Dr.Suneetha Kumari, Guest faculty, Department of Psychology,
Visakha Govt. Degree College for Women (UG & PG Courses) , Visakhapatnam
This paper deals with information to getting knowledge about COVID-19 – its pros and cons. It is not the time to look at the negative side. Amidst the entire negativity, let us be a bit positive and see the positive outcomes and stand united. This paper covers how COVID-19 helps to develop a positive outlook by recalling our responsibility and changing our thought process.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic As of 9 May 2020, more than 3.93 million cases have been reported across 187 countries and territories, resulting in more than 274,000 deaths. More than 1.31 million people have recovered.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste .While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, complications include acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multi-organ failure, septic shock, and death. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is typically around five days but may range from two to fourteen days.
According to the World Health Organization, there are neither vaccines available nor specific antiviral treatments for COVID-19. On 1 May 2020, the United States gave Emergency Use Authorization to the antiviral remedies for people hospitalized with severe COVID-19 Management involve the treatment of symptoms, supportive care, isolation, and experimental measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020 Local transmission of the disease has occurred in most countries across all six WHO regions.
Pros of COVID-19
Let’s not only look at the negative side. Amidst all the negative noise let us be a bit positive and see the outcomes and stand united.
Most of us are locked in our homes, holed up with family members for durations longer than we are used to. Even as we transit to working or studying from home, the humdrum busy that envelopes our lives has abruptly ceased. No Monday morning scrambles, no traffic snarls, no have-to-go-here, have-to-buy-that. Life suddenly is stripped to its essentials. We need to cook, clean, eat, and sleep. Those who are fortunate to have the luxury of working online, continue to plod away at screens. We try to keep kids engaged with online and offline activities. The new normal that we are trying to maintain is unsettling, in troubling and cathartic ways.
Unnerving because we don’t know what tomorrow will be like. Despite models and predictions by epidemiologists, global health experts, and policy wonks, nobody is certain what tidings we might wake up to or when. Though most of us are at home, the very familiarity of our environment increases our disquiet. Our new routines are unfamiliar to us.
Yet, despite the unease and underlying anxiety, an unfamiliar, but much-needed, quietness pervades the air. As loud honks and the quotidian cacophony of urban life have been silenced, we hear more birds chirping. The air is palpably cleaner. Our lives are less harried. It’s almost as if, Nature has pressed the pause button on earth. Perhaps, during this long-overdue but sorely-required hiatus, we, humans, need to review, reflect, re-examine, and reset our routines.
While we are all making do with less now, do we need to consume as much as we mindlessly did? With wings on our feet, we traversed the globe either on business or pleasure without paying heeds to our carbon footprints. We commuted to work, cursing the endless traffic jams, but not acknowledging our contribution towards them.
Even dual-income earners are now compelled to spend more with kids. Does the world need to come to a standstill for us to feel like a cohesive family unit? Earlier, though we led highly networked and connected lives, our ties were often superficial. Though social media helps us stay in touch during this humanitarian crisis, the enforced social distancing makes us ponder on the strength of our ties. Which relationships sustain and nourish us?
Sure, these are unsettling times. Though we hope that the spread of the Coronavirus is arrested in its tracks, sooner than later, perhaps, we shouldn’t just revert to our old ways of living on auto-pilot. Perhaps, by unsettling us, Nature is allowing us to self-correct.
COVID-19 has reduced the pollution levels, though it may be a temporary scenario, in the world. Across the globe, many nations have reported reduced levels of air pollution and automobile pollution. The quantity of nitrogen gas in the atmosphere has reduced by 40% in the European region especially in Italy.
Similar might be the case in our country also. Roads have become cleaner with less garbage thrown on streets either by residents or the shopkeepers. It has reduced the number of road accident deaths significantly in our country, where one death every four minutes became very common in recent years. It has also reduced the crime rate and several theft cases.
It saved the foreign exchange to the government in terms of reduced imports of petroleum products. In addition to this, crude oil prices fell in international markets, due to a lack of demand. The water in canals of Venice has become clear from murky state to natural water with reducing traffic of boats in these canals and fishes and swans are back into the waterways.
