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The globe, as it is known today, is faced with a multitude of issues and challenges. These challenges cut across the board, being that they affect individual countries, regions and across international or global borders. In order to effectively address these issues and challenges, it is critical that all the countries in the globe work together and cooperate with each other. This is because with the nature of the issues and challenges facing the globe, it would not be tenable for a single nation or region to purport to have the ability to holistically and successfully address them in their entirety. As a result, there have been renewed calls and support for international cooperation to tackle the various issues and challenges which keep evolving from time to time. The various global issues that have more recently and/or previously been of key concern to the world include, but are not limited to, governance, international policies and legislations, sustainability, climate change and global warming, national, regional and international conflicts, national and global economies, and social issues, among others.
The world is currently faced with a greater demand for food, which is estimated to increase by up to 60% by the year 2050. In this regard, the United Nations has established the ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promotion of sustainable agriculture as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. There have been significant efforts and progress in the push for economic growth and development, which have resulted in notable increase in wealth for huge number of people across the world. However, despite the many gains with regard to global economic development, evidence shows that the current political, social and economic systems amplify rather than decrease the economic disparity between the poor and the wealthy. This rising income inequality has further been attributed to the numerous economic and social problems, which are detrimental to the present and future global economic well-being. One of the most notable events that that brought about significant economic impacts was the Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
With regard to jobs and employment, it is evident that the world is grappling with a high level of unemployment. With the high number of unemployed individuals globally, the International Labor Organization projects the need to create at least 500 million new jobs so as to accommodate those who are currently unemployed as well as those expected to join the labor market in the few years to come
Currently, the globe is experiencing an increase in its average land temperature following an increase in human activity. The global greenhouse gas emissions have also risen by close to 80% since the 1990s, with the atmospheric concentrations of the key greenhouse gases reaching their highest levels in close to 800,000 years. These have significantly contributed to climate change, which has in turn exacerbated the impacts of various weather events, including droughts, storms, changing rain patterns, all of which have become a common occurrence and more intense. Among the most significant issues and challenges that the world currently faces relates to racism. This follows a series of racist events across the Western part of the world where the people of African descent have been seen to be discriminated against, the most notable one being that which involved George Floyd, who died while in the custody of police who are alleged to have used the chokehold technique on him for too long. This incident, along with others that happened before and after it, culminated in what has since come to be known as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Another issue that is relevant today and which has gained global traction regards gender equality. There have been calls and campaigns for quality between men and men in terms of all aspects of life, including access to education, employment, health and political participation, among other inherent human rights. Currently, the globe is regarded as being closer to the achievement of gender equality although this is not perceived to be happening as fast as it should. This is according to the World Economic Forum which has been using the Global Gender Gap Report for the last 10 years to measure the level of change, and estimates that the total achievement of gender parity throughout the world would take another 118 years, on account of the current rates.
On the 8th of December, 2019, the Chinese Government announced that its health services were treating several individuals who were suffering from a new infection that it had identified as the novel corona virus disease 2019, also Covid-19 (Bakar and Rosbi, 2020). Since then, as a result of technological developments that have eased people’s movement from one corner of the world to the other, the disease has spread throughout the world. Following its worldwide spread, the World Health Organization (WHO), through its director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared Covid-19 a pandemic. According to the WHO, following its round the clock assessment of the outbreak, it was deeply concerned by the alarming spread and severity levels, and had therefore come to the conclusion that Covid-19 could be categorized as a pandemic. The impact of this announcement is that the way in which the world operated and how we lived would imminently change- and it significantly has.
Statement of the Problem
Covid-19 had had adverse effects across the globe including, loss of human life, and has further presented an unprecedented challenge to the world of work, food systems, and public health. The pandemic has put over a third of the global workforce at the risk of losing their livelihoods. This paper explores the different ways through which the pandemic has affected human life with a specific focus on the sectors of health, education, and also global economies, which are core to human existence. With the serious threat the virus poses to the human life and the well-being of billions of humans, it becomes necessary to continuously research on it. This research will be resourceful in the development of suitable and effective interventions.
Rationale for the Study Aims and Objectives of the Study Research Questions What have been the impacts of Covid-19 on the health sector? In what ways has Covid-19 impacted the educational sector?
