In recent times, there was never one reason due to which each one of us are forced to undergo a serious self-quarantine turned forced quarantine with authorities putting a total Lockdown for 21days from 25th March for entire India.
When the issues started in China’s Wuhan Region in Dec-2019, I am sure no one would have thought of such a serious global impact. The impact started getting noticed sometimes in February, with total lockdown in China and the COVID-19 shifting its epicenter to Europe. And now the world is forced to come to a grinding halt.
The only importance on hand for every Political and Business Leader is to minimize the damage at any cost. When I say at any cost, I mean the leaders who have always been ambitious, growth-oriented, innovative and target-oriented are now, compelled to roll back on their targets and work towards minimizing the damage to mankind. This approach is the only option available.
COVID-19 is going to leave a huge scar on the economy which is not immediately repairable. Though there is no real estimate on the global economy due to COVID-19, I’m afraid it may take at least a couple of years to return back to the December 2019 situation in terms of economy and employment. I am afraid that the impact of this COVID-19 may be so bad that we may hit recession very very soon and the recessions may be worse that of 2008-2009, although youth (particularly fresh graduates) has been finding it difficult to get employment for past a year or so this COVID-19 will further affect them.
The real losers due to this fall out are not the big investors or the big industrialists, instead, they are the ones who are at the bottom of Pyramid, who struggles to make the two ends meet; to name few sectors, daily wage laborers, construction workers, contract employees, aviation sector, transport sector, etc.
Global Supply Chain activities are not spared either due to COVID-19 situation, with many major countries under lockdown, the movement of goods are really stuck, few countries like India allow freighter planes, but once the shipment arrives at a destination, the end transportation is not available anymore. For ocean shipments, many countries are not allowing birth to the ships coming from the countries which have reported many COVID-19 cases, or it is allowed to enter port only after a specific period of quarantine. This further impacting the movement.
As and when the situation improves, the first sector to get the huge demand is the transport sector due to the demand-supply gap, and we all have to be prepared for a surge in transportation cost of all goods due to demand-supply situation. Further factory production cost will also significantly shoot up due to the extraordinary logistics cost, which may force manufacturing units to go slow on production, which may impact further employment generation and ease of recession situation.
COVID-19 will also result in extreme shortage on revenue generation for the government which may force the government to shut the developmental activities or at least postpone the developmental program, but soon after the situation limps back to normalcy, I do expect governments to go with full throttle and public spending for the informal employment generation for contract laborers or daily wage laborers. It may also goes with the current Indian Government’s Flagship program like Gram Sadak Yojna (Rural Road Building Program), railway infrastructures or road building, or even the previous government’s Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
I take this opportunity to salute the Heroes like Doctors, Health Workers, Drivers, Sanitation Workers, Police Force, people who are supporting for food of daily wage laborers and poor, etc. who are supporting all of us at the risk of their own lives.
Last but not the least, a small but significant greener side of the COVID-19’s impact is with 21 days of LockDdown, I do see a huge improvement in environmental conditions, drop in air pollution level, cleaner rivers, lesser garbage on the streets. It was heartening to see the video wherein dolphins returned to the canals of Venice in Italy, picture of huge number of pigeons on the streets of Connaught Place in Delhi and return of small sparrows at Bangalore bylanes.
With a prayer that each one is saved from impact of COVID-19 and we all go back to our works with a broader smile, I sign off.