03 May 2020

Covid19- Creating new paradigms for us.

7th March 2020, we had the first Covid19 case in the country. Today, as we are worried about the on going community spread, hardly anything I would be able to do other than tell you to BE SAFE and follow the instructions of HPA.

Staying home for more than a month, I was just thinking how the Covid19 would reshape us! Definitely it would bring a lot of changes, which we cant be sure, yet let me put some of the areas that Covid19 would reshape our ways, thinking and probably lifestyle. Three major areas, Social, Economic and Political impact I shall look on.

Social
With the outbreak of Covid19, we were also faced with some realities of our society. The dedication, commitment and yes the patriotism we see by the frontline teams are worth mentioning. The Health sector, MNDF and MPS and HPA  are giving invaluable  and the much needed service. Thank you, and we are proud of you. Good news is many of us realized the importance of them.

Majority of people listened and followed the instructions of the authorities, yet the number of people who ignored were enough for us to look back and see how our values, ethics and self responsibility was lost. The way we deal with expatriates became a concern for authorities. I say so because the 30-50 or more people in living in a 10ft 10ft "cage" (rooms they call) was never a surprise, nor the "illegal" 60,000+ was a secret. With this we have at last realized the mistake. Hopefully we should correct soon including mistreating them and allowing employers to exploit their basic rights including the salary.
We too need to consider when and how much we can expect leniency. We break parking rules, get the sticker and yes wait for government to wave off the fine. Same happened when we were asked to stay home. We didn't because we knew government will not throw us to a cell or give a heavy fine. Supercool we are!

High time we teach our young generations that humans are to be respected not by nation, or by position, rather every human is to be respected irrespective of nationality, religion, culture, education or any other factors. Yes an area we seriously got to work on.

Economic
The immediate and long term impact on our economy would be huge. If world fails to find a solution to Covid19, we as a small nation will suffer unimaginable loss. Lets pray that the doctors and scientists working day and night to find a vaccine reaches success soon.

With this pandemic, the way we think of and operate our economy definitely would change. Covid19 will hit each and everyone of us, thus it would bring a change to our whole life style. People would consider using the spare land in backward to grow some fruits or vegetable. We shall try to minimize the overdependency for food on imports. End of the day, Covid19 proved that military, money, power and resources, nothing is working so well unless we have food security. Shall we try to bring farming/ agriculture to our classrooms(curriculum). That is sole place where nations change; the students and education.

Tourism contributes to 85%+ of our national income. This needs a change. We must diversify our economy. If we recall, with Sep 11, 2001 , we got the warning alarm and we ignored. Today we are forced to decide if we shall repeat the mistake or fix it.
We surely realized that a one hospital in the capital city is not the solution for a population scattered to 200 islands. Hopefully we would remember to invest a bit more on our health infrastructure and human resource.
Subsidy is the sweetest of all in this country! From kindergarten to bachelor's degree, our total medical bills, part of our electricity and water bill, staple food, text book until Advanced level, breakfast at school  pension for senior citizens are some of the great things we get!
Just one question. For how long? Definitely not everyone in a nation should be entitled to all subsidized welfare programs of government. I believe it is time for us to reshape or restructure the way tax revenue is spent in the form of subsidy.

Political

Covid19 is putting many to tests. Many I see are judging the politicians specially council members and MPs with the way they act and react towards the pandemic. Mind you, the already declared candidates for upcoming local council election! Your going to stay as a candidate for additional 8 months and given our typical way of asking financial and other benefits from candidates, I feel sorry for you guys as you stay 8 months away from elections. Don't disappoint them, and don't end up  bankrupt too ;)
With Covid19, I am sure we have more than ever before understood the importance of having educated and experienced people for responsible jobs. Imagine if the TAG (Technical Advisory Group) was those "party activists as we call", sure we will be in unimaginable disaster.

Another important aspect is our international relations. Our foreign policy might be same yet surely the perspective of general public is reshaped.  I don't know about government, surely when it come to general public, China has gained upper hand in winning people's heart over our "big brother India".

Another noticeable change that we can see, though often people are hesitant to speak out is our governing system. I have seen more than enough people question how far democracy has succeeded in a situation as this. Specially when countries often labeled as strange to democracy such as China, Russia, Singapore proved themselves more effective to handle crisis. Well this might not be very visible, yet definitely people are questioning on effectiveness of the system we have adopted. If such question comes, in long run, it might be more than a question.

These are some of the ways I feel our society and our thinking might be reshaped as we face post Covid19day; hopefully days that won't be long to see.

Photo: https://raajje.mv/72692