It has broken down the rigid bureaucratic system and promoted to act instantly. It has created many innovations in teaching, from formal teaching to online classes, work-from-home rather than working under the direct supervision of bosses which can be considered for continuing even after this crisis.
It has avoided regular meetings where most of the time goes waste into unnecessary discussions. COVID-19 has changed the way of thinking and approach. At the individual level, it has provided more time to people. It has made people know the value of money and how to manage it in the crisis period which is probably the first and the longest lockdown period, especially in our country.
It has provided plenty of opportunities for people to learn new skills by sitting at home. It has allowed people to spend more time with their families. The virus has forced us to change the daily routine, cutting short unnecessary activities like weekend parties, roaming around with friends, and taught us the importance of saving money for use during the crisis period.
Cons of COVID-19
The COVID-19 outbreak affects all segments of the population and is particularly detrimental to members of those social groups in the most vulnerable situations, continues to affect populations, including people living in poverty situations, older persons, persons with disabilities, youth, and indigenous peoples. Early evidence indicates that the health and economic impacts of the virus are being borne disproportionately by poor people. For example, homeless people, because they may be unable to safely shelter in place, are highly exposed to the danger of the virus. People without access to running water, refugees, migrants, or displaced persons also stand to suffer disproportionately both from the pandemic and its aftermath – whether due to limited movement, fewer employment opportunities, increased xenophobia, etc.
If not properly addressed through policy the social crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic may also increase inequality, exclusion, discrimination, and global unemployment in the medium and long term. Comprehensive, universal social protection systems, when in place, play a much durable role in protecting workers and in reducing the prevalence of poverty, since they act as automatic stabilizers. That is, they provide basic income security at all times, thereby enhancing people’s capacity to manage and overcome shocks.
As emphasized by the United Nations Secretary-General, during the launch of a COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan on 23 March 2020 “We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves. This is a matter of basic human solidarity. It is also crucial for combating the virus.
Older persons are particularly susceptible to the risk of infection from COVID-19, especially those with chronic health conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Older persons are not just struggling with greater health risks but are also likely to be less capable of supporting themselves in isolation. Although social distancing is necessary to reduce the spread of the disease, if not implemented correctly, such measures can also lead to the increased social isolation of older persons at a time when they may be at the most need of support.
The discourse around COVID-19, in which it is perceived as a disease of older people, exacerbates negative stereotypes about older persons who may be viewed as weak, unimportant, and a burden on society. Such age-based discrimination may manifest in the provision of services because the treatment of older persons may be perceived to have less value than the treatment of younger generations. International human rights law guarantees everyone the right to the highest attainable standard of health and obligates Governments to take steps to provide medical care to those who need it. Shortages of ventilators, for example, necessitate the adoption of triage policies and protocols based on medical, evidence-based, and ethical factors, rather than arbitrary decisions based on age.
In this context, solidarity between generations, combating discrimination against older people, and upholding the right to health, including access to information, care, and medical services is the key.
Persons with Disabilities
Even at the best of times, persons with disabilities face challenges in accessing health-care services, due to lack of availability, accessibility, affordability, as well as stigma and discrimination. The risks of infection from COVID-19 for persons with disabilities are compounded by other issues, which warrant specific action: disruption of services and support, pre-existing health conditions in some cases which leave them more at risk of developing serious illness or dying, being excluded from health information and mainstream health provision, living in a world where accessibility is often limited and where barriers to goods and services are a challenge, and being disproportionately more likely to live in institutional settings.
General individual self-care and other preventive measures against the COVID-19 outbreak can entail challenges for persons with disabilities. For instance, some persons with disabilities may have difficulties in implementing measures to keep the virus at bay, including personal hygiene and recommended frequent cleaning of surfaces and homes. Cleaning homes and washing hands frequently can be challenging, due to physical impairments, environmental barriers, or interrupted services. Others may not be able to practice social distancing or cannot isolate themselves as thoroughly as other people, because they require regular help and support from other people for everyday self-care tasks.
