The BC and AC of Coronavirus:
Likely to stretch beyond 2020
Mark this. May 3, 2020 will not mean an end to the virus that causes COVID-19 and which has led to the death of thousands of people all over the world, besides infecting over 20 lakh people. Juxtapose 20 lakh people with 30 lakh or so of the population of Manipur and one can get a fair idea of how many people have been infected by the virus all over the world. In India the tally of infected stands at 12,380 people as on April 16 while the number of death was recorded at 414, again on the same date. And even as this commentary is penned down citing the figure of infected and death, the figure must have risen. And it is to put a brake on the increasing number of infection and death that the lockdown has been called till May 3. This should not by any measure be taken to mean that come May 3 and the world or India would be free of the coronavirus. This is the plain and simple fact and in all probability the figure of death and infected would have risen more if the lockdown had not been enforced. This is another point which should not blow over the heads of anyone. The virus and hence the disease will continue to stalk mankind with many predicting that the world will not be free of the virus till 2021 and even 2022. A vaccine to treat the infected and the immobilise the virus will take time and by all calculations it may take another 12/14 months before an effective vaccine is produced. Even if and when a vaccine is produced, it remains to be seen if all the people, especially the economically weaker section of society, such as in India would be able to afford the vaccine, which is likely to be costly as is the case when a vaccine comes out to deal with a killer virus.
Not being pessimistic but being realistic with the ability to call a spade a spade. It was probably the somewhat late response from the World Health Organisation and the wrong reading of the situation such as face mask was not absolutely necessary, which probably led to countries like the United States, Italy, France and Spain to treat the virus casually with the people not observing social or physical distancing. It was as recent as the beginning of 2020 that COVID-19 was dismissed as just another virus that causes the common flu, which invariably kills more people. The result is there for all to see. No need was felt back then to suspend international flights, though it now stands that humans have turned out to be the biggest carrier of the virus. Even if and when the virus is neutralised, it will take time for the people and the world to limp back to the life before coronavirus. Other than the economy taking a big hit, the hotel and tourism sector will bear the brunt for people will obviously be reluctant to travel. It will take time for students to get back to the groove of their academics and universities, boards and schools across the country will be hard pressed to arrange and conduct the annual/semester examinations. On the brighter side, the lockdown will mean cleaner air, less pollution and more time for the people to spend with their families and look inward and acknowledge that mankind has been taking Mother nature for granted for too long. A new world may just be in the offing which may give credence to the observation that the universe may be divided into Before Coronavirus and After Coronavirus.