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The balancing act to save lives
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The balancing act to save lives

The government of Bangladesh recently eased the restrictions imposed in a nationwide lockdown which came into effect on July 1, 2021. The lockdown was intended to contain the soaring death rates and Covid-19 cases. Reflecting on the challenges of living in a lockdown, Abdullah Al Hasan, a Correspondent from Bangladesh, argues that protecting livelihoods and saving lives is a difficult balancing act.

 

It’s a different world for all of us. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, reality has defeated our nightmares and it’s casting a shadow of black clouds all over us. In Bangladesh, we’ve been facing the dilemma of keeping people safe and keeping our businesses alive all at once. It is very hard to balance everything. 

Keeping people safe from the virus in Bangladesh has been challenging because of how densely populated the country is. Additionally, people didn’t seem fully convinced of the danger even during the lockdown. Many people didn’t follow safety measures at all, let alone abide by the directives of the government and law enforcement personel. It’s like we had either reached a certain point of carelessness or our patience had been fully tested or, maybe both. Death, being the greatest tragedy of life, didn’t seem to scare us anymore. 

Death, being the greatest tragedy of life, didn’t seem to scare us anymore. 

People living below the poverty line struggled during the lockdown. They earn on a day to day basis to survive, not live, so when everything was closed  for days, they suffered tremendously.

The middle class faced their own difficulties during the COVID-19 lockdown. With job and salary cuts, many of them were living on their savings.We we telling these desperate people to stay at home and live a miserable life. 

COVID-19 has impacted businesses in Bangladesh, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  A number of these businesses have gbeen struggling. 

Two of the biggest festivals of the Muslim community are Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as large businesses look forward to the festivals in hopes of making a profit. But last year, they all missed out on this opportunity because of the pandemic and it’s the same this year as well. The lockdown for businesses meant they were being pushed to the wall. They railed against the lockdown and protested for the government to reopen everything. 

Despite our lockdown dilemma, there are areas where we have advanced during the pandemic. In the education sector, for example,  we are now using technology to deliver online classes, exams and other virtual teaching and learning activities. Additionally, online food delivery, shopping, grocery and medical services have flourished overnight. They have created new jobs and opportunities. 

Combating COVID-19 won’t be easy. As we try to find our way through the shadow cast by this pandemic we will continue to be faced with the task of balancing the safety of our people with freedom of movement which enables businnesses to remain open and citizens, especially the poor to make a living.

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Photo Credit: Commonwealth Asset Bank

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………About Abdullah Al Hasan:

 Hi, I’m from Bangladesh; the green land. Graduated from North South University majoring in marketing. Apart from my full time job, I love to write and explore human psychology. My other interests include metaphysics, chaos theory and politics.I’m on a secret mission to fulfill my ordinary dreams .

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles

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