To get through Coronavirus Lockdown, We Need a Basic Income.

To get through Coronavirus Lockdown, We Need a Basic Income.
To get through Coronavirus Lockdown, We Need a Basic Income.

Coronavirus pandemic is causing global disarray. Countries are racing about to control the outbreak. Daily, there are reports of rising death tolls and new cases. Leaving individuals in anticipation as they wary about the future. Countries are reinstating Draconian measures to contain the virus. Some countries like Italy have gone on complete lockdown while others plan to do so.

There is a concern that the virus spreads easily through social gatherings. Wedding ceremonies, funerals, concerts, fairs are all banned in most countries. Equivalently countries in Europe, Asia, Africa have closed their borders, restricted travels, reinstated curfews, etc. These measures are massively hitting the global economy. Lockdown has affected all outdoor activities. No tourism, no travels. Most of all, they have disrupted daily socio-economic activities. It remains unclear for how long the government will sustain the people under lockdown.

Since the virus spreads quickly, health officials believe the only way to defeat it is by controlling its spread. If not, there will be many infected. The number of patients will outdo the accommodation facilities and health workers. Hence it will be hard to cage the viper.

China returns to normalcy after Lockdown

China is slowly returning to normalcy after being struck heavily by the pandemic. The country went on a 30day lockdown. China is the biggest exporter in the world. Countries across the globe rely on exports from China. As they even manufacture the N95 masks. The lockdown affected the global market. Similarly, Chinese citizens, especially from Wuhan, were affected. Especially since the lockdown was impromptu. Immigrants had a difficult time finding shelter and safety. Transport systems were closed. A normal lifestyle was no more staying indoors was the rule. Regardless of not having stocked enough food.

The new wave of infections as countries reinstate Draconian Measures

India is the second-most populous country in the world. The novel virus speeds up its spread in the country, as many people become infected. Following the wild spread, the government announced an impromptu lockdown.

The closing of shopping malls, transport systems preceded four hours’ notice as people raced for safety. They stranded migrant workers in towns since all public transports were out of service. Those disregarding the lockdown faced police brutality. Healthcare routine services were also shut. Cancer, HIV patients cannot access their routine healthcare services. The policemen used batons on a group of Muslims from worship since they had disregarded the ban on social gatherings.

During the lockdown, the Indian government announced that they would allocate $23bn to the poor to aid in their financial hardships.

The welfare program for the poor in India will also provide direct cash transfers and food grains to help the poor. Especially since no socio-economic activity was going on.

The death tolls of COVID-19 in Italy increase massively daily. The death tolls have increased to 13.5%, while new cases are still being reported. The virus is real. Residents in towns, cities in Italy remain in panic as the outbreak keeps deteriorating. They have suspended outdoor activities in the state.

We Need a Basic Income

In the US, the Federal Reserve has announced that it will inject $1 trillion into the financial system to prevent it from freezing. The UK Chancellor has promised 330 billion pounds ($384bn), with far more expected to come in very cheap borrowing.

Despite all the relief from governments, basic income is essential. It is one of the best paths to policymaking. What if one day the system becomes paralyzed and there is no more relief, will people die of hunger? No, as much as online shopping exists. Cash remains the biggest necessity.

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DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Affricaotr editorial stance.

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