The Coronavirus pandemic is changing how we live our daily lives. The scale of the COVID-19 and its impact on our lives is unprecedented. When humanity gets past this, the world will be a very different place than the one we have known.
“I come from Baglung District, a part of Dhawalagiri Zone in Nepal. My house overlooks the river. Do you know, our district is known for the suspension bridges?”, her eyes glimmer for a fraction of a second and then she breathes a heavy sigh! Her right hand is still wrapped in a scarf, while with the other she pats her 17-month-old. “If I ever get a chance I will take you to my village, we have a lot of medicinal plants.” She pauses while tears roll down as she continues our Facetime session. “I was 16 when I had my first child and I was 17 when my arm was broken by my mother-in-law.”
The Covid-19 pandemic, erupting in the background of lethargic global economy, could turn out to be the singular biggest crisis in a century. First reported in Wuhan, China, the corona virus has reached almost all countries. It has infected close to 1 million persons and caused over 40,000 deaths at time of writing; and the figures keep climbing. It is a health catastrophe which if not checked in its track would be the most serious since the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed over 50 million people.
The experience and interpretation of the Coronavirus pandemic oscillates between the personal and the general spheres. The official discourse and measures taken by authorities have a direct impact on our lives, change our daily existence and foster worries for the future. A dark cloud of uncertainty hovers above us. What do decision makers know? What can they do? What can we do? Many of us are secluded in our own homes, others in wards or hospitals, or even alone and far away from the ones they love:
As the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic shifts from China to the developed West, all too many rich countries are acting selfishly, invoking the ‘national interest’, by banning exports of vital medical supplies.
As the coronavirus pandemic shifts around the world, now stretching even the developed health services of richer nations to breaking point, here at IPS our dedicated journalists in developing countries are standing strong in giving a voice to the Global South.
The exigencies of combatting the coronavirus pandemic on a war-footing -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide stay-at-home lockdown for 21 days to break the chain of transmission -- has certainly deflected attention from equally pressing challenges confronting India. The nation’s capital witnessed horrific communal violence when the US President was visiting India, triggering international outrage, including from the South. The economy also deserves attention as growth has been decelerating since 2016-17. With the virus shock, the pace of expansion will contract as the economy shuts down and slides into recession.
By the third week of March 2020, the number of Covid-19 deaths in Italy had overtaken the number of deaths in China. Authorities all over the world are restricting the movements of their populations as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.
Humankind has outlived multiple pandemics in the course of world history. The kingdoms and states of Central and Western Europe abolished the institution of serfdom once it had become clear that medieval rule in the aftermath of devastating pestilence would founder without ending the dependency and servitude that characterized the Dark Ages. The vulnerability of entire nations to the risk of total collapse in the absence of widespread access to the most basic healthcare in the Spanish Flu spurred governments to build the public health systems that have made the progress and development of the last hundred years possible. If the past is prologue, then continuity and survival command that we change.
A global approach is the only way to fight COVID-19, the UN says as it launches humanitarian response plan
Many soldiers have seen first-hand the horrors of war and, terrifying though it often was, they knew who they were fighting, and could recognise their enemy.
Austerity policies pushed by international financial institutions have weakened public health systems, despite current financial support packages, condemning many people to die.
The human factor is intimately involved in the origin, spread, and mitigation of the Coronavirus and we cannot afford to ignore that our future existence depends on compassion and cooperation. Response matters!
The coronavirus disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, was first reported
in Wuhan, China on the last day of December 2019. When it began to spread rapidly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020.
Governments in wealthy, first world countries must not ignore the plight of poorer nations battling the coronavirus or the disease will not be brought under control, global development experts have said.
The panic resulting from the events starting with the deaths in Wuhan keeps spreading globally faster than the spreading of the virus itself. Quite apart from the immediate health dangers, now a new economic danger looms large globally. We are facing the prospects of a deep and lasting global recession regardless of the health policy and economic policy measures taken by China, the US and other countries unless there is timely global cooperation and coordination. What will be the global economic impact of COVID-19 if swift and effective action is not taken globally? Is there a way to find out through some kind of rigorous model-based economic analysis?
As the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 threatens a global pandemic, major stock markets around the world have suffered their worst performance since the 2008 financial crush.
In a groundbreaking ruling in January 2020, the International Court of Justice demanded that Myanmar halt all measures that contribute to the genocide of the Rohingya community.
Reducing poverty and inequalities, eliminating hunger and all forms of malnutrition and achieve food security for all – these are some of the most important objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Still, the rate of poverty and inequalities is increasing and over 820 million people are going hungry. In addition, 2 billion people in the world are food insecure with great risk of malnutrition and poor health. This alarming situation is further aggravated by current trends such as the rate of population growth, impacts of climate change, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and many others. Transition to more sustainable food systems can provide adequate solutions to all these challenges. Pulses could play an important role in this transition, having nutritional and health benefits, low environmental footprint, and positive socio-economic impacts as well. What is required to promote and support the production and consumption of more pulses? This question is particularly relevant now, since 10 February is the World Pulses Day.
In November 2019, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
described Zimbabwe – a country once hailed as the bread basket of Africa – as a state on the brink of man-made starvation.