The COVID-19 pandemic has morphed from a public health disaster into a crisis that affects the entirety of our social and economic systems. While the adverse impacts of this crisis have permeated into every aspect of human endeavour and experience, there is still a greater focus on the health and mortality related with the pandemic. This in turn leads to a blind spot in formulating effective response strategies against the pandemic. We need to consider the larger impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic beyond the spheres of public health and economic slowdown.
This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled ‘Covid-19: The Missing Insights’ and highlights the lesser articulated impacts and consequences of the pandemic.
Some of the themes highlighted include the devastating impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities with little access to social protection; the need for decentralized governance in times of top-down lockdowns; the urgency to design buildings and human settlements in a more sustainable way to withstand the onslaught of the pandemic etc. Sectors such as public transport, heritage and museums, urban infrastructure and ambient air quality which are often ignored while discussing the pandemic, also find mention in this issue.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of this issue is that it provides new ways to address the systemic risk of the pandemic. The missing insights on COVID-19 articulated in this publication call for long-term rethinking to come up with sustainable and lasting solutions to this crisis.
- Kshitij Gupta, AIDMI