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A Battle: The Effects of COVID-19 on Living Conditions In India

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic that had hit the world hard in late 2019, India and several other countries were facing harsh living conditions. Due to overpopulation and lack of facilities many were unable to have access to clean water, restrooms, food, sanitation supplies, and shelter. The poverty rate in India prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was around 6.7%, but the introduction of the virus heightened it to around 9.7%. The virus has also caused new levels of unemployment in developed countries but the effect of it on developing countries that are amassing prosperity is drastic. As the virus continues to plague daily life, how have lives changed in India? Some changes are the level of unemployment and public safety.

The level of unemployment is on a rampant charge since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus. In India, the percentage has increased from 5.36% to 11.9% over the span of just 2 years. However, it did reach its peak of 23.52% in April of 2020, during one of the strongest waves of COVID. To explain this sudden increase, we need to take into account the previous conditions in India’s unemployment rates. India has a substantial agricultural economic sector, but the rights of farmers due to government intervention and involvement have changed its productivity. Many farmers resorted to moving to urban centers for jobs in an attempt for better lives as it was more profitable. In turn, there were also many new start-up companies and employers seeking workers in these large urban centers. As a result, there was a relatively low unemployment rate although it is still high when in comparison to other countries. The emergence of the virus and the need for precautionary measures to reduce the risk of spread, caused many companies to shut down or switch to remote offices.

However, not all companies had the luck of being able to switch to remote as some required on-site work. This led to a strong decline in the number of jobs available as more companies shut down due to lacking funds and market. Unemployment rates reached their peaks during the biggest waves of the virus as a result of strict lockdown guidelines that limited companies and employees to continue working normally. When analyzing the switch to remote offices, it is also revealed how urbanization reversed to a sort as employees moved back to their hometowns due to an inability to pay rent and desire to work from home, where it’s risk-free in sparsely-populated rural areas. However, this stopped the flow of money from urban centers to rural areas while also increasing the spread of the virus from cities to villages. To conclude, the COVID-19 pandemic shifted demographic patterns in India alongside its spike in unemployment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused great disarray in public safety and health, not only due to the transmission of COVID but also as a result of the hardships caused by it. Foremost, the Coronavirus is easily transmissible and new strains have formed where they can even spread through the air in addition to contact. However, its symptoms vary and diagnosing the virus before it is critical has become more difficult to an extent. With the addition of a large population in India, the lack of social distance, and masks the virus can spread easily. Since it can spread through indirect contact as well , it causes more people to face more susceptibility to the virus and poses a threat to public safety. This rapid transmission is also due to the lack of resources for public safety such as masks and cleaning supplies for the entire population. Furthermore, public safety is threatened by crime and theft due to unemployment and lack of money to buy materials for safety. Theft and crime rates are high as people who have lost their jobs do not have the resources to support their families. In addition, mental health is crucial and very important during this period of lockdown and self-isolation, but many are affected by this isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed several different areas of public safety and health, despite guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus because of an interconnected series of reactions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had such a huge toll on people not only in India but worldwide. Specifically in India, there has been recent news of an oxygen shortage for COVID patients and the lack of facilities in these hospitals to contain all its patients safely without overcrowding. People are being turned away from hospitals leaving them without the facilities they need to keep breathing. The treatment of patients has been greatly affected but also the availability of the vaccine has harmed the number of prevention measures being taken. Many vaccination sites have been closed due to the lack of having the materials necessary. There are fluctuations in the availability of vaccines in India, while the government aims to distribute it to everyone. All in all, let’s do our best to help others out, take care of ourselves and our family while also making the most out of the situation.

Works Cited

Christophe Jaffrelot, Hemal Thakker. “Covid-19, Amplifying the Return of Mass Poverty in India.” Institut Montaigne, Institut Montaigne, 15 Oct. 2020, Accessed 5 June 2021.

Yuki. “COVID-19 and an Increasing Poverty Rate in India.” BORGEN, BORGEN, 11 Mar. 2021, Accessed 5 June 2021.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Poverty in India.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 May 2021, Accessed 5 June 2021.

Rakesh Kochhar. “In the Pandemic, India’s Middle Class Shrinks and Poverty Spreads While China Sees Smaller Changes.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 18 Mar. 2021,,low%2Dincome%20tier%20in%202020.. Accessed 5 June 2021.

“Unemployment.”, 2016, Accessed 5 June 2021.

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