Life on the Verge of Death
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to devastate the framework of life globally. This disease entered Pakistan on 26 February 2020 and has, by now, taken the lives of hundreds of people in all parts of the country in a short span of time. All medical workers are on the fronetlien like soldiers in the war against Covid-19. This is an invisible enemy also for health workers. Doctors, nurses, caretakers and paramedics are facing an unprecedented workload in overstretched health facilities. They are working in stressful and risky environment.
Education has been equally affected by this pandemic; not all schools, colleges and universities were able to start, and continue, online classes. And, most students, too, did not have access to the internet at their homes. Only a few universities are running their classes online. However, it needs to be understood that there is a great difference between attending classes physically and joining them online. Young kids and special students find it hard to concentrate fully on online educational tools as they were accustomed to the classroom environment. Hence, it is not easy for them to adapt to being online students. In a country like Pakistan shifting to online education is not simple. Pakistan is not a tech-savvy country overall and it is the reason we are having problem in education sector after the pandemic caused a countrywide shutdown.
Global value chain (GVC) has also been disrupted by Covid-19 which means imports and exports have been almost stalled. There are a huge numbers of private companies in Pakistan that rely heavily on the imports for running their business. Pakistan is an underdeveloped country where majority of people are already poor but Covid-19 is likely to cause an exponential increase in poverty rate. It is estimated that the poverty will rise from 24.3% to 29%—even the most terrible case scenario of 33.5% is also being projected.
This pandemic also directly affects social interactions. Meetings, voting, debates, get-togethers, etc. are not taking place because holding them during the calamity is too risky. This means that the most basic forms of politics are on hold and it may weaken the nation.
Every now and then we come across the oft-repeated phrase ‘national mood changes as the seasons change’. We are moved by a sense of sadness and dejection when the green grass turns brown and flowers wither. Pakistan is today standing on a crossroads; we need a strong vision to implement strict rules to control the spread of the disease. This problem must be tackled pragmatically; otherwise, our dream of a bright future will remain only a wish. As death is so terribly final while, life is full of possibilities. So for a new tomorrow, for a new beginning, let’s struggle hard, let’s work together and let’s pray together for a disease-free bright future.