The Pandemic Paradox

The development of a country is largely dependent on its economy. The government’s success is also measured in economic terms. At the present thought, we stand at crossroads which could either lead to an economic downfall or a stable country. The pandemic which is threatening the lives of a large segment of the population has a multitude of disasters awaiting those who survive the same. It has been observed that pandemics cause way heavier toll on our lives, the markets, the economy and stability of a nation than other natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis or other unpredictable events termed as “Black Swans”. Losses from a weaker flu pandemic, such as the 2009 H1N1 virus, can still wipe 0.5% off global GDP. COVID-19 has directly influenced a worldwide provider’s economy-China. India has heavily relied on USA, China, UK, and other Southeast Asian countries in terms of export import relations, and all of these have felt the economic drop due to the pandemic. Due to the current outbreak of Corona virus in China, the import dependence on China will have a significant impact on the Indian industry. Hence it can be said that the outbreak has the potential to cause severe economic and market dislocation. But the scale of the impact will ultimately be determined by how the virus spreads and evolves, which is almost impossible to predict, as well as how governments respond.

As of now the Government of India has followed the example of the multiple nations, imposing a nationwide lockdown, promoting social distancing, work from home, and hence reducing the number of people getting in contact with other infected humans. In essence this should be able to control the number of cases of outbreak and also reduce the workload of doctors hence helping them focus their energy and resources on COVID-19 cases primarily. To bring this worldwide lockdown into effect, all the workplaces have been forcefully shut, all the colonies in the cities have locked out the household help and every single citizen not belonging to medical profession is confined to their houses. Those belonging to the middle, upper middle and upper economic classes can sail through these times with slight concerns, but for those who earned daily wages, worked in other houses, have no secured source of income or have savings in a few thousands have been confined from one pandemic but thrust in the mouths of another perilous situation. Our national lockdown will become counterproductive if the patient counts go down on COVID-19 cases but goes up due to malnutrition, the assessed benefits of lockdown will fall when the deaths will increase not due to the pandemic but due to crimes amongst the localities housing those who lack resources to feed their children. Surely our government realises this, but to what lengths would they go to provide them with adequate funds is still questioned. The losses faced by different industries such as automobile parts, mobile phones, electronics has caused a direct impact on our treasury. Doubled with the fact that the working bodies in many fields face potential reduction, the economic stability of many nations now hang on a thin rope.

People are instructed to stay home during this pandemic to avoid getting sick, preventing them from shopping and working. This has resulted in shops closing down, factories getting shut, and producers of goods leaving their trade for the time being. As the supply lines of produce gets cut from the public, those on the lowest economic level are the ones to get affected first. In such testy times we shall witness the effectiveness of our government, on how they back up their policy and will the people who helped them reach to where they are, suffer the consequences of this pandemic, or the consequences of such policies.



Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce and Management

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