The Coronavirus pandemic is not the first time the world has had to deal with something of this caliber or scale. But it is true that coronavirus is the only thing that has halted the world in its tracks, leaving businesses, masses of people and governments without purpose; seemingly sitting idle to wait for it to pass over.
With this virus, just like any other contagious illness, precautions and multiple restrictions have been put in place. The last global pandemic to kill more people than the World War was the Spanish Flu back in 1918 that took lives of over 100 million people worldwide. In 1918, a researcher named Richard Hatchett coined the term ‘social distancing’.
The term, now a phrase that anyone in this century is very familiar with, shows how alike we are to our predecessors. In the 2000s, several papers reanalyzed Spanish flu data to show the efficacy of social distancing measures—and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later incorporated them into their outbreak guidance.
The phrases ‘Flattening the curve’ is a textbook example created by medical practitioners, when a virus can not be contained anymore. Today, health carers struggle to handle the surge people who are effected by coronavirus and have advised the world to fatten the curve. With fewer people sick at once, services aren’t overwhelmed and deaths diminish.
This buys time for doctors to treat the flood of patients and researchers to develop vaccines and antiviral therapies. However, just like after the Spanish Flu pandemic, the world recovered, new businesses surfaced and people were put back to work. The difference between 1918 and current day is one powerful force called the internet.
Companies and businesses, especially in Pakistan have taken leaps in recent years with the surfacing of applications, 3-step to your door and home-delivery services. Food delivery giants such as foodpanda, online grocery services and purely online business platforms are an essential need at this time.
Applications like these not only make life for the consumer easier, but also allow for safety precautions to be implemented at a global level while also helping businesses (especially those in the food sector) stay afloat in this turbulent time.
Whether it be the Spanish Flu, the Bird Flu or the Coronavirus, history tells us to trust in our past and learn for our future. The outbreak of Coronavirus is not deadly, but rather needs to be taken with a grain of salt – yes, Pakistan is at a momentary pause, but that allows for medical practitioners to do their job the best way they can.
The businesses will restart as long as global health guidelines are followed. But a good start would be by permitting online delivery platforms especially for food and essentials to resume their operations during the lockdown, this would not only help flatten the curve but also ensure social distancing is being practiced in its truest form.