Essay on The Pandemic

The Pandemic

A pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”.

The last time a pandemic occurred was in 2009, with the outbreak of Swine Flu, which killed hundreds of thousands of people. In December 2019, a Novel Corona virus, called Covid 19, resulted in the outbreak of a respiratory illness.

Since its discovery, the virus has spread globally, causing thousands of deaths. It had an enormous impact on the lives of people all across the world. The virus was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illness in the city of Wuhan, China.

On 30th January, 2020, the WHO declared the Covid 19 outbreak a global health emergency and by the 11th of March, 2020, it was officially a pandemic. The term Covid 19 is sort of an acronym, derived from “Novel Corona Virus Disease 2019”.

The outbreak of the disease has had a deep impact on the way we perceive our world, interact with others and live our daily lives. The rate of contagion and the patterns of transmission has threatened the very existence of human life.

The safety measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus required social distancing, lockdown, case detection, isolation, contact tracing and the quarantine of those exposed to it. On 24th March, 2020, a nationwide lockdown for twenty one days was announced by the government, affecting the entire 1.3 billion population of India.

As a result, in India, all educational institutions and almost every commercial establishment had to be shut down. International as well as intra-state travel was banned. India suspended all tourist visas, as a majority of the confirmed cases were linked to other countries.

The lockdown was extended in phases post those 21 days. It forced people to remain confined within their homes and virtually all professional, personal and economic activities came to a standstill. Restrictive measures aimed at curbing the new Corona virus pandemic changed lives in drastic ways.

Parents working from home, with kids stuck indoors for weeks, found the experience overwhelming and exhausting. The sudden change caused a high amount of stress to everybody. Many migrant labourers, deprived of their work and daily income, faced difficulties in relocating back to their native places.

It had terrible consequences on the economy and widened the socioeconomic inequalities that divided the country. Normal life stalled, everybody felt lost and dreadful. In this unprecedented scenario, the front line workers emerged as heroes, with doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, transport officials, essential service providers and cleaners, all coming to the forefront to prevent the spread of the disease and to attend to those infected.

Braving great odds every day, many of them contracted the disease and perished. The pandemic did have some unforeseen positive outcome. Amidst all the crisis, with the proliferation of the virus, all industrial activity and human exploitation of natural resources stopped completely.

This led to pollution levels plummeting and nature rejuvenating itself. At home too, lockdown had its fair share of advantages. Families found grace in getting to spend quality time together and rediscovered the love and care that had eroded over time.

With the world facing the Corona virus crisis, the pandemic has wreaked havoc and altered human lives forever. Its impact and the untoward consequences will be felt long after the virus diminishes. Yet, in times like this, hope is a powerful healer.

Mankind stands united in its struggle against the pandemic and life will surely triumph. To quote Anne Frank, “I don’t think of all the misery, but the beauty that still remains.”