Economic and Social Impact of COVID-19
Covid-19 is a transmittable ailment caused by Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019 as a lethal novel virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a worldwide contagion in March 2020 (Douglas et al., 2020). It meant that measures to reduce the rate at which the virus spread had to be an utmost priority by governments and global health agencies. Some of the actions undertaken included enforcing curfews and economic lockdowns in addition to creating stricter social distancing protocols for people not to be in contact with each other. All these were conducted to control the spread of the novel virus. Together with the rising fear of the disease, the result was an economic and social impact whose effects are still felt today in every country across the world.
The institution controls meant that non-essential workers were furloughed or laid off due to stricter movement and social distancing protocols. It meant the loss of incomes and even financial instability for many workers (Blundell et al., 2020). Reduced gains and revenue streams meant payments and purchases declined in the overall global economy. The economy took a hit with depressed employment numbers and low tax revenues (Deb et al., 2020). The unemployed staff suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of being laid off. These measures were taken to prevent the spread and had the unintended effect of halting economic activities and threatening livelihoods.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a significant loss of lives in many families and countries. Vulnerable populations, such as old persons, have experienced higher death rates that have altered many families’ lives in the world. The death rates put a toll on coronary services in many Jurisdictions, with New York experiencing full morgues during its worst stage of the pandemic (Kim and Bostwick, 2020). The unprecedented death rates meant families lost valuable persons whom they depended on for various provisions. Medical practitioners also faced tough times as they worked for long hours and could be separated from their families while others risked their lives. All these led to social suffering and weaker family units.
The rampant spread of Covid-19 meant an increase in the hospitalization and intensive care of suffering patients. Health facilities and resources were overstretched to cater to patients. More health personnel and resources had to be allocated to control the situation (Nicola et al., 2020). Special ventilators had to be manufactured and dedicated hospitals built to cater for COVID patients. In addition to this, personal protective equipment for health personnel had to be procured (Mann, Krueger, and Vohs, 2020). It meant health workers had no available capacity to cater to other pressing health concerns as they were not deemed priorities. The focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of Covid-19 patients took precedence over other equally vague ailments. As a result, critically ill patients suffering from other illnesses lost their lives, which led to more chaos in the health care sector.
The strict application of social distancing protocols affected social life. Governments and healthcare personnel encouraged people to avoid physical meetups to prevent the spread of the virus. This also led to public social places being closed off to mitigate the virus’s spread (Fernandes, 2020). The new normal meant that online meetings and working from home became the standard. Humans had to adjust to new forms of socialization and learning to keep themselves safe (Qiu, Chen, and Shi, 2020). It led to the closure of some schools and pubs and coffee shops or eateries for fear of the spread of the virus. The shift in behavior meant that social interactions were scaled down and technology took over as the medium of business in most instances.
The unprecedented economic closures forced small and medium business to face the risks of closure as a result of a lack of business or demand for products. The declined income streams meant that they are unable to survive and risk closing up shops (Ashraf, 2020). The World Health Organization estimates up to 3.3 billion people could be at risk of unemployment because of closures (Baker et al., 2020). The informal markets were significantly affected as they rely on daily income streams to survive in some developing countries (Laborde, Martin, and Vos, 2020). They also lack social protection such as health and pensions required to survive through a job loss or sudden illness. All these compounded to poor living conditions among the affected parties.
The Food and Agricultural Organization and the IFAO warned that the restrictions brought about by Covid-19 led to disruptions in food supply chains. The closure of borders, coupled with trade and movement restrictions, denies farmers’ access to markets they ordinarily serve (Arndt et al., 2020). It has reduced access to healthy and diverse diets, and farmworkers cannot cross-over for work. It has particularly hit small-scale farmers and indigenous peoples whose lives are dependent on agriculture (Bonaccorsi et al., 2020). The disruption meant lower incomes and wages for farmers at the bottom of the food chain.
In a nutshell, coronavirus is an infectious disease that meant that movement restrictions had to be imposed by governing authorities. They resulted in movement and social restrictions all across the board. This greatly affected businesses and individuals who work in social places. Employees had to furlough or be laid off as companies tried to cut their losses. The virus has resulted in deaths and devastation for many families across the globe. It has robbed families of breadwinners and valued member. The novel virus has altered human life completely, as evidenced by the effect it has had on everyday life.