Covid-19 Pandemic May Have Put The World a Decade Behind In Socio-Economic Development

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The pandemic emerged not only as an unprecedented challenge to the public health system but also a blow to the staggering economy of low-income countries. Most governments were quick to issue a state of emergency while others struggled with adopting a right plan to tackle the situation at hand. 

With cases peaking in one country and then the other, we saw closing land borders, bans on inter-city travel, school and college closures, as well as restriction on most non-essential businesses. 

Although the impact of Covid-19 was wide and prominent on many fields, social and economical disturbance had to be one of the most profound consequences. 

The Truth: Economic and Financial Systems In Majority of The Countries Were Simply Not Ready! 

We take pride in discussing how online portals and websites have made it easy to shop from the comfort of our homes. In fact, the trend of online shopping and digital payments was spreading like wildfire even before Covid hit the face of the world. 

But, were we ready for what followed? 

Using one thing as a tool for convenience is one thing while adopting it out of necessity is a completely different story. Online banks, digital payments, e-checks, online shopping, etc, had been here all along but the pandemic, and its subsequent restrictions, meant that we had no other choice. 

It is still a debate whether financial systems were ready to face the change or they merely struggled to survive. 

The abrupt alteration in how things were to be operated meant the banks, financial institutes and credit unions had to re-devise their strategy and probably invest in elements that were not a priority before. 

From Social Perspective, Lack of Access To Basic Necessities Was Most Troublesome

Since the issuance of emergency, some regions faced increasing food prices or even lack of medicines or staple products for day to day use. Most of the families then adopted their own methods to deal with the shocking experience. 

Loss of income also means that many will not have the resources to access basic necessities or to purchase medicines. 

In low income countries and those where technology had not been well-established prior to Covid-19, another major issue was the disruption of the educational system

Some switched to tools like radio, TVs and mobile learning apps while others had to bear educational losses all along the way for up to 2 years now. In fact, a number of surveys had pointed out that less than 50% of the households with school-aged kids had access to relevant technology. 

Coming Back Stronger From The Impact of Covid-19 Is Difficult Yet Possible!  

It isn’t a surprise that the pandemic hindered development in many areas around the world. However, at the same time, it sufficiently taught us what matters most in the long run and what does not. 

For example, banks and relevant institutes had always been dedicated to providing best service to their customers. To make it more convenient, some banks have launched a non-chexsystems protocol that allows those with poor credit scores to open accounts easily. Additionally, the pandemic made authorities realize how important it would be to move such tools online for quick access. 

Similarly, the idea of online education had been there all along but the infrastructure was never prioritized over traditional modes. Amidst the pandemic, the world learned more about the art of sharing the screen and interacting over virtual channels. 

Hence, it all comes down to adjustment! Although we were not ready for the abrupt change, there is nothing stopping us from settling with the new mode of survival over time.

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