This research carries out a literature review. Ibn-Mohammed (2017) argues that literature reviews exemplify a conundurum and that is because for a literature review to be effective, it is a must to establish a problem statement. However, there is a relatively important role played by the problem in the establishment of research problems. To overcome the aforementioned conundrum, a search and subsequent review of existing literature is carried out on the impacts that Covid-19 has had on different aspects in the world. The use of this method enables the development of a theoretical framework from which the current study emerges and this is subsequently adopted for purposes of establishing a conceptual framework on which the current review is based on. A critical literature review approach is adopted for this research and this involves assessing, critiquing, and synthesizing data identified to be relevant in regard to the impacts Covid-19 has had. This is done in such a manner that makes it possible to develop new perspectives and theoretical frameworks. A major weakness of CLR is relation to the subjectivity of selection of literature which prompts suggesting that this bias could be mitigated by carrying out a systematic literature review because these reviews have a more strict criteria that they use for selecting literature that enables carrying out an increasingly detailed analysis of a specific investigation line. However, SLR`s have been reported to be inadequate in allowing for extensive synthesis of grey and academic literature.
This reviews focuses on Covid-19 seeking to explore how the virus has impacted on the globe in general. The reason why the adoption of a CLR is favored is because it augurs well with this research`s goals of allowing a wide range of perspectives and theoretical underpinnings drawn from different sources to be included.
Therefore, this paper made use of archive data that consisted of documented news within media, journal articles, and government policy documents, reports prepared by experts, policy feedback literature and relevant stakeholder policy documents. For purposes of identifying relevant archival data, the focus of this paper was on different practical methods of searching for literature where different appropriate keywords relevant to the study were used. These keywords included CLIMATE CHANGE, SUSTAINABILITY, ECONOMY, HEALTH and EDUCATION. Relevant articles and documents were identified and this was followed by the close examination of their content for purposes of determining inclusions and exclusions on the basis of how relevant they were to investigating the impacts of Covid-19. Subsequently, the ideas that were generated from going through and reading the papers that had been identified were used for the development of a theoretical framework and subsequent development of a research problem statement which would then form the basis of the review.
Covid-19 has resulted in relatively significant global burdens (Venkatesh, 2020). Some of the pandemics detrimental effects include high infection and death rates, financial hardships, stress resulting from known and also unknown information, and also the fear on the uncertainty that regards Covid-19`s continued impacts.
Effects of Covid-19 on education
A huge disruption of education systems all over the world has been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, and billions of learners have been affected (Aristovnik et al. 2020; Burgess and Sievertsen, 2020; Ferrel and Ryan, 2020). The world`s student population has been affected by the closure of different learning spaces, which has in different ways affected the different aspects of human life. Traditional educational practices have been affected by restrictive movement and social distancing policies put in place. Even in those countries where schools have been reopened after the relaxation of restrictive policies, there have also been challenges as a result of the new standard operating procedures that have been put in place. Within the last one year and several months when Covid-19 has disrupted the way of life, numerous researchers have since shared their works on learning and teaching in different ways. Face-to-face teaching have been discontinued in numerous learning institutions.
A study by Gonzalez et al. (2020), carried out an analysis of the effects of COVID-19 confinement on the autonomous learning performance of higher education students. A field experiment involving 458 students was carried out and these students were drawn from three subjects at a university in Spain. The study revealed that student confinement during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic had positive impacts on the performance of students. These effects were also significant in those activities which did not change their format in any way when they were carried out after the confinement. In addition, further analysis of the learning strategies used by students before confinement revealed that student’s studies were not done on a continuous basis. On the basis of these results, a conclusion was reached that the confinement during Covid-19 changed the learning strategies that students used where they adopted more continuous habits that in the long run, improved their efficiency. As a result of these improvements in students’ performance came about from the Covid-19 confinement, and these were explained by the learning performance improvements. A different study by Sintema (2020) collected data from three teachers drawn from a public secondary school in Chipata District in Zambia with the intention of investigating the effects Covid-19 had on the performance of Grade 12 students, and the implications this had for STEM education. There was a hypothesis in the study that Covid-19 would have negative impacts on the performance of the