Albert Einstein , the legendary physicist and mathematician, when asked about the weapons , the third World War would be fought with, had replied, ” I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.” What he meant is not difficult to comprehend as he envisaged total destruction of this beautiful world probably on account of the use of the atomic bombs for which he had set the base and devised the way as well. Such bombs would rain on the fighting countries inter -se and by formation of blocks and treaties that would bring small groups of countries as allies to jump into the war and face horrible destruction to an extent metaphorically to be left with practically nothing but sticks and stones reminiscent of stone age.
What is a war, and that too engulfing the world, in effect aimed at or leading to, is mass destruction, killing of people, collapsing of economies, hospitals overcrowded with the injured and possibly the dead, disturbances, fear, anxiety, loss of jobs, Railways , airways roadways traffic disruption, frantic efforts to save lives , damage and destruction of crops and resultant shortage of essential commodities or breaking of supply channels, soaring high prices, exploitation and the like. If it is said , not assumed that this time, a third world war is going on though silently via- corona virus and almost all countries were expending their energy, resources in men and material, money , priorities etc against such an enemy which remains illusive and deceptive but is devastating wherever it reaches in horrendous proportions, it would not be any exaggeration.
This virus known as Novel coronavirus has sparked global anxiety , concern , fear and set in an endless train of uncertainty just like in a war. This one virus is capable to destroy and finish the entire world looking to its mysterious , elusive , baffling and weird behaviour. It is proven to be simply invincible and has every nerve in it to subjugate human beings and is merciless as it is multiplier of causing deaths , in most of the cases very painful. Where from this virus came to declare a silent war against human beings and destroy their routine , economies , social and even personal lives cannot be allowed to be swept under the rug. So far, as many as nearly 6.5 million people all over the world have been infected with this virus claiming 380000 lives while in the US, these figures are over 18 million and 110000 respectively. In our own country , we have the figures over 200000 and 6000 respectively. About global and our own country’s economic losses , impairing annual growth , decline in industrial and services output and other data, though presently not available but the same could be visualised. It is estimated that our GDP growth rate for 2020-21 could plummet to from 0 to (-)6.8 % while for 2019-20 it could be around 4.2% . A rough estimate for just one week of March lockdown cost our economy nearly 1.5 lakh crore . Red and orange zones in the country are ‘contributors’ of 90 % of the total loss suffered by the economy. The most developed country – the US has recorded unemployment of unprecedented magnitude this year worst in last 8 decades. Nearly, 4 crore Americans have registered themselves for getting unemployment allowance . What else could a world war cost more during these three months although pointed figures and data are not ready for reference and for collating.
However, this virus attacking respiratory system , is so deceitful , perfidious and malicious that it is said to be constantly changing its nature and effect thus making the task of scientists and medical researchers difficult in finding its annihilator – call it vaccine or antidote . Not drawing a pessimist note in that despite medical science having made tremendous progress, still it has proved helpless in most of the cases – curing diseases that otherwise look just as ordinary. Take the case of common diseases like hypertension and diabetes, both have drugs to control but not to cure the patients once for all. Take the case of AIDS , it remains unconquerable till date.
Just take the case of tinnitus or irritating ringing and hissing sound in the interior of the ear, medical science has failed to find its cure till date . The list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Despite that , there is very strong hop that medical science very soon would find a vaccine of this virus.
More about this cunning virus is known based on research on it which finds it damaging the cardiovascular system and other vital functioning including liver and kidneys damage . Not only that, life threatening clotting is attributed to it . We ordinary people having no knowledge about such intricate medical matters, however, can visualise the virus in its perspective of changing its properties and that is why we are told to exercise and keep moving even during lockdown to avoid and reduce the risks and complications in addition to increase immunity system. However, the fact is that this virus has the potential of causing considerable damage to the entire world reminiscent of the offshoots of a world war.
It is said , based on the allegations of most of the countries that China is wholly responsible for the virus . Either it is “made” in the laboratory as a biological weapon or genetically modified or it got transmitted from bats or wild animals while experimenting on them , but how it spread to human beings and so fast and worldwide is baffling . Why this virus did not reach and impact even the nearest capital city of Beijing while Wuhan residents travelled all over the world — say the US , Europe and other countries spreading death and devastation through this virus. Whatever the position, the fact of the matter is that China declared this type of world war against the world. It was perhaps making preparations for it for quite some time . The three pronged attack was launched by it. Firstly, to deceive the entire world by withholding the information about this virus after it hit its Wuhan province and not issue an advisory and stop all incoming and outgoing flights. Secondly, it spread or it facilitated in spreading confusion among the countries where this virus travelled or was made to travel and such countries being taken unawares , giving them or leaving no time to understand the nature of the virus or make necessary arrangements to fight it because of the element of surprise . Thirdly, exploiting the situation emerged and emerging to only see the spectacle of helplessness of countries even like the United States , Spain, Italy , the United Kingdom , France etc and to make commerce by brazenly exploiting the hapless situation by exporting necessary equipment needed for fighting the spread of the virus like ventilators, PPEs., masks, gloves testing equipment etc. Yes, WHO hierarchy are suspected to be hand in glove with China in this hiding and suppressing of such a sensitive information and not alerting member countries in time as that would have prevented hundreds of thousands of people from perishing with this virus and those in millions who are presently under “active cases” category and battling for life could have been averted.
All the affected countries including America , European Union etc have called for a joint probe into how this virus originated from Wuhan province of China . If China would have nothing to hide and had fair intentions in exhibiting its transparency in the issue, it would have not rejected such a stand taken by so many countries. However, the US has hardened its stand against both China as well as the WHO and decided to stop payment of $40 million to the latter annually . In utter frustration, China finds itself in a whirlpool and fears its economy getting hit hard instead of making quick gains . Most of the companies operating there could shift to other countries including India.
Its exports worldwide are bound to decline and it could face economic sanctions too from America. Its headache in Hongkong, belligerence with Taiwan and aggressive posture in Galwan Ladakh against India , inciting India’s traditional friend with which India has religious, cultural and historical relationship – Nepal etc are not going to bail it out in any case. India, despite tremendously suffering and having suffered on account of the pandemic is bound to emerge as a force in the world to reckon with , it has got the leadership of WHO, efforts to include India in the world’s top economies in G-7 Group are on . How India will emerge more powerful even while fighting COVID19 under the present leadership is in itself an interesting subject needing detailed analysis.