Covid 19 has had a growing impact globally and has been declared as a pandemic as a result of its destructive nature. It started in 2019 in Wuhan, China and it spread rapidly to all parts of the continent affecting both developed and developing countries. The rapid spread of this pandemic came with deaths , economic instability, social problems to mention but a few. This research seeks to enlighten on the socio-economic impact of this pandemic globally and it’s shocking but noticeable benefits.
Economic impacts of covid 19
1. Primary Sector – Agriculture and allied activities
In terms of the primary sector which includes Agriculture, Covid 19 had a negative impact on agriculture . Which is regarded as the backbone for other countries for example Zimbabwe to mention but a few. Agriculture has a huge contribution on the GDP of most countries. There was no labour due to migration of laborers as a result of the pandemic . With the lockdown having imposed laborers migrated back to their respective homes and farmers could not produce as much as a result .
The restrictions on mobility also impacted on Agriculture because farmers could not transport their produce without documents which permits them to do so making it difficult for farmers especially those that deal in horticulture with perishable produce .Thus, there is a setback on the agricultural sector which then negatively impacts the economy globally.
2. Manufacturing Sector – Secondary Sector .
The secondary sector being the major contribution of GDP and employment was equally affected increasing the strain on the economy. This is mostly due to its link to other sectors in the economy. This automatically means that it is inevitable for an increased strain on economy. This sector is impacted by demand and supply disruptions as a result of the pandemic . Thus if demand is low the manufacturing sector does not contribute much to the GDP . China had been the epicenter of manufacturing accounting one third of total manufacturing over the world as a result of the cheap labor in China but this was affected by the increase in the number of covid cases which saw the closing down of a lot of manufacturing industries in a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic . This was also accompanied by a lockdown globally affecting the manufacturing sector which is the major contributor to the GDP.
3. Service Sector -financial market and Institutions
Looking at the service sector, it was also impacted negatively. By service center we discuss about banks ,tourism , aviation. The stock market has also been affected as a result of disruptions in the supply chain , the capital market sector has been affected . The financial market which has an important role to play during this crisis has also been having problems globally. The banking system is inadequately capitalized. The fact that other sectors of the economy are being affected by the pandemic banks is also facing the brunt. Other service sectors like aviation, tourism, and transport are also affected by the pandemic as a result of the strict mobility measures imposed globally, this means that the generation of foreign currency has been affected as tourism has been restricted as a result of the lockdown and aviation restrictions.
Education has also been affected as a result of the closedown of learning institutions and for other countries they are resorting to online learning which is not accessible to everyone . This causing a major setback on the education sector.
Societal impacts of Covid 19
1. Gender gap and inequality
Covid 19 has brought with it a sense of inequality on the basis of gender a notable example is in India where there is loss of jobs for women while man are kept employed which is somewhat a biased drop in employment. This is not only in India but also in many countries where women are the first preference for job drops . Which is as a result of the pandemic companies are not able to employ more people because of the decrease in profits as a result of the loss of employment for most women.
2. Health crisis
As a result of the focus on minimizing the deaths and spread of the pandemic, there are shortages of doctors in hospitals, testing services, health equipment, and beds. The spread is rapid to an extent that equipment is not adequate for the infected populations this is mostly in urban areas that are densely populated. In rural areas, there is a lack of equipped doctors to cater to the rural population and these are the people who are mostly less informed about the virus. Information to them is not readily accessible so as the medical facilities
3. Domestic violence
Domestic violence has seen to have increased as a result of the pandemic and as a result of the lockdown imposed. There is an increase in unreported cases of domestic violence against women especially in rural areas because women are scared of their husband’s and family members . It has been seen that Domestic violence against women has increased more than the pre lockdown times .
4. Job loses and poverty
As a result of low production in industries and companies as a result of the pandemic, there is a growth in job losses, and the informal sector that already receives low wages are also affected because they have lost their jobs. The growing unemployment has also caused poverty and has increased poverty in most parts of developing countries.
Positive impacts of Covid 19.
Though the negative impacts outweigh the positive impacts of covid 19 it is safe to appreciate the notable positive impacts.
Though it has brought much destruction there is a positive impact on the environment in term of quality of air , water and the environment itself . As a result of the lockdown the air is less polluted and much cleaner , low industrial work has decreased deposits of industrial wastes in water bodies .
Globally crime rate has decreased as a result of the restrictions of mobility and lockdown and curfews but there is a scare that the results of the pandemic may increase the crime rate .
Response to the impacts
Various measures are and should be taken to reduce or curb the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic .
· Take explicit measures to boost the economy of the developing countries
Because the developing countries were already having economic strains, covid has increased this and there is currency instability, thus there should be a debt relief provision and pension funds provided to developing countries.
· Waive Sanctions , sanctions should be removed in order to allow countries to access medical facilities from other nations and food supplies
· Strengthen International Public finance provision
· Support for the most vulnerable
· Strengthen Human rights and focus on inclusion
Covid 19 has had a destructive impact globally and it is very vital for countries all around the world to come together and help each other in sustaining the effects of the pandemic which are constantly increasing as the spread of the virus increases. The socio economic part being the most affected is to be given more attention and response in order to curb the impacts of the pandemic.
Author : Pirayikunashe Samkange , Parul University student , Vadodara , Gujarat