Life after Pandemic; What should be the lessons to learn from ongoing multidimensional crises?

Fri, Jul 3, 2020 8:10 AM on Exclusive,

The entire world at this moment stands at a precipice of a global shift, which will probably change the way we operate in the outside world, perhaps for years to come. The worldwide spread of the virus has managed to disseminate the economic, social, and political foundations upon which we have built our society. The urgency of the current situation has created an unprecedented environment for laws and legislations to be passed at rapid speed as countries try to get out of this pandemic with as little harm as possible.

One thing I know for a fact is that the world after this pandemic will be very different from the one we left behind. The choice between a good and a bad future will be entirely dependent on competent leadership, as well as local and global cooperation among governments, corporations, and individuals.  This crisis affects all of us in a multitude of ways, and sadly there is no one size fits all solution that exists in the status quo. Countries and governments will have to adapt and create better policies to help its citizens and businesses alike.

I think it is safe to say that 10's of millions of people around the globe will suffer directly or indirectly as a result of this global pandemic. Especially in Nepal the total number of infected cases is steadily rising, and hospitals are getting overwhelmed, and we can assume that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Many are dying not only by the infection of the virus but also due to starvation as people are unable to manage food and essential resources. Many businesses in the future will have a hard time sustaining themselves, and as a result, unemployment is likely to rise, which will further exacerbate the current misery. Many industries, especially the sport, tourism, and travel industry, will be hit the hardest and will probably be the slowest to recover. A quick government response with better welfare policies for the poor and SMEs at this time will mean a difference between life and death and probably help to secure a better future for the nation. Hence, we still have an opportunity at this moment to better mobilize our funds and follow in the footsteps of Singapore and South Korea and get out of this crisis with minimum harm. But I will let history be the judge of this.

Extensive testing of people, regular washing of hands, masks in public as well as wide surveillance of individuals will be a common thing as governments try to open the economy while trying to sustain it, and at the same time, try to contain the spread of the virus.  Whether governments will let go of their ability to track individuals through mass surveillance after the crisis is a contentious topic for another day.

Many of our public institutions like health care, education, and welfare are going through a collective experimentation procedure at this moment, meaning they are having to adapt to a situation that seems to be getting worse and worse every day. Companies and schools are trying to adapt by moving to the online space, and this trend will probably continue further into the future even after the crisis is subverted.

However, this storm will pass either by the process of vaccination or herd immunity.  Regardless many of us will survive and will end up inhabiting a world brought to us out of the ashes. Some leaders may use this crisis to consolidate more power, while many will try to garner more trust from their citizens. Many countries will try to strengthen their pandemic response system and subsidize healthcare to protect against a possible future pandemic, while some will choose the route of ignorance. The world will go back to normal, but the people who live in it would have experienced a global catastrophe, and as a result, people's perspectives are bound to change. If there is one thing, we can all learn as a result of this crisis is to take better care of our environment. If we have learned anything from this pandemic is that just as nature has given us life, it can also take it away without a single warning. If we continue this trend of mindlessly destroying the environment, then it will, for sure, result in a crisis that would be a million times worse than this pandemic. Let's make the future better than our past.

Ravi Timsina, a small investor and a writer

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