What Will Kill First?

Businesses have been suffering and reeling under the impact of the lockdown enforced due to the Corona Pandemic. Although the Indian Government has announced a 20 lakh crore stimulus package for the Indian economy, the small businesses and the daily wage earners continue to struggle. The majority are left questioning as to what will kill them first, the Coronavirus or hunger?

People are being laid off jobs continually. Businesses are closing down. The underprivileged without savings have been left relying on the substandard government rations and subsidies. The middle class continue to suffer a lot as they are neither eligible for the rations yet they continue to be laid off their jobs. People who are testing positive for corona and recovering are being treated as a social outcast and are being asked to stay away from the office. The economy is stuttering with a record low growth. People in the private sector are being to asked to do the usual job at a fraction of their earlier salary to help the company to recover the losses the company has suffered. Even though the markets are slowly opening up, the customers are staying away from the fear of contracting the deadly virus. The popular markets and malls are recording the lowest footfall they have ever seen.

People are dying and some are traumatised having to stay put in their house month after month. Depression and anxiety are becoming alarmingly common in society. People are only buying essential commodities and luxury items are being shunned. With low and uncertain streams of income, people have stuck to only buying daily essential commodities. The stock market has gone for a toss with record low Sensex and the share price of companies plummeting. The tour and travel industry have been suffocating and will continue to suffer for the years to come. It will take all the industries a lot of time to return back to normalcy.

The educational institutions have been rendered moot with all of them shut with no classes in their institutions possible. The exams are being cancelled and the students and their guardians are finding it extremely difficult to pay off the monthly fees. Some institutions like Don Bosco Liluah, St.John school based in Howrah, a city in West Bengal have made relaxation in the fees structure to assist the parents in this time of financial crisis.  However, the schools are suffering from a paucity of funds. The corona crisis has led to a financial emergency in almost all of the sectors in the country.

No one knows how long it will take for the world economy to recover even if a vaccine for Covid-19 is made available. The devastating impact of Corona has led to the loss of lives, daily livelihood and scarred the 21st-century human civilization for life. The daily wage earners and the migrant labourers are suffering a lot. Some have already lost their lives due to hunger and some have lost their lives in the process of having to travel back to their villages.

Everyone is hoping for the nightmare to end soon and for the world economy to get back on its feet and keep moving ahead. Some people keep stressing on the fact that they would rather die from the virus than die of hunger. Thus they continue to risk their lives of travelling for their jobs to earn their daily bread. The pitiable condition of India is only
deteriorating daily with India climbing to the 4th position in the list of Covid-19 positive cases. As Rahul Gandhi rightly pointed out, India is on its way to winning the “wrong race”.