The Social Impacts of COVID-19

Photo by cottonbro via Canva

My name is Izora. I’m a student at the British School of Tashkent. Seeing the world turn its tables, at fifteen, was a great shock, but its social impacts cut deeper.

Our current relationship with the pandemic has caused drastic changes to everyone’s life - from extravaganzas to a more humble spot on the couch. As opposed to the other pandemics our beloved planet has survived through, this situation has brought: a tenacious international mindset, a rigorous desire in charitable support, and the rebirth of Mother Nature.

However, were all the negative aspects of COVID-19 necessary to achieve these positives? Was there no lively way to do this hand-by-hand, nation-by-nation?

There is now. And it starts here - with a change.

An Online Pandemic

With the world becoming more digitized, it grows to be a more vulnerable place. Almost anyone can post something on what many people call their “life”.

Ironically, the very “life” online that we cherish has put millions “offline” for good. Google’s medical qualification suggests that almost any symptom leads to death, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) a new battle has begun called the ‘“infodemic” of misinformation’ from the press.

Comments such as injection of disinfectants, exposing oneself in high intensity of sunlight, and mass consumption of alcohol to be cures are just as harmful to a person as to the virus, let alone save you from it. 

It has come to my attention that much disinformation is sunbathing on platforms that haven’t yet been able to update their security restrictions. While some mentions of our current situation are relatable and humorous, there is still a borderline to keep as these platforms are in reach of many gullible minds that have attempted to try these false remedies. 

With nearly six million cases confirmed, imagine how many unknown cases there are? Who are probably trying to cover it up with the “cures” that have been cooked up with the spice of ignorance.

It cannot be stressed enough how this virtual pandemic has exacerbated these problems. And it is now our job to build a community that chooses to escape the dark sites of lies and follow publications that are medically certified. 

Sadly, this isn’t an end to our many problems. Xenophobia has branched into a new level of violence amid the COVID-19 outbreak. People have labelled the virus with an ethnicity, attacked Asians, and harassed them through social media. 

Staying at home makes almost the whole world equal. Staying healthy, sane, and not becoming claustrophobic is what we all strive for. 

The extremes of this situation are supposed to help us unite to support welfare, not mainspring a racial pandemic. Abandoning our moralities can cause a whirlwind of consequences - from children being stabbed to teenagers kicking an Asian woman; how can this be justified? This isn’t only racial slurs but has now escalated to physical harassment and possibly even murder. It is an unacceptable act in any light that is shone on it and is equally intolerable to any ethnicity. 

Thankfully, movements have been created to stop this brutal battle. The US establishment HateIsAVirus  focuses on spreading awareness, educating the community on how to respond to hate crimes, and raising $1 million to small businesses who were affected by COVID-19.

With ‘over 5 million impressions from organic influencer posting and community partnerships’, they hope that we can lead the way out of this pandemic with ‘more compassion, kindness, and love for another’ by quitting to be a bystander and standing ‘in solidarity’ with all the communities our world holds. Their symbol advocates the importance that ‘we’re not the virus, we’re part of the solution’.

An Economic Pandemic

COVID-19 served a cold dish for workers and families. 

An unpleasant deja-vu of the Great Recession has caused 20.5 million to be unemployed, a plummet of living standards, and a cut-back in salaries and dream vacations. 

Although another worldwide recession was highly unlikely, only a few touches need to be made to adapt to the social distancing criteria. The establishment of new jobs, encouraging investments, and ensuring unemployment insurance might sound like a tired cliché for these issues; however, all this would help the people facing their personal recessions and could begin online. Noting that some fields will still suffer, such as tourism, alternative jobs could be generated such as online teaching webinars for those who want to pursue themselves in these careers post quarantine. 

With massive help from charitable kindness, the world is trying its best to sustain all its majorities and minorities it occupies. Celebrities have also joined together to support the end of hunger worldwide during these tough times by offering exclusive prizes for a donation. 

Expressing gratitude to Bill Gates, Jack Ma, Alisher Usmanov, and many more huge donors who are helping out during this crisis. Millions have been donated for the health of our population, but what is left unknown are the small heroes that have also supported a sincere initiative for our welfare. An example in my country is Ahmad Melibaev, who has supported frontline doctors and guards by delivering 8000 meals around Uzbekistan. His response to the change of objectives of businesses post quarantine is to focus on how people are benefited as ‘People - are the most important asset’. 

A Cure

Growing up in the West whilst having origins from Central Asia has gifted me an opportunity to see the world in a mix of colour and enlightenment; it sincerely breaks my heart to see and experience so much despair and dreadful outcomes. It genuinely breaks my heart to see hatred consuming the oxygen of public discourse. And it immensely breaks my heart that we haven’t yet joined forces as one to come up with a cure. 

A cure to prevent: more innocent deaths, hatred to mankind, and the termination of the future flourishing generations.

It’s definitely more than a handful, but there are 7 billion people out there living their lives. We necessitate for a future where every single person can prosper while celebrating their beautiful ethnicity and righteous morals. 

We need a team, and you’re recruited!