Letter to the Editor – World Economic Crisis Due to COVID—19 — Apocalyptic  Warning 

 

Sir,

Mr Varghese Pamplanil's erudite article World Economic Crisis Due to COVID—19 — Apocalyptic  Warning  dated 28 May 2020 is very informative and clinical. 

At the same time it only (including the experts he has quoted) spreads gloom without any cheer.  What more doomsday forecast do we need when the world especially countries like India are already pushed to the wall with no other option but to fight to go forward and survive? I would have liked possible antidotes too for making a turnaround from this morbid state of affairs, over and above his calling a spade a spade.  It is uncharacterstic of a strong-minded man like him to abjectly surrender to fate "IN THE LONG RUN WE ALL ARE DEAD."  I had expected he would delve into his rich reservoir of  four-decades' expertise in the Reserve Bank of India to suggest positive measures to counter this economic slide, brought about in the main by China and its accomplice World Health Organsation (WHO) which instead of bringing any succour continues to paint an ominous picture by giving Coronavirus a seal of permanence and even comparing it with HIV.  This includes warning those nations which are attemping to exit the Lockdown to open up economic and normal activities keeping intact the social distancing norms.  WHO does not have to earn a single dollar – it thrives on donations from its members (reportedly four million dollars from the US alons – this has been suspended by the Trump administration for WHO dancing to the tune of Chinese script).

Mr Varghese has though suggested injecting the economy by direct cash transfers to the bank accounts of the poor and migrant workers. He has also very rightly suggested eco-friendly, cost-effective pre-fabricated houses for the masses.

What about Preventive Health Measures like Yoga, Exercise, Swimming, cutting down junk foods, eating organic foods as far as possible, to build one's immunity.  In the absence of the right combination of medicines or a viccine which is not on the horizon, ultimately it is one's immunity that will stand in good stead in the Coronavirus Pandemic or for that matter in any epidemic. Preventive Health Care will help us boost our immunity & mobility.  It will considerably reduce the cost of ever-increasing medication and fall a prey to multinational pharmaceutical companies for which India is a huge market.  Without the spread of epidemics in India, how will these  companies survive?  It is like keeping  alive war-like situations in India, the Middle East and in African countries to boost sale of destructive weapons.

Indians are known for their resilience and innovative skills.  With all due respect to Mr Varghese and the experts he has quoted I am sure these two inborn skills will make us counter all doomsday predictions.  In these times of the Pandemic, we have been drenched with daily dose of alarming analyses and predictions. 

Admitting that in the post-COVID scenario, the world will head more for the Gig Economy (a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs), what we need now is experts, including Mr Varghese, who can give us viable labour-intensive suggestions (agriculture, pisciculture, cottage industries) to effectively combat, if not overcome, the debilitating impact of economic slowdown hastened by COVID-19. I would call it CHINA-WHO19.

Isaac Gomes

 

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