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The Positive Impacts of COVID-19


The novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has transformed the world to the hilt. In this article, we will analyze how COVID-19 has transformed the world and its several impacts on global-relations and life-styles. To do so, I am wondering what approach should be followed; bottom-up or top-down…Hmmm

Well, there has been a lot of stuff written on how this pandemic has actually started. China was the first country hit by COVID-19 and then this pandemic had swept across the globe. People wonder how it actually happened that the virus has spread from Global East to West and From North to South. It would not be wrong to blame globalization for it. It was easy for the virus to hit the globalized world, or a global village, where people served as the carrier themselves and provided free courier services to the pandemic to travel from place to place. Well, shortly after this tragic episode, the proponents of globalization had to face harsh criticism throughout the world. Without getting into the unnecessary discussion, let us straight away jump into the new realities ushered in by COVID-19.

Transformation from Physical to Virtual World:

Soon after the spread of the pandemic and hike in the cases, all the public and private workplaces including schools, colleges, universities, offices, banks etc. were closed. To avoid physical contact between two persons, a complete lockdown was imposed throughout the world. People were confined to their homes. As an adage goes that ‘every dark cloud has a silver lining’, so after all these unwelcoming developments, the time was ripe for the introduction of a new mode of life. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry was introduced to the new world, a virtual world, where public dealings and public interactions were done from behind the screens. Classes were organized through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In this way, people got introduced to the new world that does not demand your physical presence. This new world saved your time, travel expenses, and energy. In this way, we outsmarted and outmaneuvered the virus.

The idea of online education was so widely acknowledged and welcomed that many universities of international reputation initiated online education programs where people across the world are supposed to attend the classes from homes. This enabled a student from Pakistan to get a degree from Oxford or Cambridge University without actually having to travel to England. So, without Corona pandemic, the world wouldn’t have ever thought of introducing this new reality.

A Shift in Focus from External to Internal Security:

COVID-19 has also changed our threat perception. In the pre-pandemic era, states laid their focus on and utilized maximum resources in securing borders. External threats threatened the survival of states, so the world remained obsessed with strengthening its forces. From the most developed countries to the developing countries with fragile economies, every state regarded armed forces as the ultimate savior. But, with the outbreak of the pandemic, the threat perception of the world has altogether changed. Even the mighty economies with mighty armed forces like the USA failed to resist the deadly virus. A new realization occurred that apart from the forces tasked with protecting borders, there is another front-line force, known as ‘medical staff’, tasked with fighting even the most deadly enemy. Thus, apart from wreaking havoc, the virus has made us realize the worth of doctors and the need for state-of-the-art medical infrastructure to protect the state and its people from internal threats.

A Positive Impact on Atmosphere:

Today, humankind must be grateful to COVID-19 owing to its services in revitalizing the environment and atmosphere.  For years, the international community has been making policies to cope up with exacerbating atmospheric conditions. It was indeed threatening to see how our industrial world was busy in spoiling the atmosphere in the name of development. Rapid deforestation to cope up with the growing needs of housing and development for the increasing population has indeed resulted in global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. This situation was almost getting out of hands when out of nowhere, the COVID-19 emerged as the savior of the environment. Within such a short span of time, the ozone layer began to heal. This is due to the halt in human activities because of lockdown. A report shows that the sharpest drop in carbon emissions from fossil fuel has been recorded in recent history. The research, conducted by the Global Carbon Project and commissioned by The Guardian, predicts a fall in carbon emissions by as much as 2.5 billion tons over the course of 2020.

Cooperation: The Only Viable Trajectory

Earlier, we have seen how this pandemic has spread across the globe. Globalization was the cause and the globalized world was the target. Similarly, the only way out is also the globalized response. China was the first affected country. In the same manner, it was the first successful country in fighting the virus. After defeating the COVID-19 at home, China offered assistance to eighty other affected countries. Even, the developed countries of Europe looked at China for help. Thus, China emerged as the savior of the entire world. A well-integrated response was required to defeat the virus and now the whole world is fast recovering from this malady. Moreover, Russia claims to have developed a vaccine for COVID-19 which will be delivered to the countries. In short, the whole episode of the pandemic underscores the importance of increased cooperation in the field of medicine and research. The world has learned that today, it is nearly impossible to survive in isolation.

Conclusion:

The pandemic had caught us totally unprepared and thus bogged us down. We were unprepared but we must not remain the same in the future. Only the Almighty knows when and in what form, another calamity would befall us. Corona, while it has devastated us to the core, has also benefitted us in different ways (as discussed above) that we need to realize. We must learn from it. As George Santayana has very aptly said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Ergo, we must remain aware of what had happened to us, and then we must be very careful in choosing our future course of action. The ozone layer is healing; we must not destroy it again with our careless activities. Welcome the change and be a part of it.

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