students as a result of the pre-mature closure of all learning institutions in the country in March, 2020. The observed steady increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 and the low technology use levels in Zambian secondary schools signified a relatively difficult period for the country. For data collection purposes, mobile phone semi-structured interviews were carried out. The study`s results pointed to a high likelihood for a drop in the secondary school`s pass percentage in 2020`s national examinations in the event the Covid-19 virus was not contained soon enough such that students would be able to go back to school. As a result of the novel Covid-19 pandemic, multiple higher learning institutions suspended classroom teaching and subsequently switched to online teaching. Mahdy (2020) investigated the impacts of Covid-19 on the academic performance of veterinary medical students. Invitations were sent out to students doing veterinary medicine to fill out online questionnaires. Up to 1,392 participants from 92 different countries filled out the questionnaires and the response rate was recorded at 94.1%. The findings of the study revealed that the pandemic had negatively affected the academic performance of the majority of the respondents. Practical part`s mean evaluation score was 3.6 ± 2.6 while the mean evaluation score for online education was 5.1 ± 2.4. the study highlighted that while online education provided self-study opportunities, providing practical lessons through online classes was one major challenge faced by the online classes. As a result of the practical nature of the majority of the subjects in veterinary medicine, learning online proved to be hard. Students held the perceptions that veterinary competencies only through an online education system was relatively difficult. The study provided recommendations on the possible ways through which online education could be improved. Online education could be made more interactive, providing information that is concise, showing medical procedures in real situations, and provision of 3D virtual tools with the capabilities of mimicking real life situations. Realyvasquez-Vargas et al. (2020), explored the impacts of environmental factors on the academic performance of students in universities who took online classes in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic across Mexico. The study reported that lighting, temperature, noise had significant direct effects on the academic performance of university students. University students in different parts of the world were forced to take to online classes as a result of Covid-19 and the subsequent quarantine period that went hand in hand with it. The adoption of online classes meant that students had to acquaint themselves with new environmental conditions and technologies that were characteristically different from what they were used to. These new conditions have the potential of bringing discomfort which impacts the performance of students academically.
Without a doubt, there have been massive disruptions that have come about with Covid-19 in the ways through which delivery of courses happens in traditional higher education institutions. Iglesias-Pradas et al. (2021), analysed the different ways in which the move towards remote teaching necessitated by Covid-19 impacted student`s academic performance. The study`s findings revealed that the academic performance of students improved as a result of emergency remote teaching which supported the idea that organizational factors had the potential of contributing to the success of emergency remote teaching. The study did not find any differences across courses that had different delivery modes, and class sizes.
Aucejo et al. (2020), surveyed up to 1500 students from a public institution in the United States to develop an understanding of the impacts of Covid-19 on higher education students. The findings of the study showed largely negative results on different dimensions. As a result of Covid-19, the graduation of up to 13% of the respondents had been delayed, 40% lost a job, job offer, or internship opportunity, 29% had expectations of earning less. In addition, these findings were observed to be increasingly heterogeneous. Up to a quarter of the students recorded increases of their study time by more than 5 hours’ weekly. Often, this heterogeneity was followed by existing socioeconomic divides. The likelihood of delayed graduation in lower-income students was 55% higher than the likelihood of higher-income peers to go through similar delays. The study also revealed that Covid-19 induced health and economic related shocks systematically varied by socioeconomic factors and further constituted key mediators in the explanation of the pandemics large and heterogeneous effects.
A different study by El Said (2021) investigated the different ways through which higher education had affected learning experiences and carried out an empirical investigation of the academic performance of learners in a university in Egypt. The study carried out a comparison of the grades of 376 students of business who had successfully completed a face-to-face course in spring 2019, and other 372 students who had completed the same course, however, online in spring 2020 through distant learning. The study`s results suggested that there existed no significant statistical differences on the grades scored by the students. In addition, contrary to the expectations, the rapid move to online distance learning that was not even planned for, did not in any way result to poor learning experiences. The study recommended that the shift to online learning had a lot of potential, and if it were to be administered in the right way would lead to a larger population of learners, increased cost efficiencies, and increased revenue for universities.
