Post Mortem

The global havoc wreaked by Covid-19 outbreak

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 7/17/2020 12:58:43 PM IST

 The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has dealt a severe blow to the global socio-economic and political landscape and will have far-reaching repercussions and ramifications for quite a long time in the future.  With almost twelve million cases and over five hundred and forty four thousand deaths, the pandemic has virtually brought the world to a grinding halt. The world economy has been so badly damaged that its full recovery is likely going to take so many years. Globally, hundreds of millions have lost jobs that will consequently affect the mental, physical, social and spiritual health of hundreds and thousands of millions all across the surface of the planet.

Another spectacular achievement of the pandemic has been that of severely straining the economic and political relationship between the two global superpowers -- the US and China, who blame each other for the outbreak. The United States has  accused China of being responsible for the outbreak with its president Donald Trump even going to the extent of terming COVID-19 as China virus. The entire West has almost unanimously laid the blame for the outbreak on China. Many of the economic superpowers have hinted their inclination to economically boycott China. India too has begun taking adverse economic actions against China, especially in the wake of Chinese incursion into Balwan Valley in Ladakh, which has coincided the outbreak.

The pandemic looks poised to have a crippling economic impact on China, in particular, which has been rapidly rising as the second strongest economic and military superpower. The pandemic, of course, has not spared the rest of the world too. The long-lasting effects of the presently ongoing protracted national lockdowns all across the globe are yet to be fully felt or experienced in the coming so many days. We may briefly discuss the appropriateness of terming COVID-19 as China Virus and holding China as solely responsible for the outbreak. There’s no denying the fact that the epicentre of the pandemic outbreak was Wuhan in China; so the pandemic, in fact, did originate from China. Secondly, the US strongly accuses China of having withheld or concealed the information about the outbreak for a sufficiently long time, during which the viral infection had already gone far beyond China and had spread all across Europe, America, and the world over and become a pandemic. 

There are also so many questions, speculations and conspiracy theories about the possibility of the virus being a lab-creation, or in other words, bio-weapon developed by China. Viral videos have been there on the Facebook and internet in which powerful claims were made about the COVID-19 being bio-weapon developed in advanced research labs in Wuhan, China. A US senator Tom Cotton was the first to appear on Fox News and make the claim that the virus had originated from a lab in Wuhan. However, the conspiracy theories have not yet been adequately substantiated or corroborated and many scientists and experts are now of the view that the virus is not a lab product but evolved naturally. Yet, notwithstanding all that have so far been churned up, it will remain a controversial subject that will require more thorough investigations to find out the truth. 

One serious accusation made against China by the US and its allies is that China intentionally delayed in providing proper information about the nature of the virus and the manner in which it spreads and that China covered up the whistle blowers of the viral outbreak. The US and its western allies appear to be mulling over imposing economic sanctions against China and make it pay compensations for the outbreak of the pandemic. In fact, Trump administration has already begun imposing economic sanctions against China, starting with its multinational technology company Huawei. The US and its allies seem to be contemplating imposition of even more stringent economic sanctions against China that will have crippling and lasting effect on the economy that has been touted to soon overtake that of the US and become number one in the world. The idea of making China pay compensation for the pandemic outbreak may never be materialised, but one thing is getting increasingly clear that serious damage has been done to the cooperative and cordial economic relationship that had earlier existed between China and nations of the world, including India.

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way things operate in the so-called globalised world, where there had been free movements among the nations of the world for economic, education, tourism and other purposes. Now, we can only wonder when normal business travellings can resume. 

Can it happen in some months time provided the much sought after anti-vaccine is developed soon! Nevertheless, the fear of the possibility of another similar outbreak will linger for a long time to come especially because of how the present pandemic broke out suddenly and engulfed the whole world like wild fire within no time. The pandemic is like once-in-a-century event and so its fear effect is likely to remain for the remaining part of the century. At this point, we still cannot properly visualise how things will be transpiring. 

What we, however, witness in the midst of the pandemic terror is the evolving  fierce power tussle between global power blocs that will almost tantamount to a 3rd World War magnitude, or at the best, 2nd Cold War.  The fire of competitive aspiration to take full control of global affairs seems to be soaring high. Besides this, fierce pursuit of personal political interests, or in other words, the attempt to take political mileage out of the crisis by concerned leaders also cannot be ruled out. Great political leaders of different countries are being affected by the pandemic in different ways; some are fighting for the survival of their leadership in the face of rising oppositions that are intensely attempting to topple them on the pretext of mishandling of the pandemic crisis. In this way, the pandemic is generating enormous amount of death, hate, conflicts, hardship, confusion etc and making the world a messy place to live.

No one really knows how much longer human beings will continue to live in fear and isolation. The virus has completely destroyed the spirit of sports, festivities, entertainment and other social interactions, which are inalienable features of human nature bereft of which human beings become badly affected mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually. We only survive with the hope that a remedy to the pandemic will soon be found in the form of vaccines or other curative drugs and medicines. The mean and tricky virus has left human beings stunned and benumbed, sometimes making them unable to react in normal human ways. How often we have seen corpses left unattended for hours and eventually disposed without proper final rites and rituals. We seem to be going through strange times, yet we try to pretend everything’s fine. We should not forget the fact that the virus even in the most medically advanced countries has slain hundreds of thousands. 

The question of whether there is the slightest possibility of the virus to have been developed in a biological research lab keeps on lingering in the mind. If that happens to be the case and is found out, what will happen? Will there inevitably be 3rd world war? Who will be fighting against whom? We have been hearing allegations and accusations of the virus being a bio weapon created in a lab in Wuhan, which accidentally leaked out. We can only hope and pray that the virus is of natural origin and only a product of human gluttony and none else. 

For the world to make further progress perhaps there have to be mutual forgiveness and cooperation and maximum restraint of human greed for excessive wealth and lust for power, especially in this terrible time of pandemic outbreak.        

Khelsoril Wanbe

Thangmeiband Tarung, Imphal.

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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