To ensure that persons with disabilities can access information on COVID-19, it must be made available in accessible formats. Healthcare buildings must also be physically accessible to persons with mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments. Moreover, persons with disabilities must not be prevented from accessing the health services they need in times of emergency due to any financial barriers.
Many governments have called on the youth to embrace the effort to protect themselves and the overall population. Youth are also in a position to help those who are most vulnerable and to aid in increasing public health social awareness campaigns among their communities. Thus, youth are critical to limiting the virus’s spread and its impact on public health, society, and the economy at large.
In terms of employment, youth are disproportionately unemployed, and those who are employed often work in the informal economy or gig economy, on precarious contracts or in the service sectors of the economy, that are likely to be severely affected by COVID-19.
More than one billion youth are now no longer physically in school after the closure of schools and universities across many jurisdictions. The disruption in education and learning could have medium and long-term consequences on the quality of education, though the efforts made by teachers, school administrations, local and national governments to cope with the unprecedented circumstances to the best of their ability should be recognized.
Much vulnerable youth such as migrants or homeless youth are in precarious situations. They are the ones who can easily be overlooked if governments do not pay specific attention, as they tend to be already in a situation without even their minimum requirements being met on health, education, employment, and well-being.
Indigenous peoples are particularly vulnerable at this time due to significantly higher rates of communicable and non-communicable diseases, lack of access to essential services, absence of culturally appropriate healthcare, and if any, under-equipped and under-staffed local medical facilities.
The first point of prevention is the dissemination of information in indigenous languages, thus ensuring that services and facilities are appropriate to the specific situation of indigenous peoples, and all are reached.
The large number of indigenous peoples who are outside of the social protection system further contributes to vulnerability, particularly if they are dependent on income from the broader economy – produce, tourism, handicrafts, and employment in urban areas. In this regard, Governments should ensure that interim financial support measures include indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups.
Indigenous peoples are also seeking their solutions to this pandemic. They are taking action and using traditional knowledge and practices as well as preventive measures – in their languages.
What did WE Learn?
CORONA has proved that everything around us is “TEMPORARY”. It made us realize that 24 hours a day is much more than enough. Things we thought we can’t live without have all gone for a toss as we are learning to live without them. This pandemic showed us how people and media could be so Selfish, Stupid, Opportunistic, and Evil. Humanity is doomed if the organization as reputed as WHO is under the control of greedy people.
To appreciate and respect NATURE and realize its importance and value is supreme of all. It is very tolerant but when it gets ANGRY, then destruction takes place.
Family, Friends, and Freedom are precious diamonds. Don’t take them for GRANTED.
Doctors, Researchers, Scientists, Policemen, Army, and Economists should be paid more and respected more in society rather than making them feel GUILTY.
Cooking is not only for girls. It’s for everyone. We all should know how to cook.
You should sacrifice something to gain something.
Never underestimate the power of compounding.
Learning how to be content alone, spending quality time with yourself, exploring yourself, taking a month break to understand yourself better.
We could fight anything if we stand together. Let’s not divide ourselves in the name of country, state, caste, religion. We all are from one planet and that’s EARTH. We all are related to each other.
STAY SAFE. STAY HOME. Don’t try to be a hero by roaming out, be a hero by staying inside
Life is uncertain and how much you planned, you will fall into that uncertainty. We are just a speck of dust and become ousted by any means of intangible things.
We are damaging our nature directly or indirectly by global warming, deforestation, the surge in plastic usages,
We never tend to think from the earth’s point of view, as we are selfish and tend to think only in Humans point of view…
Coronavirus is eventually developed from Earth and Nature directly or indirectly…
From earth’s and nature’s point of view, we are like the Coronavirus to them and spoiling its essence and damaging the earth day by day. we are directly or indirectly letting the nature to live freely without any human intervention. Following this Corona pandemic, we need to take an oath of not disturbing nature’s life and everyone should give their role in letting nature live freely.
As health experts from WHO and UN suggest – Social distancing and staying home are the only possible ways to curb and arrest the Coronas human massacre and world’s economic vandalism.
Together, we will fight this deadly battle and win
Stay strong, Stay safe, Be hopeful