Covid-19 and Healthcare
At the heart of the Covid-19 crisis, healthcare workers were faced with numerous challenged during the treatment of Covid-19 patients, and also during the reduction of the spread of the infection, development of effective and suitable short-term strategies, and the formulation of long term plans (Shaukat et al. 2020). Different research publications have explored the issue of the wellness of healthcare workers as a result of Covid-19 and the psychological effects the pandemic has had on them. Shreffler et al. (2020), did a scoping review of the impacts of Covid-19 on the wellness of healthcare workers. The purpose of the study was to provide a review on the different publications that measured the effects Covid-19 had on the wellness of healthcare providers with the end goal of informing interventional strategies. Systematic searches were carried out and revealed from the findings were consistent reports of anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms among healthcare workers as a result of Covid-19. Tan et al. (2020), investigated the psychological impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Singapore`s healthcare workers. Between February and March 2020, drawn from 2 tertiary institutions in Singapore taking care of Covid-19 patients were invited into participating with a self-administered questionnaire. In these questionnaires, there were validated anxiety, depression, and stress scales. The study included medical, that is, nurses, and physicians, and non-medical, that is, pharmacists, allied health professionals, maintenance workers, clerical staff, administrators, and technicians. The study`s primary outcome was the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, stress, and depression amongst healthcare workers. Notably, the prevalence of anxiety among nonmedical healthcare workers was higher than among medical workers after adjustment for possible confounders. These findings were consistent with those of another Covid-19 study that demonstrated that the vicarious traumatization scores among frontline nurses were significantly lower than those on the general public and also non-frontline nurses. Some of the reasons advanced for this include, reduced psychological support access, reduced first-hand information on Covid-19. And reduced intensity training on measures of infection control and also on personal protective equipment.
Healthcare workers have been highly exposed to Covid-19. Iversen et al. (2020), investigated the prevalence of antibodies against SARS-Cov-2 in healthcare workers and additionally investigated the proportion of seroconverted healthcare workers who had Covid-19`s previous symptoms. In the observational cohort study, healthcare workers from across Denmark were screened, and they included nursing, medical and other students with associations with hospitals. Up to 29,000 healthcare workers were screened between 15th April and 23rd April.1163 seropositive healthcare workers were identified. It was observed that the prevalence rate of sero-positivity was higher among healthcare workers when they were compared against blood donors. The sero-prevalence of male healthcare workers was higher than that of male healthcare workers. The sero-prevalence of the healthcare workers who were working in dedicated Covid-19 wards was higher than that of other frontline healthcare workers who worked in the different hospitals. The symptoms most commonly associated with seropositivity were loss of smell and taste. The study revealed that Covid-19 infection risk amongst healthcare workers had a relationship with patients who were infected. Symptoms attributable to Covid-19 were reported in more than half of the seropositive health-care workers.
Huang and Zhao (2020) reported on the mental health burden for the public who has been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 in China. The aim of the study was to identify the mental health groups who had mental health conditions that were vulnerable to the outbreak of Covid-19. 7,236 self-selected participants were involved in the data collection process and measures of sleep quality, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms were carried out. In overall, the prevalence of anxiety symptoms was recorded at 35.1%, the prevalence of depressive symptoms was 20.1%, while the prevalence of poor sleep quality was 18.2%. a higher anxiety prevalence was reported in the people who were aged 35 years and above, when they were compared to those younger than 35 years. It was also observed that the highest rates of poor sleep were in healthcare workers, when these were compared to other occupations. Among those younger people, and healthcare workers who spent more time, more than 3 hours daily on the outbreak had a higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms. The study observed that younger people and healthcare workers were during the time of the pandemic, at a higher risk of displaying psychological impacts when they spent considerable amounts of their time thinking about the pandemic.
Zerbini et al. (2020), investigated the psychosocial burden of nurses, and physician’s dependent on the degree of contact they had with patients who had Covid-19. Their study additionally explored the supportive resources that these nurses, and physicians used, and also the supportive needs they experienced during the time of the crisis. The study observed that those nurses who worked in Covid-19 wards had higher exhaustion, stress, and depression levels, and also lower levels of work-related fulfilment when they were compared to their other colleagues who worked in regular wards. Similar scores were recorded among the physicians which were independent of their contact with patients who had Covid-19. Uncertainty about the future, and job strain were the most common causes for burden. Leisure time, and psychosocial support were listed as some of the important resources, while better Covid-19 infrastructural adjustment was also reported as a suggestion for improvement. The study`s findings indicated that those nurses who worked in Covid-19 wards were psychologically affected by the pandemics consequences. That could have been as a result of the increased workload, and the increase in time in direct contact with those patients who had Covid-19 in comparison to physicians.
