It’s been nine months since the novel Corona Virus, also referred to as SARS-CoV-2, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. We have come a long way since then. The fight against Covid-19 has so far been a mixture of success and failure. On one hand, more than 1.7 million people have succumbed to the deadly virus; on the other, 43.7 million have recovered. On one hand, the global community is inching towards vaccine development, Pfizer and Moderna being in final trials phase; on the other, the virus is mutating at an equally rapid pace, putting into question the effectiveness of the aforementioned vaccines. The enforcement of strict lockdowns throughout the world contained the virus to a significant extent. However, as soon as the restrictions on movement of people were lifted, the movement of the virus became severer than before. Adding fuel to fire is the appalling condition of the Third World. According to WHO, only 38 pc people in the Third World are following WHO’s safety guidelines of social distancing and mask protection. Simply put, by not following the safety guidelines, we have provided the virus with sufficient ammunition to start a rampage.
The ‘globalized’ world is connected today more than ever. Interestingly, however, the same globalization has emerged as the mechanism of virus transmission, which continues unabated to this day. A tiny virus has exposed the fissures in the global economic system based on free trade and market Capitalism. With the closure of borders, enforcement of lockdowns and limitations on trade, the economic structure has been shaken to its core. It is interesting to note that globalization is being touted as both the assailant and the victim of Coronavirus.
Even though the development of vaccines is music to people’s ears and a ray of hope when uncertainty abounds everyone, we should not ride the high horse. The difficult phase has only started. 7 billion people mean 7 billion vaccines. The production of vaccines on such a large scale will take time. How much? No one knows for sure. The next step, viz. distribution of vaccine, is another mountain to climb.
Moreover, the Pandemic Politics instigated by the United States, hurling blames of exporting the virus on China and cutting of funding to WHO amid a pandemic, goes to show that politics still gets prioritized over the welfare of masses.
The fight against the virus is far from over. COVID-19 has been instrumental in uncovering our vulnerabilities and showing how badly prepared the global community is for a pandemic. Developed and developing countries alike have been struggling to deal with it. The virus had WHO biting its nails. It took the organization three months just to make sense of the virus. Much work still needs to done. As long as the vaccine is not finalized and distributed throughout the world, state governments must do all in their capacity to impose safety guidelines in order to curb and contain the movement of virus. It will slow the mutation process. States should stop blaming each other for exposing the virus and instead work towards creating effective distribution mechanisms for vaccine. Last but not least, a thorough and functional global health response framework must also be charted out. Only through mutual cooperation can we defeat the virus. United we stand, divided we fall.
Author: Sheihryar Asif
–Writer’s view may not necessarily reflect views of the Moderate Thoughts Research Center.