The nation will not be able to meet any of its economic targets and there is nothing we can do about it because we cannot control the pandemic
We have seen wars. We have seen famine. But nothing comes close to the profound impact of the global outbreak of the coronavirus on the human civilisation.
Just take note of what is happening now: communities are being locked down. Industries are kept shut. Schools are out. Airlines operation has dropped by 70-80 percent around the world. Borders are closed. A good number of people around the world, including in Bangladesh, are working from home.
Economists have already warned of a global recession. Growing economies have shrunk to the basics, circling around food, health care and living security. People in this situation would not buy fashion products or cars or travel to see exotic locations or dare eat bat soup or pangolin meat.
No war or famine in recent history had stopped humans from flying airplanes or travelling to another country or stopped factory productions across the globe. No war made people from all over the world restrict their movements in their own localities. No war forced people of the world to wear masks or use hand sanitiser frequently.
All of these are happening now because of one virus outbreak that has already claimed lives of over 11,000 people and affected 166 countries.
The Bangladesh government had not been proactive to handle the virus outbreak when the news came out in February. Instead, it had been reactive. Now the problems are here, it is taking some actions. We are not sure if these actions are enough to contain the spread of the virus in the country. But it's not just up to the government alone.
The people of Bangladesh are in general highly resistant to behavioural changes. You cannot stop people from committing public nuisance, spitting everywhere or throwing garbage indiscriminately. Our people in general live in an unhygienic way and would not normally follow hygiene even when options are available.
But the fear of the coronavirus has forced a good number of people to at least try to keep their hands clean. If you go out in the street, you will see a good number of people wearing masks.
With the global economic cycle severely disrupted, human consumptions have fallen drastically. On the good side, according to BBC, carbon monoxide mainly from cars in New York has reduced by nearly 50 percent compared with last year and the emissions of the planet-heating gas CO2 have also fallen sharply. Emission from China, which is the largest polluter of the world, has also dropped significantly. The coronavirus is actually helping some restoration of the Earth that we have already over-exploited out of our greed.
On the bad side, the coming months will see a large number of people lose their jobs. We do not know when this pandemic will stop and we do not know if the regular economic cycle would be back on track ever. Therefore, if the situation persists, people will face an unprecedented level of hunger and financial crisis. And we do not know if the government alone can handle the situation with all its might.
The situation will force the nation to redesign its economic goals of attaining a certain GDP growth rate. Because this is not happening this year. The nation will not be able to meet any of its economic targets and there is nothing we can do about it because we cannot control the pandemic.
Human beings are a successful species because during the evolution, human beings were quick to find ways to avoid extinction. Just like in the past, human beings are now working very fast to find a remedy to the virus. But even if a vaccine is found, the world's consumption pattern will never be the same.
We should prepare ourselves for a prolonged crisis; brace ourselves for a hard economic impact and find ways to ensure how to keep feeding people during the crisis period. We should be aware that this is the end of the globalisation as we knew it.
When the pandemic is over, there will be a new order. Recovery will be slow, therefore entrepreneurs should be prepared for lower profits.
Remember that this pandemic is an outcome of greed: eating wildlife in China is a status symbol and this virus came from either eating bat or a pangolin. The world needs to proactively resist environmental abuse more seriously. The world should leave wild animals alone. The world should consume products wisely so that the Earth remains a liveable planet for us. Remember that the Earth does not need us, we need the Earth.