MNA Editorial Desk: The global coronavirus crisis has taken a leap into the lives of all the people in the world as already 189 countries of the world has been affected. Around 0.35 million people are officially affected by this deadly COVID-19 virus while around 15,000 already lost their lives and the scenario is expected to go worse. According to experts, millions of lives will be lost within the next few months. Bangladesh is also facing this crisis. It is hard to concretely tell how many people are already contaminated by this virus and how many actually died.
Bangladesh is still at the first phase of this coronavirus attack and seemingly will move quickly to the next phases. Though the government is trying to contain the situation, it is yet afar away to establish a relation of trust between the government and the people. Hence, it is important that the government and other relevant stakeholders take quick steps to assure the people of a safe future while imposing utmost safety protocol to win this war over coronavirus in our country.
Bangladesh is a economy which is still trying to attain its status as a middle income country. Most of our people belong to the middle and lower income group. The rich are only a few holding the major share of the country’s wealth. We can easily anticipate a global economic depression heading our way soon. As we are living in the world of connectivity and free market economy, we cannot escape this heat from either outside or inside the border.
The developed countries of the world are facing huge challenge in planning a way out of the upcoming economic crisis which might easily get more intensified from the economic crisis due to World War II. If these rich countries are in so much turbulence, the scenario of Bangladesh will get much tougher with a huge population and very limited resources. Moreover, our economy is still mostly dependent on human resources as our RMG sector and remittance flow is highly dependent on manual contribution but these sectors will have to suffer heavy blow. Hence, Bangladesh will be among one of the most economically hurt countries due to coronavirus.
A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes, maybe for months, is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other. Some changes we expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling. But crisis moments also present opportunities like; more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, less polarization, a revived appreciation for the outdoors and life’s other simple pleasures. No one knows exactly what will come, but here is our best stab at a guide to the unknown ways that society, government, healthcare, the economy, our lifestyles and more will change.
Loss of innocence or complacency is a new way of being in the world that we can expect to change our doing in the world. We know now that touching things, being with other people and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. Those on the frontlines against coronavirus aren’t conscripts, mercenaries or enlisted men; they are our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, caregivers, store clerks, utility workers, small-business owners and employees. Like the doctors of Wuhan, many are suddenly saddled with unfathomable tasks, compounded by an increased risk of contamination and death they never signed up for. When all is said and done, perhaps we will recognize their sacrifice as true patriotism, saluting our doctors and nurses especially when the medical staff of Bangladesh are ill-equipped and have to face serious risk.
The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism. We could turn toward authoritarianism. But maybe it will take us to another direction. We’re now seeing the market-based models for social organization fail, catastrophically, as self-seeking behaviour makes this crisis so much more dangerous than it needed to be especially in the developed world. When this ends, we might reorient our politics and make substantial new investments in public goods.
It seems highly unlikely in this context that the world will return to the idea of mutually beneficial globalization that defined the early 21st century. And without the incentive to protect the shared gains from global economic integration, the architecture of global economic governance established in the 20th century will quickly atrophy. It will then take enormous self-discipline for political leaders to sustain international cooperation and not retreat into overt geopolitical competition. Proving to their citizens that they can manage the COVID-19 crisis will buy leaders some political capital. But those who fail will find it hard to resist the temptation to blame others for their failure.
In the short term, the crisis will give fuel to all the various camps in the Western grand strategy debate. The nationalists and anti-globalists, the China hawks, and even the liberal internationalists will all see new evidence for the urgency of their views. Given the economic damage and social collapse that is unfolding, it is hard to see anything other than a reinforcement of the movement toward nationalism, great-power rivalry, strategic decoupling and the like.
In today’s world, humanity was under the greatest risk as social norms are disappearing and people are losing passion for their community or society. Crimes have increased with up trends in the number of murder, rape and vandalism. Women and children are being the victims of abuse and torture. Drugs have spread its black claws in all tiers of the society. It is not only true for Bangladesh but also for the whole world. Ethics and morality is facing a great war and unfortunately losing it.
Moreover, crime in the name of religion has increased greatly throughout the world. Brutality over the women historically brought disaster over the human race which we have observed in the history of the civilization. Recent torture over Rohingya women in the Rakhine state of Myanmar by its army, torture on Uighurs in China, aggression of Israel over neighbouring countries, barbaric abuse of the religious minorities in India and brutality over women of different tribes in the African countries are all examples of communal atrocities over women.
Though it might not suit everyone, but our acts and degrading social values are enough to bring in the wrath of the creator of this world. The believers hence rightly believe that our evil works are liable for this curse over human race all around the world as we are going through a scenario which we never expected. Hence, we leave it to the researchers that if there is a relation of virus attacks or pandemics with oppression over women and degrading morality.
Though we are blaming the natural causes for the spread of coronavirus as we believe it might be generated through consumption of some affected animals. But the cause can be man-made also. As different nations are investing so much on nuclear and biological weapons and regularly testing those secretly. It is possible that the contamination is due to some malfunction of those testing. We have seen people bearing the marks of atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki even after so many years. Moreover, the infection can be intentional or non-intentional. We cannot offset these ideas. But some strongly believes that the crisis is man-made. Hence, we need to think deeply before investing against humanity as it will not spare anyone.
From another aspect, the natural destruction throughout the world especially in terms of global warming and over industrialization can be termed as a cause of the recent pandemics like; SERS, MERS, Ebola, Swine Flu, COVID-19 etc. As we, the human race, are acting against the nature, the nature is taking its revenge by spread of such viruses. Industrial wastes, smokes and change in the temperature of the atmosphere is degrading the nature constantly and global leaders especially those of the developed countries are not caring as they are more concentrated on the economic and technological development of their own country only. But these self-centric policies will not help much as we can feel the wrath of the nature right now. The global leaders should immediately adopt changes in the policies to conserve nature with utmost importance. Without preservation of nature, the human race will not sustain.
This coronavirus crisis requires all the governments of the world including that of Bangladesh to respond quickly. The Bangladeshi government must immediately declare lockdown to destroy the virus spread chain immediately. They must also ensure that enough food and medical products are available in the market. Moreover, proper quarantine facility with enough number of protected doctors and medical staffs must be ensured. We cannot push the medical staffs to death intentionally. Most importantly, right information should be disseminated among the people and reality should not be a secret at any cost.
The Bangladeshi government has already declared a leave of 10 days at all government offices and announced some action plans on the face of pressure from the citizens. But it might not come out as a completely successful policy as complete lockdown might be required to contain the scenario. But nevertheless, we welcome such an initiative as with such a huge population, we cannot contain the spread of this virus if we cannot impose a complete lockdown.
For the people, we would request them to comply with the instructions of the government. They should stay at home with enough supplies for a few days. We must self-quarantine or ask for medical help if feels infected. Moreover, we must maintain personal hygiene by washing our hands and face multiple times a day. Most importantly, we should avoid gathering. We must practice humanity by protecting ourselves or quarantine ourselves to stop a huge destruction.
We hope that everyone especially the government will show people-oriented attitudes. Some strong decisions of the government will be required in the current context and we, the citizens, must welcome those for the sake of saving humanity. We believe, the Bangladeshis will come out of all the obstacles and hardships if we can act at the proper time.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Vice-Chairman, Democracy Research Center (DRC)