Skoda et al. (2020), investigated the psychological burden of German healthcare professionals during Covid-19`s acute phase. They carried out an online-based cross-sectional study after the outbreak of Covid-19 in Germany. When observed against non-healthcare professionals, healthcare professionals showed less generalized Covid-19 related fear, depression, anxiety, and subjective information levels with regards to Covid-19. The psychological burden was higher in nursing staff among the different healthcare professional groups. There was a negative correlation between the subjective levels of information with regards to Covid-19 and the generalized levels of anxiety across all groups. Among healthcare providers, the highest generalized anxiety levels were recorded in the nursing staff, with the lowest being recorded among the paramedics.
Pappa et al. (2020), searched all relevant grey literature and reported on the global burden of the Covid-19 pandemic on healthcare workers. The study observed that the infection rates among healthcare workers in Asia were lower than those of other continents which was attributed to the readiness of Asian countries to deal with Covid-19. The study reported that a month after the declaration of Covid-19, health systems from across the globe showed relative un-readiness for the pandemic which left a considerable number of healthcare workers as casualties. The study recognized the importance of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers involved in treating Covid-19 but highlighted that there was a global shortage of PPE``s which had left the majority of healthcare workers exposed. The study`s recommendations on the right tidrection to take in handling Covid-19 included, minimization of exposure through the adjustment of shift schedules, getting the older healthcare workers with more experience in organizational positions, giving priority to PPE provision, increasing testing, provision of food, and sleep facilities, and providing the healthcare workers with with regular breaks and adequate time off between shifts. Another study by Stockwell et al. (2020), had a unique focus on alcohol`s burden on healthcare during Covid-19. The global health impacts of alcohol have always been substantial and their magnitude similar to that of Covid-19. Specific concerns are now posed by Covid-19 including depression, and suicide, child abuse, domestic violence, and lung infections with increased severity. The study by Stockwell provided relatively broad comparisons between Covid-19 related, and alcohol attributable hospitalizations, and deaths in North America. In the study a comparison was made of Canada which in 2017 had recorded 105,065 deaths and hospitalizations attributed to alcohol and the 10,521 hospitalizations which had been recorded in the pandemics first five months. The study pointed out that alcohol posed more health risks than Covid-19 and recommended the introduction of evidence-based alcohol price restrictions. Particularly, the study recommended an increase of exercise taxation that would be coupled with minimum unit pricing for purposes of reducing impacts on healthcare services, and additionally providing the revenues that governments so much required at the critical time.
Kanggi et al. (2020) carried out a case report on a middle-aged man who was hospitalized in February 2020 with hyperlipidemia and diabetes, with the intention of describing the clinical outcomes of healthcare workers who cared for severe pneumonia patients before Covid-19 was diagnosed. The patient was diagnosed with Covid-19 four days later. Contact tracing was carried out and this revealed that up to 41 healthcare workers had been exposed to aerosol-generating procedures for at least 10 minutes at distances that were proximal to the patient. The procedures that generated aerosols included, noninvasive ventilation, extubation, intubation, and aerosol exposure in open circuits. When these healthcare workers were tested for Covid-19 it was revealed that none of those who had been exposed had developed symptoms. In addition, the different PCR tests carried out returned negative. These healthcare workers had been putting on surgical masks, observing hand hygiene and carried out other different standard procedures that protected them from getting infected.
Chatterjee et al. (2020) carried out a stochastic mathematical model to investigate the healthcare impacts of Covid-19 in India. A compartmental SEIR model was developed in which a set of differential equations was used in the modeling of flow of individuals through compartment. The study established that in India, an uninterrupted epidemic would have resulted in up 10 364 million cases, out of which 1.56 million patients would have lost their lives. In line with the model, India had a likelihood of reaching 3 million cases by 25th may at the growth rate of 1.15 then. That would end up overwhelming India`s healthcare system.
Results and discussion
With the onset of Covid-19, different governments put in place different movement restrictions that were aimed at controlling the spread of the virus. These control measures went a long way in reducing social contacts.
Impacts on consumer behaviors
Covid-19 exacerbated the need for reflecting on the social impacts of the lifestyles of individuals. At some point in 2020, the behaviors of consumers were alarmist and a lot of panic buying was witnessed especially for sanitary products and food items. Consumer sentiments have also been changing at the private level. Citizens have been forced into re-evaluating their patterns of making purchases prompted by the difficulties in accessing goods, with an observation being made that most of the focus being on the purchase of essential items. The linear economy model is also expected to be affected by individual consumerism and rapid innovation which lead to technological obsolescence, for instance, in the case of mobile phones whose average life time is four years after making an assumption that due to lockdowns and economic shutdowns, their manufacture services and also repair services have been liited significantly.
