Byline: Zaheer Udin Babar Junejo-Hyderabad
KARACHI -- In the last 18 months, approximately 5 million deaths were reported due to coronavirus. Each wave and variant have had a stronger impact than the last one. Lockdowns have had a negative effect on the economy and disenfranchised our social fabric. Most countries around the world are still struggling to contain and manage the virus effectively. Pakistan has only recently gained a better understanding of the disease and introduced guidelines in line with the virus. Relevant authorities need to take measures and utilise resources to inform people that Covid-19 is now a part of our lives, and it requires precautions to be taken to avoid further spread.
The pandemic exposed the costs of living in cities. Overcrowding in cities is a major cause of high infection rates. It is, therefore, better to promote smaller towns with limited populations. The pandemic has put a strain on almost all sectors of the country whether it is the healthcare system or the education system. All the sectors have been under continuous pressure to survive. There exists a constant uncertainty for the future.
However, there have been some advancements during this time. Remote work has made virtual connectivity compulsory, the digital push has accelerated changes in traditional business models. The chambers of commerce may soon be replaced with cartels and internet-based trade channels. Digital currency is already replacing our traditional old currency models. The urban services sector is shrinking. Service structures require restructuring, doorstep, or virtual services. Along with social safety nets, creating jobs and designing opportunities for self-employment will be key in economic recovery. It is about time that the state strengthened its relationship with the people through incremental reforms and welfare programmes. We need to embrace the changes and open ourselves to innovation.