Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
The first Covid-19 case was detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. In just five months, the virus has spread to all corners of the world and has infected more than 52 lakh persons with 3.4 lakh fatalities. India has 1.25 lakh persons infected with 3700 fatalities.
In North East after taking 41 days to reach 100 cases, the positive cases have tripled beyond 300 in just 6 days with sharp rise of cases in Assam, Tripura and Manipur.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created panic throughout the world with many countries locked down for months, rendering millions jobless, leading to massive recession in the economy. It is said that post Covid-19, the world will never be the same again.
The best scientific minds of the world working in the best laboratories are researching, innovating and racing towards finding an effective vaccine or treatment. However, finding a vaccine or a cure may take some time and Covid-19 is here to stay in our world for a while and humans have to learn to live with it.
So how do human beings live with Covid-19 safely without too many dangers? Forms of greetings like handshakes, hugging, kissing, and high fives may never come back. The compulsory items for going out would include face masks, sanitizers, tissue papers etc. Social distancing would become the norm everywhere.
Many people will avoid going for holidays or travelling at least for the next few years to avoid high risks places. Most face-to-face meetings will be replaced by video conferences or tele conferences. Religion would be practiced at home and large religious gatherings would be avoided.
In the education sector, classrooms would see lesser students to maintain social distance and many classes would be conducted online. Many parents and students may opt to study at local educational institutions instead of studying at far-flung cities. The world of publishing would also be impacted as hard copies of books, magazines, and newspapers would be avoided. Readers would opt for kindle versions or e-copies.
Contact sports would be drastically reduced & spectator presence for sporting events would be impacted. E-Commerce and home deliveries would dominate over physical buying from malls and stores.
All these would lead to economic recession caused by decreasing consumer demand due to job losses, lesser salaries and lesser travel. The world of indulgence as we know now would be paused or slowed for at least few years. However, historically, human enterprise cannot be curbed and defeated by a virus.
The race for finding a vaccine or cure is on and we shall overcome that. Till then, humans have to learn to live with Covid-19 without getting infected. Stay home, stay safe! (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)