Side effects of COVID 19- Big gloom, little sunshine : Nitin Saxena

New Delhi:  The major side effect of COVID-19 is likely to be the high unemployment that will subsequently propel a series of low graded crimes ranging from mugging, pickpocketing to kidnapping. It will be followed by cases of suicidal tendencies among the youth which the psychologists say ‘is an example of shattered dreams of high ambitions’.    Another problem that may arise post COVID 19 is the heightened communal disharmony which may split the country into more regional disparities.

India’s reopening is not a matter of jubilation but a pointer to a  futuristic  fear of treading between life and death as the media has made the people  believe by  screening the datas of continual increase of COVID 19 positive cases that  normalcy is at a distant and it is very  unsafe to return to work.

The liquidity issue will be of concern and will be apparent after a month of shutdown lifting.  The retailers, particularly in garments, cosmetics, food sector, hotels, and the real estate will be hit as customers inflow will be cut by 67 per cent. Travel and tourism industry stands to loosing new clientele because the travel plans of almost 10 million high-end flyers and another 40 million middle-class travellers will be totally written off.  The most sought after destinations  have been afflicted with the virus The business, travel, will also be dented but not vanish totally.

Even if the tourism sector gets a boost, the kind of infrastructure that is required to accommodate the influx of tourists is far from satisfactory.  The low budget tourist will increase but with limitations of short travel and preferring to check in at low tariff hotels. The possibility of pay-and-stay facilities will come up in many areas to accommodate the tourists.

The aftermath of COVID 19 will not last more than 18 months and by that time the labour class that has migrated from the cities to their home-towns  may not return smoothly and may opt for their livelihood in the nearby towns.

After the ‘nightmarish’ exodus, the low wage earners will not like to get embroiled in a situation of a shutdown again.  They will also not be sure whether they will be gainfully employed if they manage to reach the big metropolitan cities.

Stories are aplenty about an economic boost to the country by the global brands which are looking at India as a safe bet to balance their slowdown and the silent consensus for boycotting China.  The hitch will be finding the hard-working labourers and a non-wicked middle-men as the greed in India is more than known.

It is an open secret that the recent demand for over 2 crore PPE kits and three-layered face masks attracted almost all the exporters  who jointly made cartels to bag the fat orders reportedly in connivance with a section of politicians.  More industrialists are also joining the bandwagon because all know that the newly created demand of the kits will continue for a few months ago.  The demand would rise to almost 60 crore kits pan India.  The business will run into at least Rs 5000 crore which will have downward trend.

The next market would be that of thermal temperature guns having a range of more than 20 to 30 metres with screen-monitors ,  the Ultra-violet technology is the in-thing. There will be a huge demand for  disinfectant scanners and towers which will be fluid-less and more speedy.  A few UV towers and tunnels have already started functioning at the two Delhi airports.  May hay while the sun shines is the new ‘mantra’.

Some of the big names in the garment industry have chalked out a business and marketing plan to throw designers’ face masks. Some of them are sure that the corporate sector and India’s fashion-conscious people will go in for face shields which will match their outfit. The cosmetic industry, however, is anticipating a downward trend as the makeup may be smeared with these masks.

The local market is flooded with masks ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 30 per piece but the certified N95 mask of good quality costs between Rs 200 and Rs 350.  But all said and done, physical distance is more important than actually focusing on the quality of the masks.

The pharma industry is going to hit the jackpot and in return the chemist shops will see a bright future. The generic medicine stores will have a bullish trend while the general medical shops will have an increased sales.





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Nitin Saxena
Nitin Saxena is a Senior Journalist who dabbled into Films and Academics before coming back to Journalim as a Columnist and Communication consultant

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