On the other hand, patenting plagues a sector like health that stands to benefit from vital equipment being produced and consumed in large numbers. Patenting is done on the majority of medical equipment and Italy`s issue related to the infringement of the patents of 3D printers led to calls for “Good Samaritan Laws” that would be instrumental in dealing with Covid-19 and other emergencies across the globe. These types of initiatives could play an important role in addressing the issues of the scarcity and high costs of critical equipment through cottage industry production.
To put this into perspective, most countries abilities to produce PPE`s have been shown to be limited, and there are countries that have opted to rationing the production of facemasks. It is no surprise that the homemade facemask industry has become increasingly critical in addressing shortages and has been included in the Covid-19 exit strategies of different countries. Reviving the production cottage industry for production of items like facemasks has the potential of changing the global production landscape.
Negative economic impacts
An assessment by Coibin et al. (2020) established that it was primary lockdowns and not the Covid-19 virus that brought about the declines in employment, consumption, reduced expectations on inflation, reduced payments on mortgages, and increased uncertainty. Covid-19 negative effects include severe contraction of many country`s GDP`s to other social and environmental effects. With millions of people being quarantined, borders being shut, schools being closed, crippling of travel industries, cancellation of trade fairs and entertainment events, and an increase in the rates of unemployment, resurfacing of protectionism and nationalism happened.
Covid-19 has effectively distorted the operating assumptions of the world and subsequently revealed that the dominant economic model lacks the resilience of responding to crises and shocks that are unplanned for. The complex global chains of production and supply have been exposed as being weak and over centralized. Global economies have also been exposed as being extremely fragile. Weak links within industries have also been highlighted. These factors have directly impacted employment and have acted to heighten the risks related to food insecurities owing to border restrictions and lockdowns. While the different movement restriction measures introduced by governments across the world have had positive impacts on the flattening of curves, populations have been hardly hit. The flattening of curves has prevented heath systems from being overburdened, even though today, there are hard hit countries whose health systems are completely overwhelmed.
How badly the world is affected by the recession brought about by Covid-19 is dependent on how well the pandemics socio-economic implications are understood. There is a high likelihood that with the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus, many countries in the world will with time be hit by recessions. In 2020, the World Economic Outlook reversed its forecast of a growth of the economy which effectively makes the intensity of the global economic shock of Covid-19 to be equal to the shock that was caused by the Great Depression. There is an expectation that in the advanced countries, the economies will cumulatively contract by -6.1% while for developing and emerging economies, a projection is made that the recession will be less adverse.
With very many people losing their jobs there has been an increase in global poverty. Covid-19 is estimated to push up to 49 million people from all over the world into extreme poverty and a projection is made that the worst hit region will be Sub-Sahara Africa. Countries stand to benefit from putting in place detailed universal systems for social protection which will play an instrumental role in the mitigation of poverty`s prevalence and the further protection of workers. Covid-19 has also had negative effects on the global economy by reshaping sectorial activities and supply chains. Naturally supply chains suffer when there is geographical dispersion and fragmentation. As a result of globalization, these supply chains have been rendered these supply chains increasingly interdependent and complex and they have increasingly become vulnerable to disruptions. Very many companies have reported disruptions owing to the pandemic, bringing to the fore a crisis whose roots are in the absence of flexibility and understanding of the global supply chain`s different layers and the absence of diversification in the strategies the use for sourcing. Such disruptions have had impacts on importing countries as a result of the absence of raw materials, and also exporting countries, as a result of the absence of outputs for local firms. That has subsequently contributed to the development of momentary manufacturing deserts where a significant drop is noted in a region, country, and city`s outputs, effectively turning them into restricted zones where it is not possible to purchase anything else other than drugs and essential food items. That has been as a result of the knock-on effect of the rising importance and dominance of China in the global economy and supply chain. Consequently, a global decline in trade has been observed. For example, a huge downturn was witnessed in global trade as a result of the reduction in China`s imports and their reduced economic activities globally. For instance, by March 2020, it was reported that Global trade had fallen by over 4% which was clear evidence of the pandemics impact on supply chains.
