that around 10 million people who were expected to suffer from poverty in 2020 are likely to be continued this year. Frankly, everyone did see it coming due to the shocking unemployment rates that spiked up last year.
I vividly remember in my neighborhood as well as various other parts of the world, how so many workers of top companies switched to vegetable selling, and many other small-scale sectors to maintain their livelihood.
Thousands and thousands of people around the globe lost their only source of income and were forced to struggle with hunger amid a deadly virus from which they had no protection.
The World Food Programme had previously estimated around 270 million people facing food insecurity in the past year.
The minority groups and immigrants are said to be the worst affected by this pandemic.
Despite vaccine distribution, the people of color are massively restricted from availing vaccination and are put behind various criteria.
Countless refugees are still stuck at various borders, most of whom died from a lack of treatments or were kicked out from the countries they sought help.
The displaced populations which comprise 85% of the world’s refugees and asylum-seekers are forced to reside in low and middle-income countries where the social protection system is said to be extremely weak.
The agricultural sector is another area that has been immensely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Farmers being the most important source of our livelihoods already face poverty and poor health conditions.
Ever since the pandemic hit, many farmers from different parts of the globe had to stop going to work due to the rapid spread of the virus, and the reduced treatment facilities and poor vaccine supply have cost the lives of hundreds of farmers too.
The lack of safety to work in fields continues to hinder their income and being unable to bear the miserable condition of their families are left with no choice but to go out into the fields and sow as many crops as they can.
Unemployment has hit everyone equally be it self-employed or not. From small-scale workers to big industrialists, people are desperate to clear their debts and pay their loans in the midst of having an irregular income.
Now, if we take a look into the education sector, approximately 1.6 billion children and youth worldwide lost their access to schooling and were put up with the only option of online classes.
Schools being shut down also meant no school meals which contributed to more hunger.
Health experts state that food insecurity among children can result in deadly health conditions such as malnutrition, stunted growth, and poor immunity, especially against Covid-19.
It also severely damages their mental health resulting in poor brain functioning, amnesia, anxiety, and depression.
The students in the rural areas had to quit their education due to their inability to access these classes because of poor internet facilities which are truly devastating.
Despite various states and counties have called for the reopening of schools by following covid safety guidelines such as mask-wearing and social distancing, many families are skeptical and therefore reluctant to send their kids back to school.
The worst of all is the vaccine supply and administration. Although towards the end of 2020, vaccines were given out, supply and demand became a common problem.
Despite various countries contributing vaccines to other nations, the incorrect data on vaccine administration makes it difficult to calculate the exact doses that were supplied.
All of this further slows down the recovery and without health recovery, how can one expect economic recovery?
Studies show that global poverty is said to further increase its highest for the first time since 1988.
All the developments made in the past years are said to fall back into their initial stage destroying the plan of erasing poverty by 2030.
With thousands losing their jobs and the reduction of wages, the world has moved closer to food insecurity.
A global survey stated that food expenditure had considerably dropped in various places as people began to manage their food intake by limiting the portion sizes and skipped meals to save money for days after.
An estimated 50% of the households in Columbia and 40% in Ghana have reported reducing their food consumption.
2020 barely allowed anyone to step out and with the whole world being shut down, family disputes and domestic violence began increasing as people were confined to their homes due to lockdowns.
Research shows that individuals being restricted into their homes lowered overall functioning and increased stress and depression.
Mental health cases have also gone up within the past year and online therapy has become the new means of survival.
Most important of all, the medical field was shaken like never before. Thousands and thousands of healthcare workers are also said to have lost their lives as they were met with the most work.
There are new and more powerful variants on the rise in the U.K, the U.S, and South Africa, which means we are further challenged into a future of socio-economic uncertainty.
Scientists state that the current vaccines are said to be less effective in combating these variants.
Better social protection schemes need to be implemented along with better laws as soon as possible.
The government needs to take immediate and stronger measures to make use of the lessons from the past.
The world has undergone enough loss and as we are constantly striving towards a better future with new hope, it is important to utilize the time and available resources to ensure a stronger world for all before things run out of control again.