Coronavirus: A pandemic turning into an epidemic?

By Mawra Irshad


Mawra Irshad
Computational Biologist, Focal Person to DHO, TTQ Islamabad

Coronavirus- the harmful disease has emerged as the biggest disaster for the world in general. In particular, developed and underdeveloped countries got affected much more as compared to the sane and developed countries. As well, the world economies have been hit hard by this pandemic and it has considered as the worst downturn in history since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Moreover, during this pandemic, International Monetary Fund has expected more than 170 nations to experience a steady decline, face recession in the economic powerhouse of the world which will devastate the stable grounds of the globe.

Further, when the disease is limited to the group of people and affecting people within the same community or region, is considered as an epidemic, but as soon as it gets transferred across international borders- state to state or continent to the continent it becomes widespread on an international level and turns a shape of a pandemic. The real problem is that viruses don’t know what a border is. Pandemics throughout history have remained badly effective and caustic but the novel coronavirus outflow has complexly shuddered the world like never before. If we go to a little history, the past pandemics cholera, bubonic plague, smallpox, and influenza- have remained the most brutal killers in the overall human history. But, they got administered properly, commanded appropriately, and ruled the roost.

Novel coronavirus which started from Wuhan- a city in China, spilled out promptly that it became unfeasible to be managed or governed properly by some of the nations. Even the world’s leading power- United States of America ceased to function normally in controlling the lethal disease. On the other hand, developed countries like Spain, France, Italy, United Kingdom, etc. also continued to go wrong in pulling the strings of the virus. In addition, despite the availability of resources and cognizance, they conked out badly. At the same time, the developing and least developed countries faced a sudden intimidating remark which could oust their existence from the planet earth as the COVID-19 contributed to toppling their financial insurances. It has threatened to undo their progress achieved towards sustainable development. They have suffered the worst effects and are less capable of enduring survival in such hard-hitting settings. In the time when the social and physical distancing has been imposed on nations and also on intra-national level, it has become hard for the homes where families live in cramped places, share a single room and also lack running water to wash hands regularly, to keep themselves safe from the hazardous infection.

Moreover, many of the poor families and even most of the unfortunate nations of the globe have no access to the luxuries coronavirus demands or to avail of its accelerated trends, like staying home, spending time with family, using expensive precautions to keep themselves safe, and maintaining physical distancing. Lockdown enforcement on the countries to curtail the coronavirus pandemic demands the heavy cost and not all states are prepared to afford that.

In Venezuela, countless hospitals, at times, lack soap and water. In Caribbean country- Haiti, according to government official statements, there are just a hundred ventilators in the whole country. People who live under poverty don’t afford laptops, a cheap internet connection, or a decent education to insert them in the global internet economy. It is becoming hard for them to survive the crisis. Covid-19 the crisis is much worse for the poor nations as compared to the rich ones.

The developed nation- New Zealand managed to combat battle with the novel coronavirus eliminated the cases by imposing a proper lockdown- streets and highways were empty there, everyone stayed home, shops were closed, it also shut down its borders with neighbors at the appropriate time, canceled flights, disinfected the areas, made public familiar with its damaging and undesirable consequences. And, the plan seemed to work impressively. Already the number of cases in New Zealand were low and the government acted on the suitable time with its strict policies which made it to the heights of success. It effectively snuffed out the virus. The resolute response of the states at appropriate time can lead them to become a bright spot during dark hours the world is going through.

Furthermore, after the case study of New Zealand, it has cleared that it doesn’t mean if one state has countered the worst enemy others will succeed too. Although It came out victorious but behind this victory there was the efforts of day and night, uncompromising rules, they burned the midnight oil, spent days in complete and mandatory quarantine, government took the charge enthusiastically and very much maturely, people believed in the government’s handling of pandemic and in return it didn’t disappoint them. The people living there felt fortunate enough to be the part of this Island country.

In addition, Singapore- a developing country which seemed to control the virus effectively has experienced an infectious second wave and China- which got back to normal life is once again underway fronting the flare-ups.

Following the elimination of hazardous virus in New Zealand and coming out with proclamations like states will deal with it productively and soon the world would be corona free is not good to indicate at this fragile situation of the globe. Even the much developed states’ crisis still hung in the air, policies crashed, they have lost all control over this outbreak and uncertainty prevailed which has taken their breath away in the most awful way.

In the countries where the pandemic is sliding over rapidly, their elected governments are unsuccessful in achieving the goals as they lack the strong policies, relevant administrative set of principles, absence of a general plan or grand strategy to maintain the control over the state and its citizens in order to battle against their vicious opponent. Further, citizens are also not under their government control, and in some nations, natives have lost trust in their governments which has created a sense of stimulation on the local level during the time of despicable occurrence of a plague.

Further, health emergency along with the destructive geo-economic crisis is affecting badly on the poor nations and the world crisis calls for the united marshal plan. It has swelled beyond an initial impression.

Besides, the concept of pandemic turning into an epidemic is continuously inviting derision as pandemic never turns or cannot turn into an epidemic in actual fact, a pandemic itself comes out from an epidemic factor. The world’s way of generalizing the pandemic that soon it would be limited to just a community and others would be free of its transmissible infectious agents is to astray the common citizens from the actual directions which lead to face the long-lasting impacts of this disease.

The normalcy has been terminated entirely or the international community has really blown it. It has made the COVID-19 pandemic a New-Normal for the world. All the former rulebooks about global norms, public health security, and mastery over what’s expected in terms of an outbreak have actually crumbled, everything got smashed and the international community could not able to revive the previous position and normalcy back to the world. It’s the capacity and coordination processes are very weak which has turned an epidemic into a global pandemic world is currently fighting with. Moreover, its strong response to a death-dealing pandemic is completely non-existent. It seems to lose its previous dynamism and the novel coronavirus has revealed its substandard policies and highlighted failures. As well, the push for the homo sapiens to survive the pandemic has become of preliminary importance during this period.

The overall the chaotic environment of the world stresses on the chaotic theory of an the international political world, and it goes like “a very small change may make the system behaves completely differently” and that is what the world is experiencing right now. Neglecting the epidemic in the very start, turned it into a global pandemic and the initial ignorance of the states, making them to pay the highest price in terms of everything.

Moreover, very small changes in the starting position of a chaotic system make a big difference after a while. a small change or error will make the prediction completely wrong. Since even a butterfly can make enough wind to change the weather, a chaotic system is sometimes called the "butterfly effect” and it is suitable to link to the current scenario of the world. As well, starting off a blame game during the already flimsy situation will not help out in containing the world’s crisis but the strong policies will.

In conclusion, the ruthless exploitation of coronavirus in the world has made much damage to the anarchic international system. The crisis demanded a response that was swift, rational, and collective but, the world leaders started the war of words which further aggravated the situation. The pandemic would not turn into an epidemic for sure but united plans will assuredly help in creating a stabilized world to live in. Generalizing the things by seeing a triumphant state coming out of novel coronavirus is not something to accept as satisfactory, behind the victory scenes, there is always a set of huge compromises which other states are not ready to fit in with.