Is the world overreacting to COVID-19 crisis?

Written By: N S Venkataraman
Chennai Published: May 08, 2020, 03:03 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in India Photograph:( IANS )

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The day will come when the world would reconcile itself to the prevalence of COVID-19, just as it has reconciled itself to the prevalence of other ailments

From historical times, human beings have been surviving despite several types of diseases confronting them.  In such conditions, medical science was developed to safeguard human beings from diseases

In ancient India, there were reports of several medicinal practices and development of several types of drugs for the treatment of different types of illness, which were mostly based on natural products and not developed by the synthetic process. Traditionally, such Indian medical practices have been termed as Ayurveda, Siddha etc.

In other countries too, such traditional medical practices have prevailed under various names such as homoeopathy, Unani etc.

In short, the world has been living with diseases from time immemorial and has been responding to the diseases by developing appropriate medical procedures from time to time.

With the changing lifestyle of people, development of synthetic production processes for cosmetics, chemicals,  fertilisers, pesticides, etc. and environmental hazards created by industrial operations and transportation, promotion of new food items etc. newer diseases have also been steadily rising.

The medical researchers have not lagged behind and have been developing new drugs and vaccines to treat new and emerging diseases.

COVID-19 is the latest addition to the rest of the diseases in the world.

Huge international efforts have now been taken up to identify the root cause of COVID-19 and develop appropriate drug/vaccine to treat the disease.  

Given the past success ratings of medical researchers in handling other diseases, one can be hopeful that appropriate drug/vaccine would also be developed to treat COVID-19 patients.

While medical research has developed phenomenally, it has not been able to prevent the occurrence of the diseases, except in a few cases. Of course, in the case of polio attack, vaccines given to the children at the right time have largely eliminated the polio disease in the world.

However, this cannot be said about several of diseases such as cancer, influenza etc. which continue to occur at a very high level and are being treated.

A similar situation may prevail in future in the case of COVID 19 too, with medical researchers unable to prevent it but only treat it.

While the panicked world is still viewing COVID-19 with great fear and medical researchers are striving hard to develop treatment procedures, certainly, the day will come when the world would reconcile itself to the prevalence of COVID-19, just as it has reconciled itself to the prevalence of diseases like cancer, flu etc. and would also be prepared to treat the disease with appropriate procedures.

Possibly, after six months or so from now, when COVID-19 crisis would settle down, the world community would look back at the COVID-19 crisis and would wonder whether the world had overreacted.

In such circumstances, is it appropriate that the world economy should have been brought down to the level of stagnant or decelerating growth over several months in the year 2020, fearing COVID-19?

Due to such near-global lockdown, billions of poor people have been put to hardships, a large number of people have lost the jobs, many production centres are facing closure and appear that it would take some time for the world to recover from this losses due to lockdown, fearing COVID-19.

Today, it would look odd, if anyone would say that the world has overreacted to COVID-19 and sacrificed it’s social and economic interests.

As the days go by, perhaps, at the beginning of 2021 the world would realise that after all, it could have been a case of overreaction by the world community to the COVID-19 crisis.

In future, the world would add COVID-19 to the list of diseases prevailing in the world, treatment procedures would be evolved and some people would succumb and some people would recover. 

The world will move on,  just as it has been moving on even as it is confronted with diseases like cancer, flu, heart ailment etc.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

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