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Published On: Wed, May 13th, 2020

‘Held by the Jugular’: Covid-19 and global milieu

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By Alao Daniel Moradeyo

It is no longer news or its item of some sort, that mankind’s precinct is currently under a siege from a fiendful wellbeing interloper, whose outright target is the vicious extermination of the existential component of man. In other words, in vogue is the ravaging and marauding novel pathogen virus christened Corona Virus by medical experts, also known as Covid-19, whose devastating effects-cum-imprint on humanity is quite humongous and exponentially unprecedented at the moment. Since the outbreak, and inauspicious heralding of this lethal contagion in the Chinese City of Wuhan which is believed to be a “wet market” wherein both dead and live animals including fish and birds are sold; sometime ago, late last year, slithering into early this year. It has been an aura of armageddonic hurling of grisly onslaught on mankind.
Quite over three months or thereabout, its startling meteoric and sporadic spread-cum-sprawling notoriety across the global space, has spawned the overtly swift global public health emergency reactions, and exigent responses to combat and curb proactively, and to stem the afflictive tide and the scourging proclivity its evinced. As the pathological nomenclature conferred on this ‘adjutant of death’ by the reputed and globally clouted Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) portends, the respiratory infection’s etiology is from animals, although humans are currently the spike agent as a result of the ceaseless contacts that characterizes the social space in terms of the cornucopia of interpersonal reticulation. They adduced thus; Initial symptoms include fever, dry cough, tiredness, and a general feeling of being unwell. Other symptoms are emerging such as a loss of taste and smell and stomach problems. Worth noting, droplets from sneezing and cough of infected human beings are said to be vectors of transmission engendering and enhancing its rapid spread and the jolly ride of the dreadful symptoms it embodies. With the entire nucleus of humanity still aghast by the sudden eruption of the virulent pathogens, it has endeared cataclysm to the global social space in the last over trimester or more. Sadly, the scourge’s seething skein has caught mindboggling figures in terms of fatalities and mortalities recorded as well the snowballing cases of daily infections, underscores the reigning supreme locus of this ecumenical agent of death running ragged seemingly at the present, hapless humanity.
The pithy foregoing espouses the verifiable statistics of this unfortunate malady; culled from the W.H.O, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), as of 10 May 2020 well over 3.9 million confirmed cases (3,986,119) out of which (278,814) death cases have been recorded so far in over two hundred countries (213) since the first case was reported in China, December 2019. Thus, leaving mankind with a pandemic ridden global sphere, albeit transient and ephemeral. It is against this backdrop that the disquisition of the debilitating effects and the eliciting negative significance of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the global precinct will conscientiously take centre stage; with concise enunciation and elucidatory recourse to the socio-economic bearing of its damning consequences to humanity. Howbeit, this piece is not encyclopaedic enough; but however, a bit succinctly poignant and detailed. Tailored in tandem with the vast attendant realities of the global pandemic.
The emergence of pestilence, plague, and excruciating health challenges that are deadly in status has afflicted mankind in its millennia quest to survive, and to similarly win a living from nature, are as old as humanity itself. Put slightly different, humanity has overtime learned to cope with and to endure the tentative-cum-intermittent eruption of diseases, viruses, and a swath of pathogenic ailments since the inception of sedentary living. Sic, this global pandemic (Covid-19) is not anything different from the usual experience that has characterized the existential realities of the human race. Worthy of note, and a much plausible case-in-point that aptly illustrate the aforementioned, is the biblical Israelites, who were afflicted with deaths, spurred by the venom from the bite of a viper, for foundering short of the dictates and dogmas that God commanded their adherence to, through his prophet Moses. Similarly, the biblical Egyptians equally got their own fair share of a plaguing malady, due to their refusal to let go of the Israelites who have been sojourning in Egypt for over four centuries, spearheaded by King Pharaoh. However, whether there is moral justification or not for both biblically chronicled scenario is not our subject of concern. There is no gainsaying, that should be thrutched to the vestibule of polemical discourses.
The foregoing case-in-points are aptly handy in relaying the niceties and staunch portrayal of how humanity has been bludgeoned by the incessant reckoning of pathogenically viral and epidemiological ailments. An asseveration of this countless of pandemic history synonymous to mankind as chronologically documented by the UK Telegraph paying crucial attention to the last five decades; was the outbreak of Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) that left humanity with scores of mortality between 2002-2003. Eight thousand people were infected while 800 fatalities were recorded. Again in 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) emerged with its own indelible casualties in the annals of mankind leaving 900 people dead out of 2,500 infected cases. Recall, the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in 2014, verisimilitude is the Lassa fever outbreak in 2018, similarly leaving humanity with morbid casualties to recount. However, it is pertinent to state that while both are geographically specific, Coronavirus is a different ball game entirely that knows no bound. That is, it is spatially transcendental. Thus, espousing the assertion that the epidemic of pestilence and plague of some sort is not an inchoating phenomenon to the human race.
