Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Will this pandemic make us stronger?

Filed on July 14, 2020

This germ has toyed with emotions, tormented the best of minds and severely damaged personal and corporate finances

A second coronavirus wave appears remote even as some countries struggle with the first wave of infections and the economic recession that has thrown millions out of jobs. The numbers are mind-numbing and are steadily rising: 13 million cases and more than 500,000 deaths with the US topping the list. It's important to pause and let the emotion sink in and not get carried away by the swelling figures. What is shocking about the situation in the United States is that there is no clear strategy to combat the virus. A president who is more worried about the economy is putting lives on the line. Last heard, Donald Trump is all set to fire his top disease expert Dr Antony Fauci whose efforts at disease control he has berated at every opportunity. The president has willingly fallen victim to the demands of the economy even if that means people's lives can be sacrificed. He has thrown America's reputation under the bus in his bid to boost business sentiment while pandering to the elite during the pandemic.

The president is busy salvaging the arguable economic gains of his presidency; public health can be ignored because elections beckon as he tramples on grief and tragedy - emotions that are coursing through this pandemic crisis. Now let's hit you with the US numbers: 3.3 million cases, which means one in every American has contracted the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. Another country where the numbers are rising dangerously is Brazil. Two million cases and a president who kept denying that Covid wasn't a threat until he contracted the disease himself last week gives us an idea where this is headed. Three Latin American leaders have been sickened by the virus in the last week. Meanwhile, countries like India are locking down again as cases rise after nation-wide curbs were eased a month ago. The country has reported more than 800,000 cases and experts believe the peak may be still a few months away. The high density of the population makes it easier for the virus to spread and the efficacy of lockdowns is being questioned in a country where people live in close proximity to each other. The resurgence of cases in distant Australia is also a cause for worry. It is clear that lockdowns only provide temporary respite from the coronavirus. This pathogen has changed human behaviour and hygiene which is indeed a positive development if one were to see a silver lining in this crisis. On the flip side, this germ has toyed with emotions, tormented the best of minds and severely damaged personal and corporate finances. So, will humanity emerge stronger and resilient from the pandemic? Only time will tell.

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