Social economics is a very efficient branch of economics that is a social science for sure focusing on the interface between economics and social behaviour.
It was Gary Becker, American economist and the most significant social scientist in the past 50 years (labelled by New York Times), who pioneered social economics.
He applied the basic theoretical and applied neo-classical framework, broad theory highlighting supply and demand as the driving forces behind the production, pricing, and consumption of goods and services, to areas of human behaviour.
In traditional times such driving forces of demand and supply were not reflected as part of proper economics. Social decision making and social behaviour are equally important. For a social economy to analyse COVID-19 impact in its totality, we need to examine the relationship between social behaviour (social distancing in particular) and economy.
This relationship will analyse how the behaviour of people in general and COVID-19 affected people in particular is influenced by ethics, social morals, and other philanthropic attitudes.
The social economy in COVID-19 looks at all those activities that have close connection with COVID-19 economics in the community and reveals all the pandemic information to the community, including the COVID-19 voluntary sectors.
In Jammu and Kashmir, we find higher Covid-19 cases with every passing day. It is a big challenge to doctors alongside administrators to tackle the multiple problems associated with this virus. Hence, we need to develop social economy as a result of a need for new solutions for all health and social issues pertaining to this deadly virus. It will have a dual effect.
On one hand, it will satisfy needs which have been ignored (or ineffectually achieved) by both public and private sectors. On another hand, it will raise the efficiency levels of the health staff in its generic form and COVID-19 staff in its precise form.
As COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus well-timed finding the contacts of a positive case is very important to break the series of transmission in the community. It is need of the hour to develop a dedicated department for contact tracing alongside follow-up in almost all the districts of the union territory, with a recognized efficient Nodal Officer.
By making use of different ways to meet COVID-19 targets, a social economy plays an important role in carving out a robust, sustainable, healthy and inclusive society whose knowledge base is very comprehensive. It is important for both social and private health bodies to be able to independently implement their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the reason that this will generate better results for dipping the coronavirus cases.
Since, social economy is a multidimensional phenomenon; the Standard Operating Procedures are part of our social behaviour and health economy.
It is very necessary that our Frontline Health Workers at all times should maintain a proper distance of at least one meter from the contact. Moreover, they must take the interview of their contacts or raise any query outdoors or in a well-ventilated space.
The contact tracing team members should wear a proper mask (preferably triple layer masks). They can even keep supplementary protective kit including a gown and gloves. If we find any person with any respiratory symptoms, it is better to provide him with a proper mask and gloves before interviewing. COVID-19 demands maintenance of standard etiquettes in terms of social as well as health (respiratory in particular) matters.
Our contact tracing team members before and after each visit must try to maintain proper hygiene (standard infection control measures). Furthermore, in their ordinary business of life, they must ensure proper respiratory etiquettes.
It is better to avoid work when we feel sick or show signs of any kind of respiratory syndrome or difficulty in breathing. We should not wait and immediately inform our head of such symptoms.
In order to understand the nature and significance of social economy in C0VID-19 we need to understand the theories of social economics that very often take into account the factors that are outside the purview of mainstream economics.
Social economics by and large looks at the impact of the ecology and environment on our wealth and consumption. Social economics always tries to figure out how a particular social group behaves within a society together with their activities as end users or consumers.
It is very important to understand the external factors, especially the environment, so as to understand COVID-19 impact on the social economy.
Dr. Binish Qadri is Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Kashmir;
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.