Covid pandemic’s fast spread has been attributed to globalization. It is the result of increase of human activities at individual or organizational level extended across the borders influencing and effecting international relations. It may be political, economic, cultural or technological etc. The improved means of information & communication technology, transport, functioning of multinational companies, mutually sponsored academic & research institutions the world is more connected than ever before.
According to Oxford Dictionary the word globalization was first employed in 1930. It was widely used by economists and scientists by 1960. The term has been used in economic sense since 1981 and in other senses since 1944. As a part of his thirst to explore globe an Italian explorer Christopher Columbus discovered America when he set foot on this land on 12-10-1492 AD. Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese explorer is regarded as the first European to reach India by sea route in 1499. Another Portuguese explorer Prince Henry is said to be the first to discover Africa.
There is a chain of such incidents indicative of global connect. Globalization is not an entirely new concept except a new word used to sum up a situation. It is a process associated with the activity of man on this earth. It is a perpetual event related with the multiplicity of interacting activities and the increasing human population travelling or migrating in search of livelihood or quest for knowledge. As countries began to benefit from one another, the process was named globalisation that gained currency proportional to the spread and frequency of internationalisation. It is like a dry or half dry farm that was being watered from sides. Till the water flowed into the field, watered the base completely & evenly, no water level or change thereof was ordinarily felt, although there was a solid change taking place. Now that the filed is filled with water, any drop pouring into the field affects the surface level with change in volume and mass of water.
Globalization has obverse and the reverse sides too. It is, however, a conjecture to curse squarely globalization for spreading of novel coronavirus-19; something that has led to ‘gated globalization’. Factually, after the recession of 2008, countries around the world adopted more conditional, interventionist and nationalistic approach in policy and planning. They created barriers and became more selective in trade deals. They began strengthening & supporting their economies by promoting domestic trade and industry by imposing trade tariffs, curbing Foreign Direct Investment, modified export and import incentives and regulations. This approach was termed as gated globalization. However, this type of approach existed even before, as the basis of every commercial or non-commercial deals. Moreover, free trade agreements held within the ambit of gated globalization among the member countries, restricting the non-member countries through stiff tariffs, are not gated exclusively as they involve more than two countries as members. As a general rule in pursuit of self interests every gate crashes with a big bang turning friends into foes and vice versa. Some accused China for eruption of the pandemic and suggested redrawing of business linkages, change in manufacturing concerns and supply chains. The expression of this thinking has snowballed into geopolitical tensions. Although one or a couple of economies can be isolated, and that too by a hoard of developed countries having effective role in managing or manoeuvring international affairs politically & economically , yet de-globalisation is neither possible nor feasible for the world economy which is interwoven now.
If world feels crippled right now, yet it cannot afford isolation. Tremors in economy shake lands of politics. In the present scenario protectionism is also too fragile to sustain, as it impedes international flow of capital.
While it is an irrefutable fact that the ever largest and longest lockdown in the human history witnessed on account of novel COVID-19 has begun reshaping the world, globalization cannot be abandoned. There may be new trade blocs and political affiliations with changed loyalties. There will also be a more cautious phase that will run concurrently with liberalization, the only way forward to live globally. Hundred percent disease free world and absence of economic activity is an idealism not to actualize in the real world. This COVID is one of the hazards like small pox, swine flue, AIDS etc. Some diseases are due to misuse and abuse of drugs, nature and natural order with their telling effect. Public health and economic activity indubitably impact each other and have to bear each other. Neither is revengeful of the other. If nCOVID-19 has its days others too had their own in the past. The world has come across number of contagions that halted or slowed down the economic activity but not all had roots in globalization. There have been economic slowdowns and meltdowns and all are not born of virus and infections. Events and activities shall co-exist, suitable problem solving approach and ways of treatment have to be devised. Advisories issued by the local and the international health & medical education authorities/governments are to be followed as in case of other diseases to get rid of the virus. Even if there is some conspiracy element, still the fire is to be put off first before punishing the mischief monger.