Thinking back to the history of pandemics, I just found out that in 2011 Nathan Wolfe of Stanford University and CEO of Global Viral Forecasting gave the world a book called The Viral Storm: The Dawn of A New Pandemic Age. . In this book, he writes: “We live in a world full of risks of new pandemics. Fortunately, we also now live in an age with the tools to build a global immune system. This huge but simple idea is that we should and can do a much better job of predicting and preventing pandemics. But the really bold idea is that we might reach a point where we become so good at it that we mark the ‘last plague’ – a time when we are so able to catch and stop pandemics that we don’t. won’t even need the word. “While the risk has become a reality for the world, the other savings conditions are still a dream; we are still very far from qualifying CIVID19 as” the last scourge “.
The magnitude and dimension of the current pandemic is such that there is no aspect of society that has not been negatively affected – interpersonal relationships, ways of functioning of society, modes of subsistence, health, education sector, domestic policy, foreign policy and what not. The negative effects are felt by all – the poor as well as the rich – with a scenario of worsening inequalities. Worse still, future performance capacity is negatively affected as the education sector is hit very hard. As the World Bank notes in its recent report on human capital in the time of COVID19: “In this crisis, the impacts on human capital associated with economic shocks are added to the reductions in care linked to service interruptions during the crisis. acute phase of the pandemic. As such, even a transitory pandemic can have repercussions for years to come. Children from disadvantaged families will be disproportionately vulnerable to all of these effects, thus exacerbating existing inequalities. …. For young children – those born during the pandemic or who are currently under the age of five – disruption of health systems, reduced access to care and loss of family income will result in increased child mortality, malnutrition and stunted growth. Because stunting and school results are closely linked, the pandemic risks lastingly delaying the learning of these children. [I]In low-income economies, today’s young children can expect their human capital to be up to 1% less than it would have been in the absence of COVID-19. At the height of the pandemic, nearly 1.6 billion children worldwide were out of school. For today’s school-aged children, the pandemic has meant that formal teaching and learning is no longer face to face. Since the ability to deploy distance learning differs from economy to economy and even within an economy, considerable losses in schooling and learning can be anticipated. Income shocks associated with COVID-19 will also force many children to drop out of school. The combination of these effects suggests that the pandemic could reduce the average number of learning-adjusted years of schooling by six months worldwide. … .. Without a strong policy response now, the negative effects of the pandemic on human capital will likely continue to reduce the productivity and growth prospects of economies for decades to come. In 20 years, about 46% of the typical economy’s workforce (people aged 20 to 65) will be made up of individuals who were either in school or under the age of 5 during the period. COVID-19 pandemic. …… That is, even if the pandemic is brought under control relatively quickly, the COVID-19 shock could still leave current cohorts of children behind for the rest of their lives. No company can afford to let this happen ……… When today’s child becomes a worker in the future, in many countries they may not be able to find a job. employment; even if she can, it may not be a job in which she can fully use her skills and cognitive abilities to increase her productivity. In these cases, its human capital can be considered underutilized. It will be in a context of heightened uncertainty. In this regard, a recent McKinsey report on post-Covid recovery recalls “The way forward is extremely uncertain. Will the stars align for economies after COVID-19 crisis? History tells us that deep economic crises have been followed by everything from stagnation or sluggish growth (for example, after the global financial crisis) to rapid economic revival (as after World War II), depending on whether the demand is strong enough to revive the economy. and whether firms take overall measures to improve productivity, especially in sectors large enough to affect national productivity. “