Dilemmas posed by Covid-19 pandemic

The number of infections from the coronavirus pandemic is close to five million people globally, while the number of deaths has exceeded 315,000 since the epidemic appeared in China in December 2019. Today, Covid- 19 has spread in 196 countries and regions, according to World Health Organisation WHO) data.

The pandemic takes a massive toll in the form of dead and sick people, unemployment, corporate bankruptcies, slumping global oil prices and a worsening economic recession.  These issues constitute a challenge to global leaders, including US President Donald Trump, who is focusing his attention, with an eye on the November elections, on those perceived to be hostile to his policies. Not surprisingly, China, Iran with the World Health Organization have received great criticism from his end on a daily basis, while the US has threatened to cut off all financial support for the WHO in its belief that it stands with China on this crisis.

Today, America is the country most affected by this epidemic, with infections close to 1.5 million cases, and deaths surpassing the 90,000-mark.  This virus has paralyzed the movement of people and the commercial and economic movement of many advanced industrial countries alongside America.  Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Canada have each witnessed thousands of cases and deaths, as have other countries in Asia.  In Europe, infections have exceeded 1.9 million cases, and the disease has spread to Latin American and Caribbean countries, along with many Middle Eastern countries. The Gulf Cooperation Council countries witness numerous infections and deaths daily, despite the precautionary measures taken in this regard.  Africa has reported over 2,700 deaths and more than 85,000 cases, according to WHO data, which confirms that the disease is now spreading from the north to the south.

The WHO reaffirms the need for countries to implement social distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus, among other preventive steps. At the same time, we believe that the disruption of commercial and economic interests and activities leads to the spread of more unemployment, the accumulation of debts to institutions, the loss of business by young people, and the difficulty in finding a livelihood.  Everyone today is living in a confused state, especially those who make political decisions about what must be done to satisfy the masses and provide them with healthcare, livelihoods, and welfare support at the same time.

It is impossible to do business as a result of precautionary measures, the decision to keep people in their homes without income impacts their means to a livelihood.  Between these two imperatives, life goes on and leaves behind many deaths, hospitalisations and economic problems, with little sign of hope in the absence of a vaccine to fight this disease. [haidedawood@hotmail.com]