We are accustomed to “AD” “BC” to different periods concerning any event or incident that occurred in the past. The month of December 2019 will always be remembered as “The Black Month” as the first reporting of COVID 19 had emerged from Wuhan city of China. Within a short span of about 2 to 3 months, the outbreak of this deadly virus became so severe that the WHO declared on 11th March 2020 “The COVID 19 Outbreak” as a Pandemic. It changed human life across the globe unexpectedly and rapidly. People will describe two phases of before 2019-20 and after 2019-20 as Pre and Post COVID 19 era.
People around the world were shocked, and all the media of news were flooded with information, developments, breaking news regarding COVID 19! Every coin has two sides. The writer does not want to describe only the adverse effects of this pandemic.
Any incident always occurs within the limits of cause and effect, and COVID 19 is no exception.
Nature always gives a signal, an indication to us. A few wise people can understand and interpret these messages correctly. The present pandemic is also due to the extreme and uncontrolled acts of humans.
Its full analysis isn’t possible here. The “Mother Nature” never does any partiality to anyone; the same nature has given us intellect and instinct to survive against the most challenging situations. There are so many encouraging and inspiring acts, missions; movements initiated to control the damage and reduce the adverse effects of COVID 19.
Broadly we can classify the Negative effects of COVID19 on Human Life as below –
The sectors which have been affected maximum are Transport, Education, Industries, Business, Tourism, Medical and Hospitalisation, Restaurants, Hotels, Services, day to day functioning by office employees, Entertainment including movies, TV, online streaming to name a few.
All countries affected by the pandemic are facing many challenges. The situation differs due to factors like the volume of population, geographic location, economic condition etc.
Physical effects of COVID 19
The governments of the affected countries had imposed the total or partial lockdown to control the widespread of the pandemic. Consequently, people had to remain indoors for about three months. The physical activity was minimum for such people causing various ailments.
The pandemic has the most adverse psychological effects on people like panic, anxiety, depression, feeling of isolation, stress, confusion and so on. These all cause various physical complications like blood pressure, heart attacks, attempts of suicide etc.
Thousands of people around the world lost their jobs or occupation. Middle -class people have to repay their debts, loans, pay children’s education fees etc. The labour class came to an almost starving condition.
The first and foremost advice by WHO and the experts of the pandemic is to maintain the best hygiene and social distancing to prevent the spreading of the pandemic. People had to stop meeting friends, relatives. Social gathering is out of the question. Even funerals are carried out with the minimum number of persons. The government has banned celebrations of all big festivals where the crowds gather. As a result, people have strange feelings of isolation, loneliness, and as if cut off from the world. The old and famous proverb “The man is the social animal” will have to be modified. This sudden and drastic change has already caused multiple issues of mental stress, psychological setbacks for millions of people around the world.
The most seriously affected segments affecting the entire world population, the intensity differs for each country due to many factors like volume of people, economic condition, technical know-how, and so on. It is one of the toughest challenges for the governments to control the economic damage. They have to ensure control over the spread of the pandemic; at the same time, they cannot afford to suspend industrial activities for a longer duration. The drastic effects of prolonged lockdowns are already showing like nose dive in GDP, stock market indices, unemployment, hike in essential commodities.
Effects on Transport Sector
During the months from March 2019 to July 2019, the main focus was on minimizing the spread of the pandemic. Hence almost all transport activities like road, rail, and air transport were restricted to almost nil except emergency and essential services. These restrictions had chained consequences on many other sectors and commodities such as no stock or acute scarcity, halt in production, and so on.
Effects on Education
To arrest the widespread of the pandemic the schools have been closed for about three to four months, which resulted in the total halt to the teaching process, the syllabuses are incomplete. The government had to either cancel or reschedule many necessary examinations. In some cases; the education authorities had to consider mass promotion. This situation will have grave consequences on the career of so many students.
To avoid the loss of studies, the government implemented online education in cities. The middle-class families found it difficult due to lack of proper infrastructure and limited financial resources. The students also had a lot of hardships to adjust to the new system. They complained about the lack of clarity in teaching and clearing their doubts.
Even for the education authorities, it is very challenging to find out the way out which is compatible with all students as such a situation has never occurred in the past.
The industrial sector has also been affected the most. Due to constant lockdown for months together, thousands of workers and labourers lost their jobs. They had to migrate from the workplace to their hometown for procuring alternative ways of earning. Due to lack of transportation, the raw materials, machinery, logistics could not be delivered at the destinations. Many industries remained closed for a long duration. The severe effects became evident in the lowest GDPs of various countries during the last twenty- five years. The entire economy was adversely affected.
Businesses like wholesale and retail trading, shopping malls, all markets right from food grains to cloth, and all other merchandise have been adversely affected. Consumers prefer online shopping more than before. Even customers avoid visiting banks as far as possible. People find ATMs safer and more convenient.
The Tourism sector is also has been badly affected. Train, air services have not been resumed fully after lockdown. People do not take the risk to travel by road for tourism purposes. All places and spots of tourist interest look deserted for the last about six months. The countries which were earning millions have lost the income heavily.
Medical and Hospitalisation
All hospitals and clinics are giving top priority to the treatment of COVID 19. The Utmost attention is given to the hygiene of the patients as well as health workers to protect them from the infection. Online medical guidance is becoming more and more popular. People are now aware of the maximum use of masks, gloves, sanitizers. Specially tailor-made apps have been developed for effective monitoring of patients and guidance of the general public. The scientists and researchers in many countries are working on war footing to discover the best vaccination against COVID 19.
Entertainment is one of the factors that affect the lives of people. Film-makers and TV producers had to stop or cancel so many shootings for the last six months. The fresh shootings have been resumed with extra care and compliance with statutory guidelines. Even the storyline has been changed according to the present COVID 19 situation. The characters in a short movie play their roles online through video calling. People have stopped going to watch movies obviously to avoid crowding and maintain social distancing. Online streaming of entertainment shows has become too popular.
People have observed with surprise that the sky became more clear, the water in the rivers appear transparent and clean. The birds are flying freely. Pollution is reduced considerably. Thousands of stars that were not visible became visible at night.
It is not exaggerating to mention that within the last century, the present phase is the most challenging one for the humankind. Still, we have learned many essential lessons, like avoiding excess wherever possible. We have become alert towards hygiene like never before. We are now more eco friendly. At the individual level also people have realised the value of family and importance in staying together and connecting with friends and relatives. The humankind has been blessed by nature to fight against all the odds and come out stronger and wiser.