By Shafqat Aziz
The whole world is in an unprecedented turmoil in the aftermath of the Coronavirus. The world economies are shattered. The development indicators of the countries seem damaged beyond reparable. It has shaken the old beliefs and busted certain taboos. Millions across the globe are losing their jobs. The students are utterly clueless about their academic future.
There are plenty of myths and conspiracy theories in the air all around. The future is unpredictable but there is one thing most of us are quite sure about it. That sure thing is human resilience. We cannot be sure of the price but the Coronavirus, like other global pandemics of the past, has to be defeated ultimately. However, life in the post-Coronavirus era wouldn’t remain the same. The social scientists, the politicians and the economic managers of the worlds would have to take the following measures to ensure a safer post-Coronavirus world:
The planet that is our abode certainly cannot sustain the unchecked population growth human race at the cost of all the others. It’s our shared abode. For a sustainable co-existence, effective population planning would be an immensely important step. The world leaders need to sit together, rationalize the approach and find ways to implement the judicious plans.
New social norms:
The pandemic Coronavirus has already forced us to change our old established social norms. The future human interactions should involve minimum direct touch i.e. handshake, sitting in too closed proximities and large gatherings etc. It also applies on religious assemblies and ‘safety first’ should be followed as a supreme guiding principle. The minimized direct human exposure may also help in reducing other transmittable diseases. E-governance and other e-work models could play a critical role here.
Changed spending patterns:
The spending patterns of the governments, as well as the individuals, needs to be changed. The world has been spending too much on needless war-machineries. Now, it’s time to change the priorities. The world and the nations need to know the real ‘existential threat to the human race. No one is safe if each and every individual is not covered by proper health and hygiene facilities. The world can no more afford to build a castle for a few and to work in silos. You are not safe until the left-outs are not brought into the same level of safety. The spending at the individual level should also prioritize spending on hygiene than avoidable luxuries such as junk foods etc.
Inclusive development & growth:
Keeping the wealth in the hands of a few and forsaking millions of others living impoverished and miserable lives must be declared a thing of yore now. The social and economic injustice is a real global pandemic. The abject poverty would continually keep the world prone to more complicated and more deadly spread of diseases even in the post-Coronavirus era. Therefore, future development plans should be rigorously focused on the reduction of poverty and improving the living standards at the grassroots level.
Reformed health sector:
The improved health sector around the world should be the topmost priority of the global leaders. The reactionary approaches that we have seen in the past to eradicate deadly transmittable diseases wouldn’t work now. The world today is too interconnected and too interdependent. The government should be held responsible to improve basic health structures. The funding and financing should be linked with the provision of quality healthcare service to all including women, children, and weaker segments. The investment in the health and hygiene sector needs to be drastically enhanced.
Revamped public transport:
The state of public transport in third world countries often seems miserable. Millions of people have to commute using the means of transports totally lacking the basic hygiene and cleanliness standards and in dangerously close proximity. An improved and more humane transport system may also help in reducing the health budget of the government and individuals by minimizing the chances of the spread of several endemics.
Freedom of expression:
It’s believed that several economic activities in the world have been allowed to be carried out as gross negligence and disregard towards the potential health and environmental hazards. Several reports suggest that media faced several curbs and have been stopped to report such issues timely on the behest of certain interest groups. A free media is imperative to safeguard the larger interest of humanity in avoiding manmade health hazards.
Access to information:
Many countries during the last decades have enacted special laws to allow citizens to have access to information. These laws, however, have been often too ambiguous or full of unnecessary exemptions to the extent of losing effectiveness in practical terms. Such laws need to be made effective including in health sector. It would enable citizens to get the details of budgetary spending and thus, to question the misplaced priorities in spending.