Impact of the Covid pandemic on society
The Covid-19 pandemic was one of the most dangerous and long-lasting outbreaks the world has ever experienced. The virus was first noticed in China towards the end of 2019 and began to spread rapidly throughout and across other continents. After a short while, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a state of emergency and cautioned all nations across the world to take extra care. This marked the beginning of social disruption that no one knew how long it would last. Worst is that the disease resulted in several deaths across the world. Current statistics released by the World Health Organization (2022) reveal that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused over 14.9 million deaths across the world. On top of that, the pandemic also meant that people’s lives would never be the same again in various aspects. For instance, people had to change their social interactions and adopt new patterns of behavior in order to prevent the pandemic from spreading further. Admittedly, the pandemic was like no other since it caused disruption of social behavior and caused negative effects on the global economy.
Impact of the Pandemic on Society
Once the WHO declared a state of health care emergency, several countries invoked lockdown procedures in making efforts to curb the spread of the virus. The consequences of the lockdown meant that businesses could not be conducted as usual. For instance, companies dealing in the import and export sector were unable to operate efficiently and meet their targets. This resulted in low profits and huge losses for such organizations. Consequently, high rates of unemployment started to creep in, and several nations, including the United States, began to feel the impact. According to Antopova (2021 the rate of unemployment in the United States reached 14.7% in April of 2020. Similarly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022) also revealed that over 16.9 million people were rendered unemployed during the coronavirus outbreak. It is important to note that unemployment was not only felt in the United States but also in economies across the world. Moreover, several businesses and companies were also shut down due to the covid-19 pandemic. A good example is the hotel and tourism industry, which had to be shut down to avoid social interactions. Several hotels closed since they could no longer host their customers within their premises, and only those who offered take-away services were able to survive though they struggled to stay afloat. On the other hand, the tourism sector was also affected since international and local travel was restricted by several governments across the world.
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Besides unemployment, the pandemic also led to increased cost of health care. During that time, several hospitals became cautious regarding their admissions, and the cost of acquiring health care related to the disease also went up. As a result, most people who were infected could not be able to afford the expensive cost of care. This resulted in increased loss of lives. Also, an increased rate of unemployment meant an increased cost of living since many people who were rendered jobless were unable to afford a daily living.
How Social Interactions Changed
The pandemic outbreak meant that people had to adopt new social patterns and behaviors. The first aspect that marked a change in how people interacted socially was the initiation of social distancing. Once the method of spread was determined, health agencies like the WHO and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised people to maintain social distance in order to avoid spreading the virus. As a result, social gatherings were stopped, and people avoided even avoided shaking hands. Public access areas initiated the one-meter distancing rule and restricted too many people from accessing a facility at a given time.
Subsequently, restrictions were also felt in public institutions like schools and universities. As a result, public learning institutions ranging from elementary schools to universities were shut down for a long time as strategies to learn online were being established. Afterward, several learning institutions resorted to full-time online learning in order to compensate for the time lost and at least keep the learning activities going. Apart from the closure of schools, business organizations also resorted to remote working as a way of adhering to the government’s directive. This saw many people companies resort to online meetings in case they needed to strategize. Also, business activities like buying and selling online increasingly went up. Several customers shifted to online shopping since they were afraid of social interactions that could result in increased infection rates. Due to the increased preference for online shopping, companies that did not have such platforms were forced to either level up or shut their businesses.
In conclusion, the pandemic came at a time when the world did not expect it. As such, despite the preparations of the health teams, the pandemic had significant negative impacts. Nonetheless, it led to increased awareness regarding the possibility of the occurrence of another pandemic. Additionally, businesses were also able to explore other methods of operation like working online, which proved to be viable even after the effects of the pandemic had reduced.
- Antipova, A. (2021). Analysis of the COVID-19 impacts on employment and unemployment across the multi-dimensional social disadvantaged areas. Social sciences & humanities open, 4(1), 100224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssaho.2021.100224
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, June 10). Effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic (CPS). Retrieved August 3, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/cps/effects-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic.htm
- World Health Organization. (2022, May 5). 14.9 million excess deaths were associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. WHO. Retrieved August 3, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news/item/05-05-2022-14.9-million-excess-deaths-were-associated-with-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-2020-and-2021