The reshaping of the future by the Covid 19 pandemic: an assessment of the impact on population and resources
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 11, Pages 6114-6121
AbstractThe WHO declared Covid 19 as a pandemic on the eleventh of March, 2020. This led to individuals, governments, institutions and businesses asking what impact this pandemic would have on the future. What imprint would this outbreak leave on human civilisation? Pandemics can alter the course of history. Pandemics impact people, governments, policies and economies. The pandemic has broken out at a time of significant demographic transition. 2020 was the first year in documented human history where the global population of people over the age of 60 is more than the population of children younger than 5 years of age. The richer countries have high concentrations of aging populations. Historically, pandemics have had significant impacts on cities and urban areas. Public health institutions, garbage collection, sanitation, scientific drainage and hospitals all developed to varying extents in urban responses to epidemics. The covid 19 pandemic has also brought about changes. In 2019, the United Nations reported that there had been a 33 percent increase in the population of migrants across the world. The international migrant population was put at 270 million. The previous forecast was for this population level to be attained in 2050. But the pandemic has slowed the growth of migration. The impact of the pandemic on energy markets was immediate and cataclysmic. Large parts of the global economy were forced to close down. The demand for petroleum fell by 25 percent in the United States. The demand for public transport fell by 70 percent in San Francisco, 60 percent in London and 80 percent in Italy and France between March and May 2020. Pandemics and changes in climate are inextricably linked. As humans encroach further into the wild, the United Nations expects more animal viruses to infect and affect humans. 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases originate in animals. 60 percent of viruses infecting humans come from wildlife and livestock. Zoonotic epidemics are triggered by flooding, climate variability and other extreme weather events linked to climate change. Climate change has also expanded the span of geographies susceptible to zoonoses. Even though this pandemic has brought to the fore these dangers, steps to effectively tackle climate change and to implement practices in agriculture that are more sustainable have halted. The global food system is responsible for fulfilling the nutrition requirements of 80 percent of the world’s population. This system has been greatly disturbed by the pandemic. 4 shocks account for this great disturbance: 1. The movement of agricultural goods has been disturbed by restrictions on transport. 2. Supply chains have been seriously damaged by borders being sealed and bans on exports. 3. Overall production has been reduced because of major disruptions in the supply of agricultural raw material, labor and services. 4. Food purchasing power has reduced dramatically because of job losses, especially among the socioeconomically disadvantaged sections of society.
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