Lockdown 2020

On Dec 31, 2019, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) China office received the first reports of an unknown virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China.

Where we stand?
What started as an epidemic mainly limited to China has now become a truly global pandemic. As of today, we stand at 3.66 million cases and 257k deaths worldwide and India is seeing a spike in cases with each passing day with infected patients almost nearing 50k and death toll at 1,700.

How it started?
The disease seems to have originated from a Wuhan seafood market where wild animals, including birds, rabbits, bats and snakes, are commercially traded through illegal markets. Coronaviruses are identified to jump from animals to humans, so it’s evidenced that the first people infected with the disease were a group predominantly made up of stallholders from the seafood market that contracted it from coming into contact with animals.

Impact on Indian Economy
The quick spread of coronavirus has not only disrupted the global economy but has also triggered a complete shutdown from 25th March in India. The sectors that are most severely impacted are transport, hotel, restaurant, and real estate activities. The World Bank last week stated India's economy is expected to grow 1.5% to 2.8% in the fiscal year 2020-21. This will be the slowest growth rate recorded in India since the economic reforms of 1991. The coronavirus pandemic will cause unprecedented shock to the global economy and India is expected to face a loss of 7-8 lakh crores during the lockdown.

Impact on Mental Health
These are strange times where the world has come to a standstill and we are confined to the four walls of our homes. The isolation and fear in this lockdown era is driving an escalating nervousness among many people. Not just those with pre-existing mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and OCD, but also the mentally stable normal population who are struggling with new levels of loneliness, absurdity, uncertainty and helplessness.

Where are we headed?
A vaccine for coronavirus isn’t around the corner. To bring vaccines to the market is an extremely slow process and any potential vaccine will have to pass multiple stages of testing for safety and effectiveness by conducting animal and human trials. Once we know a vaccine is safe, we will need to manufacture it at a high scale which is enough to use across the world and distribution to the entire population on earth. Being a realist, it’s likely that any vaccine is around 18-24 months away and this pandemic is not ending anytime soon and our world will function differently after the lockdown is lifted.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives!!


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