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Covid-19-Looking beyond the pandemic    [18/04/20 ]

 

 

Since March 2020 many countries including Nigeria have implemented the lockdown policies as ways to contain the spread of the COVID -19 pandemic.


The impact of these policies on the
social, religious and economic life of the citizens are tremendous. Heads of Governments in country after country had made several addresses to their citizens to comfort and assure them to
look beyond the pandemic.

In the address to her countrymen and women on Sunday, April 5, 2020 Queen Elizabeth said "While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.
This time we join with all nations
across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.

We will succeed — and that success will belong to every one of us.......We
should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return, we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” There is no doubt that things will return to normal in no distant time. There will be life after the COVID-19 pandemic. But what can we likely be dealing with thereafter: Human short memory.

 

Human Short memory

Humans will quickly forget the impact of COVID-19. Once the pandemic is over, we shall return to our old ways, social distancing will be forgotten. The need to reform
the health sector, improve medical facilities & train health officials to prepare for the next epidemic/pandemic will be relegated to the background. We will pretend as if nothing happened.

Economic woes
The effects on employment are likely to be severe. There may be substantial losses in employment across several sectors. Many companies may also implement cuts in
salaries and wages. Some government employers may not meet up with monthly wage payments. SMEs will struggle with increased costs of operation and tight credit facilities. Some SMEs may be pushed out of existence. COVID-19 will affect the food outputs in the years to come.

Political impact
COVID-19 has exposed the political leadership of many heads of governments. Some heads of governments will emerge as strong, unifying leaders, others will be exposed

Religious impact

COVID-19 had shown that religion and religious leaders are not untouchables. The first casualty of the lockdown is the prohibition of large religious gatherings in the country after country. Religion has been exposed as dispensable and this is bad news. I foresee a major clampdown on religion in one country after another in the years come.

Scientific impact
COVID-19 has shut down the activities of many scientific institutions all around the world. Most field research projects have been suspended, as efforts are focused on developing
vaccines against the pandemic. There is no doubt that scientific research will resume shortly.

But COVID-19 has shown that most scientific research is not needed. Most scientists are not focusing on the more important areas of life. There will be reassessments of what research should be funded as major donors may withdraw and redirect their funds.

Looking beyond
The impact of COVID-19 will vary from country to country. While some countries will emerge stronger, others will sink further below the poverty line.

 

Written by Russell O Irechukwu – Managing Partner OR&C Consultants April 18, 2020.




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