What will the world learn from this pandemic that is threatening the entire globe? Where to start?
All research points to the corona virus and SARS virus all originating from animals. Natural animal pathogens exist in only animals kicking off illnesses that animals have the immune system to deal with and recover from. How do humans come into contact with these pathogens? Live animal markets or “Wet” markets where wild animals are placed into small cages together, mixed with domestic animals and taken to a place of trade. Consumers want to see a live animal before buying it to ensure it was fat and healthy so they cannot be sold dead or dressed in a plastic bag. These animals are bundled off and racked in stacks in these busy markets where they panic and stress and release their pathogens through body excrement and saliva. Humans then buy these animals and while handling them during slaughter, expose themselves to whatever pathogen is being transmitted. Hence you have an outbreak. So, UN has for ages being warning governments around the world to ban such markets and have only had resistance from traditional leaders and common folk. This is why they are still active.
The danger of this is that as a tourist you could be visiting a wet market in Brazil, Togo, China on Monday and on Tuesday the same week you can be meeting a friend to share your travel stories in London in a crowded restaurant. Hence you are the host, spreading what you picked up miles away 24 hours prior to your meeting.
This is one way in which a pandemic such as we are experiencing can start. We are all living this pandemic so nothing needs to be said about this for now.
What about after this? How do we go back to living a normal life?
Working from home. – I cannot substantiate this claim but have been involved in many conversations revolved around this topic before the virus hit us. I have heard that companies have carried out research among their employees and have tested the effects on people who operate from home, determining their own working hours, days they want to work and hence, how much time they spend with their families. I have heard that the pass rate of the employees children has risen, divorce rate has decreased, suicide rates have decreased and in some cases, the size of the family has increased. For years large corporate companies have used their HR departments to research this. All research has come up pro this idea of working from home.
Consider the stress relief on our roads as they no longer carry people to and from work. No rush hours, less driver rage. Consider the amount of real estate that could lie open if large companies empty the offices that would now be empty.
We are all, (yes, I am aware of those essential role players that need to go in daily) working from home as we have been forced into this current lock down situation to discourage the spread of this pandemic. My question is, how easily are we going to adapt to going back to the office?
Environmental Impact – I would like to use Venice as an example. Due to the lack of motorized transport on the waters of Venice carrying tourists around the canals sightseeing, the silt in these canals has settled and is most areas, washed away. Small schools of fish can now be seen in the clear water and the ducks, swans and geese have returned to the waters. Dolphins have been seen in places that they haven’t been seen for in years.
Home schooling – Schools and Universities were among the first institutions closed around the world. Students were forced to enter a time where they were trusted to do their own studying. Teachers and lecturers then found a way to use the internet to broadcast lessons and various models to their scholars and like that, students are back into school life but at home. How difficult will it be to get these scholars back into that routine again. Suddenly teachers are right up there in the hero division as parents now struggle to teach or assist their kids to study.
The day the schools closed in Ghana, traffic reduced by at least 45%.
Domestic impact – As governments force people to lock down and stay at home, families are now forced to spend time together. Most of the humour on Social Media stems from boredom of people with a sense of humour. Some of the quips are very entertaining but with others, there are underlying tones of guilt. Has this time of forced bonding made some of us realize where we were going wrong in our relationships with family members that we now have no excuse to repair and patch up the faults and work on the mistakes?
So many people are seeing the negative side of this pandemic, is there a positive side? Instead of just reading my blog, why not leave a comment, have a discussion, kill some time as \i would love to know what you think about all of this. Does it all have to be so negative when it only took me 20 minutes to think about this that \I have written?