Tuesday, May 21, 2024

BACK TO THE NORMALITY OF CRISIS

After removal of the precautionary measures, we will not return to the normality we use to have. The new norm is the reality created by the intertwining of all the crises that arose during the pandemic.

Author: Xhelal Neziri

We never thought that the most used word in 2020 would be “crisis”. It never occurred to us that the most negative word this year would be “positive.” However, this year, which looks like an interesting jubilee with two twos and two zeros, started badly. The new COVID-19 virus has affected nearly 4 million people worldwide, about 300,000 have died and their entire lives have been paralyzed. These horrific scenes were a “Deja vu” for all those who have seen the movie “Contagion”, made in 2011. The last scene of the movie reveals that the fictitious virus “MEV-1” originated from a pig that had eaten a pieces of bananas dropped by a night owl, infected escaping the habitat destruction of its forest in China. As in the movie that was made 9 years ago, some epidemiologists consider bats as a possible source of coronavirus. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, made an accurate prediction. In 2015, he had warned that the world is unprepared for the new pandemic to appear. These prophecies in this crisis became the source of various conspiracies and rumors, where as usual the “Illuminati” has done something that even the most powerful states do not know, and that the man of our neighborhood has learned this secret from YouTube or Facebook. The crisis, infectious disease experts say, will last as long as the discovery of the vaccine and the antiviral drug. Until then, the socio-cultural crisis will continue, which is related to the habit of believing in spectacular lies and doubting the verified truths.

We had not imagined that a slow economic growth in the countries of the region and an approximation to those of the European Union (EU) would be so cruelly interrupted by a small, so small criminal that the human eye could not catch it. Viruses and bacteria were the daily routine of humanity, and they were not even considered a danger. Colds, sneezing, flu, fever, sore throat, headache, joint pain, allergies … were common themes from the beginning of each fall until the beginning of each summer of the year. It was not even an excuse to stay home if you were infected with a virus or bacteria, or had a high temperature. Now, this small criminal with great power will cause an unprecedented economic crisis where, in addition to health complications, it will take the lives of people through the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the world, and especially in developing countries.

 

The UN agency estimates that by the end of the second quarter of the year – the end of June – 305 million jobs will be lost in the world and the recession will be unprecedented in the recent history of humanity. By the end of April, over 91,000 people had their employment contracts terminated, in North Macedonia 16,000 had been declared unemployed, in Albania 66,000 and in Bosnia and Herzegovina 25,000. According to government’s statistics in Belgrade, only 4,300 people have lost their jobs in Serbia. In Kosovo, meanwhile, the statement of the Minister of Finance, Besnik Bislimi, provoked reactions, saying that in times of pandemic, the number of employees has even increased by 6,026 people.

We have assumed that in the countries of the region we do not have political leaders who think about future generations, but politicians who are accountable for the next elections. Surveys in Serbia, as well as union data, have shown that 30 percent of the total number of employees have lost their jobs due to the corona virus crisis, and not as much as the government says. In Kosovo, the unemployment rate will not decrease by 30% as it is now, but is expected to be up to 50%. Attempts to manipulate public opinion by the governments in Belgrade and Pristina stem from the fact that parliamentary elections are expected in these countries in June. Parliamentary elections are expected in North Macedonia in late June or early July. Therefore, in this pre-election period, the parties make calculations on how to maximally capitalize on the multi-layered crisis brought by the virus, in terms of demonizing the opponent or benefiting from political points from its good management.

We have not imagined that 2020 will confront us with these health, economic, political and socio-cultural crises, lined up like bricks one above the other, thus building our new home where we must learn to live. After removing the precautionary measures, we will not return to the normality we had. The new norm is the reality created by the intertwining of all the crises that arose during the pandemic. However, human is the most adaptable being on the planet. He will adapt and enjoy life under any circumstances and will continue to hope that it will get better. /KDP   

 

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