We are in World War III a war without guns and destruction of property but causing more damage than all wars, that what Covid is doing to the world. Disaster, pandemic, and war can destabilize everyday social arrangements and assumptions, and catalyze profound social change. This pandemic has the potential to change society for the better if we are able to seize this opportunity. On a wider scale, humans are devastating the natural world, causing the extinction of thousands of species at an ever-increasing rate. Now, nature, in the form of a tiny virus that particularly threatens humans, is giving us a taste of our own medicine. The virus-like earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters – are reminding us that humans are also part of the natural world.
Facing up to mortality prompts us to reevaluate our lives. There are key times in the life course when this is likely to happen. One is the mid-life crisis, another is when entering old age – people look at what they have done so far, and may find themselves content with this, or decide to change, or regret that it seems too late to change.
The pandemic may cause some to review their lives while they still have enough decades left to act on their review. Not only whole societies, but some individuals may decide to live in new ways.
How Many People Die Each Day?
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the media continues to rattle off statistics at full force. However, without a frame of reference, numbers such as the death toll can be difficult to interpret. Mortalities attributed to the virus, for example, are often measured in the thousands of people per day globally—but is this number a little or a lot, relative to typical causes of death?
Cardiovascular diseases, or diseases of the heart and blood vessels, are the leading cause of death. However, their prominence is not reflected in our perceptions of death or in the media. While the death toll for HIV/AIDS peaked in 2004, it still affects many people today. The disease causes over 2,600 daily deaths on average. Interestingly, terrorism and natural disasters cause very few deaths in relation to other causes. That said, these numbers can vary from day to day—and year to year—depending on the severity of each individual instance.
Nearly 166,000 people die per day worldwide, based on the latest comprehensive research report. Which diseases are the most deadly, and how many lives do they take per day?
Here’s how many people die each day on average, sorted by cause before the onset of Covid:
|#1||Cardiovascular diseases||48,742||#11||Road injuries||3,406|
|#4||Lower respiratory infections||7.010||#14||HIV / AIDS||2,615|
|#8||Diarrheal diseases||4,300||#18||Parkinson disease||933|
The Road to Recovery: Which Economies are Reopening?
COVID-19 has brought the world to a halt—but after months of uncertainty, it seems that the situation is slowly taking a turn for the better. There are some key measures of the extents to which 41 major economies are reopening, by plotting two metrics for each country: the mobility rate and the COVID-19 recovery rate:
COVID-19 Recovery Rate
The number of recovered cases in a country is measured as the percentage of total cases. Data for the first measure comes from Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, which relies on aggregated, anonymous location history data from individuals. Note that China does not show up in the graphic as the government bans open services.
COVID-19 recovery rates rely on values from CoronaTracker, using aggregated information from multiple global and governmental databases such as WHO and CDC.
Government support: Despite the clear danger that the global economy is in, there are also reasons to be hopeful that this worst-case scenario can be avoided. Governments have learned from previous crises that the effects of a demand-driven recession can be countered with government spending. Consequently, many governments are increasing their provision of monetary welfare to citizens and ensuring businesses have access to the funds needed to keep their staff employed throughout the pandemic. In addition, the specific nature of this crisis means that some sectors may benefit from it. E-commerce, food retail, and the healthcare industry provide at least some economic growth to offset the damage. Also, a crisis-induced movement to online activities (working from home, purchasing goods online, contacting family, etc.) can be observed. It gives an opportunity for IT solution providers to increase their market shares.
Analysis of population to Deaths per Million in Countries: India ranks 108I
|Name of the Country||Total Population
|Total Deaths||Total Deaths / Million Population|
The pandemic has taught us to protect nature; invest in health; ensure a safety net for the poor, and enhance global cooperation. We must try and ensure that these positive developments are sustained so that we do not revert to the old normal, but adopt a new normal vis-à-vis nature. As our ancient concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) tells us, there has to be a safety net for the most vulnerable sections of society and the virus has forced us to revisit family relationships and to extend support and affection, particularly to the elderly.
Facts on Indian Population
- India is the world’s second-most populous country with over 1.38 billion people;
- Approximately 17.85% of the world’s population are Indians, which means 1 in every 6 people on Earth live in India;
- By 2050, the population of India is estimated to reach 1.63 billion, overtaking the population of China;
- India’s yearly birth rate is much higher than the entire population of Australia;
- There are 445 million students in India, which would be 3rd largest country by nos.;
- Approximately 330 million Indians will be over 60 years of age by 2050;
- India is second next to the USA when it comes to speaking English with around 125 million people speaking the language;
- The population of India, at 1.21 billion as per the 2011 Census, is almost equal to the combined population of 206 countries put together.
