The 2019/20 novel Coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic dubbed COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The outbreak started in Wuhan, Hubei province in China in December 2019. This disease was declared pandemic by World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11th march, 2020. As of 3rd April, 2020, more than 1.01 million cases of covid-19 had been reported in more than 180 countries and 200 territories resulting in more than 53,000 deaths. However, the good news is that more than 211,000 people have been reported to have recovered.
This deadly coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly going to have damning effects on the world’s economy due to the postponement and cancellation of major social and economic activities, decreasing world population, the collapse of businesses and reduced human resource of countries. However, it is said that to every clouds there is a silver lining. Therefore, this article seeks to explore the positive effects of the novel coronavirus.
Through this pandemic, humanity have learnt to be each other’s keeper. The Bible instructs mankind to love one another and help each other especially in times of difficulties. However, this virtue is waning and humanity has become individualistic than ever before. This is evidenced in the fact that when China was hard hit by the coronavirus, the whole world turned a blind eye to their plight. Not even the G8 countries were reported to have made donations either in cash or kind to china as an attempt to support them to fight against this deadly virus. Today, with the declaration of covid-19 as a global pandemic, it has been reported that the outbreak is devastating world economies particularly in areas such as Italy, USA, and Spain. China realised the pain of neglect and has sent a group of Chinese medical experts and aid to Italy to advise Italian public health officials. The spokesman for the Italian Red Cross Marcello De Angelis said the Italian and Chinese Red Cross organization have a long history of cooperation. He said the first team from China arrived on march 12 in Rome with 31 tons of essential supplies and equipment, including respirators, protective suits, masks and medications. China has also helped hard-hit Spain with medical equipment, and assistance is also expected soon to arrive in France.
In Ghana, individuals such as Jack Ma, religious organisations, private businessmen and public officials have been donating in cash and in kind to the course of combating COVID-19 and support the less privileged in the society, since some parts of the country are under lockdown. This will go a long way to revive the habit of caring for one another in our life after this episode of covid-19 pandemic. Maria Castellina, spokesperson for the Friends of the Earth says, “Coronavirus is a reminder that we are all part of one global community and that we need to cooperate to solve global problems.”
The covid-19 has imbibed the habit of maintaining personal hygiene in humanity which hitherto, was not properly observed in our daily lives. As part of the basic preventive guidelines issued by WHO against the spread of coronavirus, people are admonished to wash their hands frequently. In elaboration, one should regularly and thoroughly clean his or her hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer or wash them with soap under running water. This is because the washing of hands with soap and running water or alcohol-based hand rub kills the virus and prevents further spread. However, people are hesitant about the observance of these health protocols. As a result of the failure to comply with the WHO guidelines, a number of people have been infected by the virus. For instance, they sneeze or cough without covering their mouth and nose with a tissue and nose masks. What is the situation today?
The lessons from this pandemic has taught us to observe respiratory hygiene by covering our mouth and nose with tissue when we cough or sneeze, and dispose off the used tissue immediately. According to Maxwell Maltz (1950), when an activity is practiced for a minimum of 21 days, it becomes a habit. Therefore, it is obvious that the end of covid-19 will bring into our lives the attitude of observing regular hygienic practices with it concomitant effect of helping to reduce the outbreak of similar respiratory disease in the future.
The covid-19 pandemic has helped to reduce environmental pollution. This is because one of the aggressive methods adopted by the WHO to combat covid-19 is the introduction of lockdowns. This restricts the movement of man and vehicles. Again, many industrial activities have halted. This has helped to reduce the emissions of impurities into the atmosphere to cause global warming. Professor Marshall Burke states that “China’s coronavirus lockdown likely saved tens of thousands of lives of children and the elderly by slashing air pollution from factories and vehicles…”. It is established that satellite observations indicated steep falls in nitrogen dioxide emissions in the wake of strict lockdowns in Italy and China. Cutting pollution levels in the long term will help to reduce the number of deaths in any future pandemic, according to Sara De Matteis from Cagliari University, Italy.
The lockdown has helped families to strengthen their bond. The demands of work has made it difficult for parents and children to spend ample quality time together. In the wake of this lockdown, parents who hitherto would wake up at dawn and leave for work and return late in the evening are now at home. It is an opportunity for families to renew their bond of friendship, to know and understand each other better once again.
It is a wake up call for individuals and nations to always make contingency plans for such unforeseen events. In other words, one must learn to be self-reliant, as relying on the so-called developed nations all the time could be dangerous, particularly in times when they are also hard hit.
A simple lesson to humanity is that, due to globalization, all nations are one and somewhat interdependent therefore, what affects one nation affects others. Similarly, covid-19 respects no individual irrespective of one’s social, economic or political status. This simply teaches us that we are one people and must be humble.
Social Studies teacher, OLAG SHS
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