Yet again, humanity has been beset and bedeviled by the outbreak of another novel virus called Corona Virus (Covid-19) which is a similar occurrence of its beinghood realities. From utter distortion of daily activities of mankind, to grossly truncating human lives in their hundreds of thousands across the nooks and dregs of the globe. It would not be an apparition of spaciousness, and crass spuriosity to aver, that all spectrum of human daily lives is haplessly trapped in the stranglehold of the ragged and riot running Covid-19. Thus, pointing to the fact of its traversal of social climes. A no respecter of geographical location be it the wealthy and more developed global North or to the impoverished and developing-cum-underdeveloped global South. A Social Class-cum-Status leveler. Little wonder, it was proclaimed as a global public health emergency. More so, the livelihood of individuals was being threatened, invariably taking a heinous toll on the socio-economic standing of nations (countries). Sic, coming to a denouement that, this novel pathogenic viral outbreak leaves ‘no stone unturned’ including the global economy, is not intelligibly out of place.
Having left humanity to grapple with the ill-fated wafting of morbid consequences and eventualities of its reigning supreme, with seeming insignificance in respite. This piece attempts a thorough and pithy perusal and analysis of raft of salient global events as occasioned by the sway holding mankind’s indignant adversary, adopting a lucid and succinct socio-economic lens for annotation. The Marxian school posited nimble wittedly, that of the social structures-cum-institutions crucial to humanity with conscious recourse to its survival, the economic structure appeared more pronounced, thus taking precedent over other subsisting social structures albeit they are intricately interdependent. According to the Marxian school of thought, the economic structure is adjudged the superstructure upon which all other extant structures stand or are built. In other words, what underlies the functioning and survival of humanity is the lever called the economic structure which when pulled, concomitantly, and wholesomely shapes the gamut of everything bequeathed to mankind. Putting it in perspective, the Marxian school of thoughts’ argument meticulously becomes handy and felicitous as a tool to analyze the severe decimation, humanity is currently suffering from the shackles and clutches of this death’s adjutant.
The outbreak of the Corona Virus is taking a huge toll on the global economy. Suffice to mention, is the rife in the prospect of a downward spiral of the global economy fortunes as forecasted by connoisseurs trained in that line of expertise. This is not farfetched from the ostensible fact, that the countries, needless to highlight, who are epicenters and most badly hit by the public health phenomenon are Honchos of the global economic space. Prices of crude oil on the international market has been plummeting, descenting, and dwindling unabatedly. Nosediving by 60 percent; Shattering and putting the global economy in shambles. Thus, spelling doom for monolithic economies prevalent and domiciled in the global south, whose main staple income is from exported oil revenue, with little attention and sincerity of purpose in terms of policies on the part of its helmsmen to enhance and enable diversification of multiple sluices of income generation as a Nation. According to an expert report published by a Nigerian based national newspaper The Nation on Sunday 12 of April 2020, an imminent economy furor looms on Sub-Saharan Africa whenever the scourge called Corona Virus ends. Thus, hinting countries within this geographical precinct; the recession is lurking around and they better incipient contrivance as remedies to salvage their various economy from difficult times in the offing. Or the whole thing gets exacerbated. Of significance, and worthy of mentioning, the Nigerian government under the auspices of its President, inaugurate a committee saddled with the task of coming up with mechanisms on stimulating the economy. Invariably, planning for a post-COVID-19 economy amidst the phobia of seeming lurking and likelihood of economic contraction which appears unavoidable at this critical moment, due to this global pandemic. To adduced that, the global malady has conspicuously prompted budget mutations across climes, is to saliently expound the indisputable.
However, paradigmatic precautionary and preventive measures and modalities were fangled by the global health body to combat and curtail the unbridled festering permeation of these public health eventualities, with cognizance given to the adoption and ratiocination adaptability to the peculiarities of each clime. Measures such as awareness and sensitization creation on the pivotal need of inculcating and inveterating personal hygiene discipline ( the won’t of constant hand washing using of soap and water as well as the use of hand sanitizers, etc) maintenance of social distancing, lockdown, and indefinite moratorium declarations were all suffice to ascertain the severity of an outright confirmation of the enormous acuteness of Covid-19 on mankind. It is important to state that, the outbreak of this novel virus has transmogrified dressing pattern because whatever an individual chooses to wear, it must by necessity be adorned and bedecked with nose mask, and other personal protective gears. More importantly, the usually sacrosanct social interactions are being starkly mutated and mutilated, manifested in form of social distancing, no shaking of hands much less of hugging or other forms of social intimacy that often accoutred and defines the esteemed social reticulation actions of mankind. No thanks to the severely rife inclement condition birthed by this global adversary. Largely, humanity is being incapacitated sedentary, confined, and consigned to a particular place. Not even within its own geospatial entities, but sheer untold restrictions and inhibition on its tremendous peregrinating cause across continents and beyond.
Alao Daniel Moradeyo is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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