Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 05:45 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 00:04 [IST]

A new world order

The Covid-19 pandemic, which started in late 2019, after the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of the pandemic, has been a defining moment in modern history. It has changed the world dynamics in ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago. As we approach the third anniversary of the pandemic, it is worth reflecting on how this global crisis has transformed our lives and societies.

It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of our global systems, from healthcare to economic and social structures. In the early days of the pandemic, the world watched in horror as the virus spread rapidly across borders, infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands of people. Governments and healthcare systems were caught off guard and struggled to respond to the sudden surge in cases.

One of the most significant impacts of the pandemic has been on the global economy. The pandemic has led to widespread job losses, business closures, and economic recession. The travel and tourism industries, in particular, have been hit hard, with many airlines and hotels struggling to stay afloat. The pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards remote work and online shopping, as people have had to adapt to social distancing measures.

The pandemic has also exposed deep inequalities in our societies. The virus has disproportionately affected marginalized communities, including people of colour, low-income earners, and the elderly. The pandemic has highlighted the need for more equitable healthcare systems, as well as social safety nets to protect vulnerable populations.

Three years later, the era of hourly headlines updating death and case counts has come to a merciful end. But the virus is still killing around 1,000 people worldwide every day, and it isn’t going anywhere.  As of 7 March, WHO has confirmed over 750 million cases of Covid-19 and 6.8 million deaths – widely viewed as a considerable underestimate by experts. The world’s choice to move on from the pandemic is reflected in the increasingly sparse data on case, test and death counts that once underpinned the breathless news cycle at the height of Covid-19’s assault. WHO has said it is not ready to declare an end to the pandemic, and some experts worry that the virus could mount a counter-attack. Covid-19’s continued circulation provides it with ample opportunities to mutate and become more transmissible by learning to sidestep immune responses.

It has also changed the way we live our daily lives. Social distancing measures, including lockdowns and quarantines, have led to widespread isolation and loneliness. The pandemic has also disrupted education systems, with many schools and universities shifting to online learning. The pandemic has also led to a surge in mental health issues, as people struggle to cope with the stress and uncertainty of the crisis. The importance of science and research has never been of so much prominence until the coronavirus struck.  The development of vaccines in record time has been a testament to the power of science and innovation. The pandemic has also underscored the need for greater investment in public health systems and scientific research to prepare for future pandemics.

As we look towards a post-pandemic world, it is clear that we must work together to build a more resilient and equitable society.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi