The recent COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted the lives of people worldwide: the pandemic led to the loss of millions of lives and brought upon economic, social and political disruptions that have had devastating consequences globally like impact upon community food systems, health and overall livelihoods.
To contain the outburst of the virus as much as possible governments all around the world implemented lockdowns in various cities, including the establishment of trade barriers across the world. Due to this, accessibility of food has been limited especially in areas that were already having food shortages.
Moreover, many firms have cut down their expenses predominantly in terms of employee layoffs as pandemic uncertainties have come along with a major reduction of business for many industries. For workers, this means less income and less nutritious food which in turn impacts their health and overall livelihood. This set back has a trickle-down effect on our immune system as we do not receive the optimal levels of nutrition at the time when we need it the most. And for many people due to the lack of nutritious food and medical facilities, the idea seems far-fetched.
The pandemic has also affected the food systems, it impacts the food systems through a varied mechanism which also links to our health: Globally imposed restrictions have been preventing farmers from accessing food markets, purchasing raw material to produce food as well as impacting the whole agricultural market, hence, causing disturbance to the local and international supply chain, which leads to the supply of food.
Countries that are already dealing with the humanitarian crisis are now facing another one. Hence, it is vital to deal with the problem in such a way that it does not allow the older crisis to add to the problem.
To ensure a better living lifestyle for the people at risks, Governments must focus on encouraging local businesses to provide decent jobs, provide income support and make sure that labour laws are not breached and because of the pandemic exploitation of people is minimal. Support in the form of tax reliefs or cheaper land allocation for local businesses to set up can be provided to encourage small scale businesses. This will create jobs for the economy and lead to a comparatively better lifestyle, one where people’s lives are not at stake.
The government must also understand that if these changes are not implemented it could lead to people turning towards negative coping strategies such as child labour and tax evasion. This could destroy the economy more than the pandemic already has.
A win-win situation for the globe right is to survive the pandemic with minimal loss of population and a strong economy to support the recovery process hopefully as the pandemic passes soon.