The Covid-19 generation

There is still time to look back and learn from the lessons history has to offer

Editorial April 20, 2020
The Covid-19 health crisis has not only left an indelible mark on human life but also reconfigured the way we live. In recent weeks and months, we witnessed the impact of the super spreader on financial markets and vulnerable industries such as manufacturing, tourism, hospitality, and travel. But while we document the economic impact and overall human suffering caused by this global pandemic, we might be ignoring thousands of children who could die due to the global economic downturn triggered by the pandemic. And tens of millions more could fall into extreme poverty by the end of this global health crisis. According to UN estimates, more than 350 million children across 143 countries, who rely on school meals for daily nutrition, now have to look elsewhere.

By now, what started as a test for the global health system, has successfully exposed the cracks and inequalities in our system of life. While children infected with the coronavirus are more likely to have a mild illness, the aftermath of the disease leaves this young segment of our society exposed to the stark reality of the post-Covid-19 conditions. Another devastating impact of the health crisis is the disruption of the continuity of learning, especially disadvantaged children who tend to be the hardest hit by school closures. While the focus of the Covid-19 response is mainly on health systems, the fast spreading virus is already having a devastating impact on children beyond that.

This is a challenge that governments around the world will have to respond to — more in developing countries than those that have better education infrastructure. By relegating this issue to the background, we might end up with a generation that will forever live with the indelible mark of Covid-19 on their lives. There is still time to look back and learn from the lessons history has to offer. The Ebola outbreak should have prepared the world to deal with our current nightmare — the Covid-19 pandemic.


Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2020.

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