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The Pandemic Times (Second Edition)

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

~Contributed by Nishtha Khushu and Tanishka Kapoor

And we're back with the second edition!

This time we have Nishtha Khushu and Tanishka Kapoor sharing their thoughts on the currently threatening situation.

Let's lay out the ongoing case. A startlingly huge number of 51,06,686 cases are currently active on the earth. Narrowing the view to our own country, 1,18,447 cases are currently active in India with 48,534 recovered cases. Now I would call that a positive recovery rate. Everyday, approximately 4,500 cases are reported in India.

As Nishtha says,

The novel covid-19 has not only infected beings, but broken dreams, pulled down the economy, left the world in dismay, but significantly united people against a cause? All coins are two faced, what face do we believe in, is the question.

Indeed, the current lockdown has given us a lot to think about.

To me, it seems like this time Mother Nature had enough and was through with us humans, a very cruel species, really. We all just got sent to our rooms, folks, face it.

Tanishka gives a little something about what will the economy face after:

"Speaking about the net impact coronavirus will have on the world economy, Raghuram Rajan said, "We have some data to extrapolate this. The Chinese economy went down by 10 per cent of GDP in the first quarter of 2020. The estimates for the US and Europe will be in the same magnitude. There will be a double-digit drop in the first quarter."

However, according to him, the exact picture will be clear only once countries start relaxing lockdown measures.

"We are looking at China to see if relaxation in [precautionary] measures will lead to an increase in the number of cases once again. Then the damage will be more lasting as if there are recurrences the measures will have to be tightened for longer," he said.

The key is to ensure a temporary shock doesn't turn into a more permanent shock. In other words, we don't shouldn't see a downturn which leads to firms closing down and when the coronavirus is finally brought under control there is much less economic activity as businesses don't start again," Raghuram Rajan added.

His advice for the Indian economy? "We need bridges between now and then. We need ways to get money to the most vulnerable (the poor, the migrants) so that over the period of the shutdown they can keep body and soul together," he said.

"We also need to keep small and medium firms which have suffered shock after shock from closing down if they are viable. This needs to be a careful decision as we have limited resources but we need to keep the viable ones alive. Similarly for large firms," he added.

Raghuram Rajan also advocated a temporary universal basic income to tide over the hard times"

Lockdown 4.0 ends on the 31st of May. Trains are running again along with a limited number of airlines as well. We hope for metros to start soon as well. Normalcy slows seeps back into our lives, making them a bit more dynamic than the last month. Scientists in every nook and cranny of the world are putting in every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to find a vaccine or a cure for this virus. Until then, we all must learn to make COVID-19 a part of our lives.

It's like befriending a snake, if you ask me. Fail to be cautious, and it's game over! I know the masks are pesky and the rules of "six feet apart" very difficult to follow, but that is literally our own way of survival right now. Come on, folks, a little heat on our faces won't hurt that much, will it??

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