Covid-19 Effect of Slowdown — Life After Lockdown
Life not as Usual
The COVID-19 pandemic, wherever it has affected, has created a lot of fear and distress among the communities. Whether this lockdown is going to be the end of the World? No. To tackle the spread of the disease due to this contagious nature, the government has imposed a lockdown for more than one month in many places of the world. Not only people but a lot of activities including production, supply chain and businesses have got affected due to this lockdown.
When the lockdown continued for a long period, naturally, everyone started thinking seriously that how long the containment will prolong. There should be an end to the detaining decisions and things have to revert to normalcy. Understanding this fact the lockdown is being released gradually to bring back the life normalcy. Now it is time for everyone to decide to take appropriate steps to fill the shortfalls due to COVID-19 lockdown.
In many countries like India, citizens believe and expect the leadership will not betray the people and the nation. In many countries, people have lost hope in their leadership. There is a revolutionising change which is expected to happen in the global leadership scenario.
Nature of the Disease
The coronavirus spread considered to be highly contagious on the scale of R0 is 3.0 in nature. This is where one deceased person transmits the infection to three persons. When it crossed a certain level over the period, it takes the form of an exponential curve, community spread and inability to treat the affected people results due to lack of facilities. Many of the governments have succeeded to contain the exponential disease growth and were able to provide medical facilities to virus affected people. Countries have gone for the lockdown to reduce transmission of the virus. In PRC the lockdown started on 23 January 2020 even though the disease started in December 2019 and hence the name COVID-19 for the disease. In Italy lockdown started on 21 February 2020, Middle of March in some states of USA, the UK on 23 March 2020, India 24 March 2020, and so on. By the middle of April, some countries in Europe like Denmark and Germany started reopening their business partially.
It is said that the majority of the population acquires immunity once they get attacked with the virus. Less than 3% of the population is only vulnerable and not resistant to the virus. But due to the speed of disease spread, this becomes a significant part of the population. In a country like India where 130 crore population, even 1% (13 million) is very significant.
Up to two months, the government has taken a lot of care and awareness to make the people realise the unforeseen circumstances if there is a slight lack of care. If the disease takes the form of a wildfire it is not possible to do anything for the administration. At a point, the government has to shift the responsibility to the public.
Mass Immunization Programmes
When nearly 97% of the population is not having the innate immunity to resist the disease there is a need for mass immunization. When there is a lack of medicine or vaccine for immunization, post lockdown period is a fearsome situation.
Within another six months, we may get access to the vaccines. Meanwhile, different countries are trying alternatives for building up immunity among the people. There are various efforts which are aiming at acquired immunity for overcoming COVID-19.
There is also an alternative view for development which is advocating herd immunity as seen in the case of Switzerland. Even though it was not advisable initially, after controlling the community spread and immunization of considerable population, it needs to be done to eradicate the disease. It is expected that at one point of time we have to return to routines from the lockdown. Amidst social distancing and careful personal disciplines, contagious spreading of the virus is checked. Gradually community will develop immunity against the virus. Once the majority of the population has attained immunity levels then naturally the disease of occurrence will subside. This type of control is called herd immunity. Of course, disease transmission and deaths will be more as people remain active throughout.
One of the best ways to prevent the disease is to stay safe at home to the extent possible. Wear masks while going outside, maintain social distance, wash hands with detergents frequently and take nutritive food having vitamin C. By following these measures and keeping away from unnecessary travels and meetings one can work safely for livelihood and the nation.
When people are performing their routine duties or moving around after the lockdown period there is a considerable amount of anxiety and distress among the people. Regular social media campaigns, as well as mass media campaigns, are required to build up the confidence level in the public.
Whenever people meet each other or participate in official and community functions there will be always some sort of reservation among the people to mingle each other as well as to participate in collective community efforts fearing the disease. There will be a lot of pressure and control while conducting cultural and traditional programs. A large number of the health-conscious and fearsome public will avoid public gatherings including markets and public transport systems. Private transport will be used for essential requirements.
Lockdown imposing dates of some important countries in the world
Peoples Republic of China
23 January 2020
21 February 2020
Middle of March 2020
23 March 2020
24 March 2020
Leadership quality with perspective vision will be a decisive factor during unprecedented transformations
Gradual Upward Trends
Academic and Professional Education
During the lockdown period, two different things have happened. Even before the start of the lockdown and before the origin of the coronavirus there was already an increasing trend of online education and coaching. During the lockdown holidays, many competitive youths have utilised the opportunity to learn many new things. Meanwhile, due to lockdown, the exams have got postponed. For the ongoing courses, there were online classes. The students attending the local coaching classes have shifted to the online classes. Most of them have got familiarity with the open libraries available online. Some of the experts are anticipating the trend in the growth of multiple channels of knowledge development resulting in an overall improvement in the knowledge society.