Impact on climate change
Covid-19 has also had impacts on the environment. The pandemic has had effects on global emissions, and that is especially those that relate to the emissions being released into the atmosphere. Reduced CO2 emissions have a relationship to Covid-`19`s effects on the development of human beings, which could have played an instrumental role in bringing about the financial crisis of 2020. The reduced degradation of the environment evolved together with the human development restrictions and declining rates of change. An observation was made that countries in Europe and Asia, there was a significant decline in the extent of ambient particulate matter. In the present situation, and to some extent, there has been in a decline in the atmospheric levels of aerosol and carbon monoxide within industrial and urban areas. The losses brought about by the pandemic in other sectors like trade, education and health are mirrored by the environmental gain.
A study by Snider-Mcgrath (2020) reported on Covid-19`s after effects on exercise rates and made a conclusion that reduced pollution and noise and traffic congestions brought about an increase in the rates with which people exercised as people increasingly leveraged on the improved atmospheres. Owing to Covid-19, beaches have also become cleaner. Beaches make up the interface that exists between ocean and land, offering protection from cyclones and marine storms. Due to the different measures put in place restricting movements, there have been noticeable changes in relation the physical appearance of different beaches across the world.
An analysis of Covid-19`s impacts on global economies identify different factors that have had effects on economic conditions. Pirouz et al. (2020) made an observation that the pandemic has had adverse effects on GDP`s as a result of its direct effect in weakening the overall economies of different countries across the globe. These findings are supported by the view that losing consumer consumption goes a long way in affecting the economy. What this implies is that when there are very many different socio-economic factors present, the economic rate is lessened and the global economy is also decelerated.
Moti and Ter Goon (2020) argue that to be able to deal with the implications of the coronavirus pandemic, global economic integration is quite necessary. A relatively balanced partnership between the private and public sector taking into account the health system and the contextual economy, and is specific to the situations of individual countries, is key in ensuring the economic recovery of different countries. The total GDP of the globe is dependent on different country`s economies, with the largest contributor being China followed by USA. As a result of Covid-19, most companies have been immensely affected, significantly halting the production of goods and moving towards closure. The reduced production of goods has immensely affected consumers and purchasing practices have also significantly reduced. Also, sales have significantly reduced, something that also hardly hits international markets. For different major brands like Land Rover and Apple, the issue of loss of consumers and investors has become a reality. For instance, the lack of consumer purchases forced Hyundai into shutting some of its supply operations and business services in 2020. Another major brand that was hardly hit was Starbucks as the inability of consumers to purchase forced them into shutting down some of their outlets. China also reduced its oil import rate which in effect led to a decline in oil prices internationally. There are also a lot of uncertainties that have been noted in smartphone consumption with the decline of demand and supplies. These declines in purchases have hit almost all sectors. Covid-19 continues to ravage global economies and it is expected that even its aftermath will have an impact on the economies of the globe. IMF published a report in 2020 were they pointed out that issues with relations to Covid-19 had the potential of restricting the economy of the globe, with an expectation that a collapse of overall sustainable development would be observed. Covid-19`s impacts are not just limited to sustainable development as there are also challenges that have close ties with the management of trade across the globe. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP, 2020) identifies trade as playing an important role in increasing the cooperation of economies and saving livelihoods. Trade infrastructure plays a key role in boosting the confidence levels of operations and subsequently facilitating improvements to the transparency of trade operations. There are various procedures and actions that have to be taken to ensure that the Covid-19 situation is appropriately managed. There are opportunities for supplying food and health products with the support of global trade`s infrastructure. That would place organizations in a better place to go around unnecessary import and export practices. Through the development of the trade infrastructure of the globe, government support and public interest would be attained which would play a pivotal role in ensuring that development choices are effectively analyzed.
Covid-19 has really altered the ways things are in the globe. There have been job losses, increased income inequalities, increments in global poverty levels and economic shocks across the globe. Modern healthcare delivery systems have also been exposed as inadequate to deal with pandemics with many countries healthcare systems having been overwhelmed by the pandemic. In addition, the pandemic has led to the closure of schools, extensively altering academic calendars.
Moving forward, countries should invest in making themselves more resilient and innovative. There is need that all those post-Covid-19 investments that will be geared towards accelerating reduced carbon emissions and increased resilience, to be integrated into economic recovery stimulus packages because of the knowledge that the dominant linear economic model has major shortcomings.
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