The Spanish Flu had lasted for about two years (1918-1920). Given the advancements in the scale and sophistication of medical research, our generation can hope for a much speedier eradication of the ongoing pandemic (unleashed by the coronavirus) by way of a vaccine.
However, even if the miracle shot materializes soon, the aftermath of the pandemic is bound to be harsh. Simply put certain employment sectors like tourism, hospitality etc that were flourishing before the pandemic are never quite coming back. While the conventional corporate work setups are gradually going to be a thing of the past, small and medium sized businesses in almost every sector are going to be witnessing a shrinking cash base in the coming months and years owing to a variety of factors.
This scenario will automatically translate to massive job losses and salary cuts. Needless to say, many people are going to plummet into poverty. Wasteful and frivolous expenditures are going to be curtailed by every sensible and discerning individual. "However, now the world needs many more people who will share their money and resources with lesser fortunate people," says Rimjhim Sharma, a sociologist based in Mumbai. "Donating money and essentials to individuals is required in the same vein as donating to social causes, " she adds.
In the north eastern states the first heartening steps have already been witnessed. Earlier this month, a cooperative society from Manipur had manufactured and distributed 10,000 face masks to healthcare workers free of cost. This has set an inspiring precedent and now nearly 43 different centres in Manipur have started their contribution towards manufacturing face masks. In Assam the Rural Women Technology Park (RWTP) of Jorhat has also engaged the rural women to prepare face masks, hand sanitisers and liquid disinfectants. These shall be distributed among the poor people in neighboring villages free of charge.
A cooperative society in Manipur has recently manufactured 10,000 face masks and distributed it free to COVID warriorsFit NorthEast had spoken to a couple of people to understand what they feel about the spirit of giving at an individual level. Pulokesh Mahanta, a retired bank officer of Guwahati shared an interesting insight. " I used to donate for social causes like animal and child welfare. But now I shall donate ration and if possible a little money to a family I know who has lost their sole breadwinner to COVID."
Mithu Sengupta from Shillong says, "This Durga Puja instead of buying clothes, shoes or jewellery I shall give extra money to my maid so that she can utilise it for running her household. She has lost many homes that she worked in because of the series of lockdowns."
If all people in their individual capacity think compassionately about people around them, the world will indeed become a much better place. Probably this is the lesson that COVID 19 has come to teach us. The human race shall eventually heal with the vaccine. However, it remains to be seen if we shall heal from our greed and selfishness.
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