The Indian Economy: recovery from COVID 2.0
The health shock of COVID 2.0 seems to be seeping into the economic domain and attenuating the pace of our V-shaped recovery. After coping with the first wave of the pandemic, the economy finally showed some signs of recovery from Q3 FY-21. The second COVID-19 wave which had hit the country hard, now being pushed out for things to get back from more than half of the Indian states in lockdown. This brings major headwinds to the economic recovery and downside risks to the possible green shoots.
A growth mirage
One needs to be cautious before reading into the economic growth numbers that are reported on a Year-over-Year (YoY) basis, especially those which are reported from March-21 onwards. The low base effect will continue to impact economic data in the coming months and will obscure the true reflection of the Indian economy. YoY-based growth parameters like quarterly GDP figures, Index of Industrial Production (IIP), and external trade would yield stellar, outlier performance for these months, which is why one should read Q1-Q3 FY22 numbers from a different perspective. An alternative approach could be to compare the FY22 numbers with pre-pandemic years.
Industrial performance measured by IIP grew by 22.35% in March-21 in comparison to last year. This number is inflated due to the low base, so when the index was compared with the pre-pandemic year, it turns out that IIP showed a contraction of 0.5% YoY in March-21 over March-19, reflecting the slowing down of industrial performance. Similarly, merchandise exports grew by 197% in April-21 based on a low base. Export performance when compared to the pre-pandemic levels has grown by 16 percent YoY in April-21. This data suggests that though industrial activity slowed due to the domestic headwinds, export growth still firmed up reflecting a steady global demand. Within the domestic economy, the second wave has disproportionately hit the unorganized sector of the economy.
A strong K-shaped trend
The initial months of the first wave had adversely impacted both the organized and the unorganized sectors of the economy. However, in subsequent months, the organized sector adapted to the new normal with alacrity, while the unorganized sector, which was limping back to life, has now been survived another blow. This idiosyncratic impact of COVID has deepened the dualism between the organized and the unorganized sector; this is also evident from the data which reflects these sectors.
Considering the organized sector—in just four months, India added a dozen start-ups in the coveted unicorn club. In the capital market, the market capitalization of listed companies has jumped 60 percent from April-20 to April-21. The GST collections have remained above the one trillion marks for seven consecutive months, hitting an all-time high in April-21. What we observe in India is in line with the global trend where those who are at the top of the economic pyramid have consolidated their wealth. But things have not been so sanguine for those at the middle and the bottom of the pyramid.
In terms of employment, as per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) survey, the economy was in its worst phase in May-20 with a 24% unemployment rate. By January 2021, this figure recovered to around 7%. However, in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic and subsequent regional lockdowns, the unemployment rate in May-21 has scaled to 9%.
These downside risks are no longer ephemeral and can potentially have a significant impact on our recovery process. Consider this, the economy at the end of FY 20 was at INR 145 trillion (GDP at constant prices). Further, it is estimated that the economy will contract by 8% due to the impact of the first wave. Now, with a low base, most forecasters had estimated the economy to grow between 11%–13%. However, in light of the impact of the second wave, most have revised their forecast to 8–10%. What is worth noting is that a sub 8.6% performance will leave the economy worse off than it was in March 2020. To overcome these downside risks, the government needs to coordinate its pandemic management strategy—not only with respect to the second wave but also the subsequent ones.
Going back to normal
Finally, there is the fact that the crisis may have a clear end date when all restrictions can be lifted – this seems to be possible when the majority of the global population is vaccinated against COVID-19 to have psychological support for getting things back. It could then enable the global economy to experience a sharp rebound once the pandemic is over. There are still many variables that could affect such an economic recovery – for example, a reduced supply of goods and services to meet lower demand could create mid-term shortages and price increases – but there are some reasons to think that, with the right mix of appropriate government responses and luck, some of the more apocalyptic predictions may not come to pass.
Road to Sustainable Recovery with Secured Governance
Last year, the governments had to make a binary choice between livelihoods versus life by the panic spread all around. We must move forward towards sustained and real economic growth as against a V-shape or K-shape or W-shape projections, it is paramount for all to understand the facts on the ground and form a cooperative strategy to start the reincarnation in the coming months which has started in right earnest. We need to grow forward boldly without fear and get things back on track. As per these facts, it is to be noted that the US, UK, etc had 20 times more deaths per million and have restarted their lives, and India which had far better resilience needs to be back as the growing giant as per global expectations. In this new challenge, Secured Governance should play an active supporting role. As per SG doctrine of Self-sustained growth through Techno-Economic growth through the Valuation created by them tapping all hidden potential. So, strategies for all sectors to grow back to keep up with the expectations must be initiated with full zeal. India has taken up the leadership role as the whole world is expecting it to become the development, manufacturing, and above all the Knowledge hubs. The covid era has to be kept behind to have this in the right spirit with cooperation from all parts of the country and active supports from Overseas Indians which already started, and we should see progress in all fronts to be seen.
Dr. P. Sekhar,
Global Smart City Panel,