To date, the coronavirus pandemic has infected about 3.5 million and killed about 250 thousand people worldwide. It has also changed how we live, interact, and work. While new infections and deaths are slowing down in Europe and North America, the pandemic is rapidly expanding to poorer countries of Asia and Africa. With health systems rapidly preparing for care management of those infected, several countries in South Asia have adopted the lockdown approach to curtail the spread of virus. Though this approach might appear to serve the best interest of countries in containing the spread of the virus in the long-term, several unintended consequences may unfold in the interim.
Dealing with nation-wide disruptions is nothing new to Bangladesh. Political unrest, military coups, and natural disasters in the country have time and again made global news headlines, often with sad imageries. The people of the country and its leadership have also been widely applauded for their resilience and success in managing large-scale shocks. But the lockdown under COVID-19 appears to be different. It is clearly the largest disruption of livelihoods in the country's history, with its long-term impacts far exceeding the earlier shocks, such as the 1998 floods or many episodes of tumultuous political unrest.
This is a photo I captured back in 2013. I gave it a simple name - “Poor but happy” - the term I learnt from my early-school books.
I forgot the name of the person.
On April, 2018, I went on a field work with our research team. We were randomly back-checking few observations of the data that our enumerators were delivering to our server.