How Has COVID-19 affected the Nations and Markets Across the Globe?

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Is the world prepared for the changes brought by the coronavirus pandemic?

Humankind is at war again. This time it is versus a virus causing COVID-19. In nearly six months, the coronavirus managed to cause major disruptions in the social-economic balance of our lives. Almost every nation had to bear the brunt of this pandemic. COVID-19 transformed how we earn, interact in the world to our new priorities when shopping (i.e. masks, protective suits). Although our initial ignorance about coronavirus caused severe ramifications that resulted in markets crashing to a large number of positive cases, one can be sure that some impacts are more prolonged than others. This refers to industrial shifts, job market, and other industry-related issues.

We had faced our biggest financial crisis by the end of the 2000s decade. This global meltdown (Financial Crisis of 2008) caused by the extreme credit crunch, high mortgages, predatory lending, fraudulent underwriting, and more, shaped the world’s political and financial ecosystem in the following decade. UK’ Brexit referendum, massive job layoffs due to recession, Donald Trump winning the US Presidential elections, China gaining on to become the new superpower, are significant examples that dotted the 2010s. The world was boiling in frustration and anger.

And now we are caught up in times that are already proclaimed as the deepest recession in the last 150 years. To make the situations worse experts predict that total recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 may not be possible until FY21-22 as of now. Further, the effect on different nations is varied as are the responses to the coronavirus. While, quarantines and lockdowns have become ubiquitous, but even then there is high variance in their severity. Countries like India, South Africa are seeing new cases in thousands despite strict lockdown while South Korea managed to contain the coronavirus without the necessity of any such restrictions. The impact of industries and businesses vary too. Healthcare found a sudden demand while e-commerce was stopped entirely for a couple of months. This crisis is far from over and is not in any manner the same for all.

Although know we know how pandemics have brought our lives to stand still and presented changes like social distancing, work from home. We know, too that there will be economic scarring, in the form of collapsed businesses, severed international ties, outmoded capital and lost skills, and therefore long-term economic losses in output and productivity. We are also aware that mere dialogues and the tag of a developed country did not prevent the massive loss of lives nor saved economy nor jobs. The fragile supply chain network, deficit healthcare industry was exposed, while the need for a country to be digitally advanced was highlighted. Some nations will emerge from the pandemic with much higher deficits and debts than previously expected and that central banks will own huge proportions of that debt. Despite these all, we are yet to discover a promising vaccine or drug against COVID-19.

Though we are still estimating the blow to the market loss, and the job sector, few more things are likely to occur. First will be the development of diverse and dispersed import and export hubs and factory units. This is mainly because when coronavirus first reared its ugly head in China, the global market was affected due to most of the companies concentrating their units there, and China acting as the largest exporter of goods. With that, there will be a tremendous integration of supply chains after the pandemic.

Next is the accelerated endorsement of technologies that promise higher safety along with opportunities for greater social control. Then, citizens may witness polarization of politics and heighten conflict among the nationalist and protectionist right and the socialist and progressive left. Besides, there is a possibility that major tech giants will be forced to be under and follow state-imposed rules for political control. There will also be huge dependence on banks to bridge the gap of economic losses of the nation in the form of debts and deficits.

Finally this time, there might be actual steps taken to manage climate and environmental-ecological issues like the ban on poaching and consumption of wildlife. All these changes will be in view of being prepared for another probable global crisis like COVID-19 pandemic and channel a nation through such tough times. While suffering would not fade away soon, we must do whatever we can and prefer the safety and protection of our citizens in all terms in the long run, henceforth.