Internet-Based ICT of Communication
Quite naturally the gainer of stay home effect is the Internet-based communications. Despite remaining in shut-down conditions, ICT platforms have been helping the public and administration for many of the services. These are going to get strengthened in the future and are going to be regularly used for development.
Commodity and Equity Markets
Pick up of prices of commodities and equities after the largest COVID-19 correction may take a lot of time to recover. Added to it the production slow down and cautious buying of equities and commodities will also affect prices. Agricultural produce market also will get the effect from these aspects and buying and selling prices going on the decreasing trend. The competitive market hike may not be as vigorous as compared to the earlier period.
The semi-urban and rural areas had the opportunity to learn self-reliance practices during the lockdown period. If the same trend will continue, to a certain extent then there is all possibility of peri-urban, semi-urban and rural self-reliance. This will be true both in the case of essential commodity market as well as household requirements production including farming. Some of the societies have learnt the value-added aspects of perishable commodities. This had a lot of good effect on utilisation of the local production. Experts in the field of production processing feel that despite the initial low-quality production due to lack of expertise, those who involved are going to gain knowledge on quality standards and going to produce high-quality products which are far better than the remotely processed products. A well-planned strategy to network these products with the involvement of Government developmental departments can create some new value chains.
Health and Social Security
A lot of money got pumped into health services and essential medicines. Hospital facilities got upgraded to deliver quick and less risk-free services. The public has gained a lot of knowledge regarding good health and nutrition as well as developing sustainable physiology and immunity. These benefits are going to carry forward in the post-COVID-19 period also.
Environment and Circularity
During the last two months, pollution has gone down considerably. Carbon effluence in the atmosphere has drastically come down and river ware pollution decreased due to the decrease in pollution from transport and industries respectively. In the years to come, the decrease in cash-flow and lesser profits will also result in the recycling of many things and thus a reduction in non-degradable garbage. There will be more emphasis on the generation of maximum returns from the investment made.
Do you think the lockdown period could have created an irresponsible and insensitive character among the citizens?
Along with COVID-19 digging a ditch on the economy of the globalised businesses, many of them are going to suffer permanently. As one-third of the global population affected by the lockdown, more than five trillion USD loss is estimated at the beginning of May 2020 due to this malady. Some of the industrial raw material supplies may get affected and transportation also may not complete on stipulated timings. , may occur due to post lockdown controls and regulations. Some of the sector-wise analysis is done here for discussion. Economic, as well as production slowdowns
Production of Goods
Work in large factories where multiple workers are taking part in the activities will also have some adverse effect on productivity. Welfare costs will increase for maintaining the health and hygiene of the workers. In some of the places, 24-hour work on shifts may not be feasible as there will be regulations.
Networking between small factories will be useful for fulfilling the targets.
Taxes and Cess
For many of the non-essential and luxury items the sales taxes and services taxes and cess will be hiked. The government will not be having any other alternative than increasing the taxes to meet the expenditure.
International business trips are anyway not possible because of the travel restrictions. Many of the multinational companies sending an executive to different countries for business and training will not be in a position to do it shortly. The anti-China feelings among the Western business community are going to cause a lot of change in international trade.
Luxurious cars, luxury weddings, hi-fi parties, travel and tour for enjoyment, outings and eating outside, personal labourers, posh maintenances, and the likewise activities have learnt lessons from the lockdown. On the one hand, people have learnt to live without these things and on the other, the social distancing regulations, as well as futuristic consciousness planning, will result in diminishing in luxury life. The same trend may also be observed in the case of the textile and fashion industry.
Considerable job loss in the urban unorganised sector is expected at the same time in the organised sectors also there is an anticipated reduction in workforce to compensate the profit loss. On the contrary, the movement of migrant labourers and homecoming of people from other countries as well as job losers from cities are going to start a lot of unorganised business in rural areas. Some of them also expected to involve in farming as well as the rural labour force.
China and Allies
Cheap goods from PRC were dumped in the different third world markets is coming to an end with the so-called third world war with a biological weapon. Majority of the world stands against PRC with strategies to hurdle on its business worldwide. Even though there is controversy over the ‘Five Eyes Intelligence Report’ by the collaborative agency of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States of America there is substance over these allegations ultimately weakening the Chinese leadership on the global market.
Mixed Response with More Hopes of Transformation
Ultimately this Coronavirus crisis is going to revolutionize life all over the world. We are going to witness changes in academic, business, employment, tourism and lot more sectors. If it is a worthy opportunity for profitable change, feel lucky. If it is a loss, it will be momentary and face it as a challenge with courage. Some of the sectors, however, are neither gaining nor losing due to its use in any case, like power, banking and politics and a lot more similar ones. Future of communication and its digital transformation has become online. Relying on futuristic teamwork for success, rather than in isolation, particularly in downtrodden situations joining hands with other global leaders would cool down the heartburns. Even though there is an anticipated initial slow down there is all possibility of new technologies getting adopted in various sectors to revolutionize to make an increase in productivity.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Halemane Muralikrishna