I ended my last article in these columns, nearly two months ago (Forum – Le Mauricien, 24/2/20 – ‘The time of judgement is fast approaching’) with the words ‘Coronavirus, possibly the spark to trigger a larger explosion, has raised fears worldwide…’ Back in February, I could only, not being a seer, speak of ‘fears worldwide’. But where do we stand as at today?
‘Unprecedented’. We cannot count the number of times this qualifier has been used to describe a multitude of scenarios relating to different aspects of daily life since Covid-19 started its rampage to wreak havoc throughout the Earth to disturb and disrupt daily living habits and activities that support our very existence as never before as the plague spread its tentacles to spare no one, defiant of frontiers and social distinctions.
As at now, no one can say for sure when the deadly virus will be vanquished, if at all possible, or even subside to manageable levels, notwithstanding Trump’s bragging the spread of the virus would have been checked by Easter, while nearly 2,000 Americans were hacked on that very Sunday and that lockdown and confinement would be lifted in May, even at the risk, in the words of one of his critics, to trade lives for dollars.
But we know for sure, basing ourselves on comments by experts of world standing, who have yet to assess the full extent of the damage, that the quasi-planetary lockdown and confinement have severely undermined the world economic order, even of those economic powerhouses and, undoubtedly, badly ‘maimed’ the economically weaker states. Some experts have already estimated it will take years to be back to normal inasmuch as some claim it will be more than three times the estimated cost to put everything afloat again. And what in the meantime? Not hard to guess, untold miseries and sufferings for millions, if not billions, already hard-hit in normal circumstances. Hence my reference, in my last article mentioned above, to the triggering of harder times ahead.
But, be that as it may, we are heading for times that will make Covid-19, however unprecedentedly damaging it will finally turn out to be, by comparison, look like a walk in the park, when the likes of lockdown and confinement will be of no avail. Exaggeration? Scaremonger? What would be the advantage when I have myself had my lot of stress and sacrifices during the confinement, not even knowing when it will be lifted, partially or totally.
But, to the sensible reader, I may, for my defence, quote the words of the Apostle Paul, the most prolific contributor to the Greek Christian Scriptures of the Holy Bible, when he admonished his fellow Christians: ‘Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?’ (Galatians chapter 4, verse 16).
But, still it is, we shall see what we shall see. Time will tell!
April 16, 2020.