Covid 19 Pandemic The Bad, the Revelation and the Unknown

By Saleem Beebeejaun - May 04, 2020
Covid 10 Pandemic, image by citiesabc

The Bad, the Revelation and the Unknown

The Bad (Virus)

This is a Thought leadership opinion article by Saleem Beebeejaun

Very few predicted a pandemic of such a global and devastating magnitude , some are now predicting that at least 1 Bn people could be infected by the virus and many are claiming that we will witness many more deaths over time. There has been a lot written and said about the virus but for sure up to today we are still need to better understand the virus and our knowledge of it is evolving daily.

Viruses are minute and not very complex and there is much debate as to whether they are considered to be living. The viruses hijack the cells in our bodies and create more viruses by converting our cells into virus factories. This makes it complicated for people suffering from viral infections, like the common cold, to be treated as they are difficult to combat without also damaging the cells the virus has infected. So, what will be our chances of developing a vaccine against the Covid-19? Will that vaccine protect us over our lifetime or for short periods?

Our knowledge of the virus is still basic and we are still learning - science keeps investigating challenging theories and ideas against data as they emerge. We should bear in mind that drug testing and validation is a slow and expensive process and whilst many of us may feel that in the case of Covid-19 this process has been slow, we have actually been very fast. Not even a few months after the first case was detected, we are now hoping to develop a vaccine soon and this gives an idea of how fast the different scientific teams have been and Artificial Intelligence has been a vital part of the research allowing cost cutting and faster results. The Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted many aspects of how artificial intelligence is being used in medicine.

The Revelation (Shortcomings)

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the major limitations of governments, none of which have been able to work together at best or take global leadership against this pandemic. Instead there has been division, suspicion, retention of data, finger pointing and denial of the threats posed by the Covid-19.

The WHO has been questioned, attacked and denigrated and the responses to the Covid-19 country by country and in some cases state by state have been uncoordinated, erratic, inconsistent and conflicting. Some closed their borders whilst other left them open. Some tested whilst other did not.
Some talked about immunity passports, others rejected that. Some tested unabatedly and other did not.

Today the Covid-19 has clearly highlighted the limitations of Governments in the face of a world threat and has actually exacerbated the politics of division, suspicion and hate creating a very divided world which risks ending up as an isolationist world with limited exchange amongst the countries.

This is unlikely to change going forward as the nationalists and local considerations dictate the local and national politics and world matters. The democracies time horizon spans over 4 to 5 years and the objective is to remain in power whatever the price. World survival does not come into that equation.

Are we now considering a molt where the leadership vacuum will be filled in by the huge private corporations who have a time horizon much longer than that of politicians and governments? There are corporations today that are significantly wealthier than 80% of nations and that have to ensure global growth to maintain their continued grip over the world economy and societies. It is clear that today the private corporations have in many instances led the war against the Covid-19. On the other hand, the governments have been busy managing their local constituents, instead of tackling the pandemic.

The Unknown (way forward)

  • Will there be a vaccine?
  • What will international travel be like?
  • Will the world be the same?
  • Will automation replace people?
  • Will there be famine?
  • Will privacy rules be relaxed?
  • Will school be the same?
  • How will the world cope with the second wave?
  • Will Africa be impacted once winter settles in?
  • Can private sector fill in the vacuum left by the governments?
  • How will the supply chains be impacted?
  • How will social interaction evolve?
  • And so many more questions…

There will have to be a redefinition of the way in the which the world responds to global threats.

This pandemic had been listed as an eventuality but there was no credence given to these warning as this eventuality was deemed too remote. Will we put into question the way in which the world is run now given that the world is so interconnected and that the fate of each nation and country is linked to the other.

This is the first of a major global threat and there will be others arising out of different causes including climate change, excessive pollution…

The way forward is one where we have a more trusting entente amongst the superpowers and where the long-term survival of humanity prevails…

As Peter Drucker said” The best way to predict the future is to create it” and we have to make our voices heard to safeguard the future of our children.

About Saleem Beebeejaun - the author:

Saleem Beebeejaun is a business leader and thought leader that has been working in financial and business for decades. Saleem Beebeejaun is currently the Chairman of the Warwyck Private Bank, the first and only private bank operating in Mauritius. Saleem Beebeejaun is very well respected in all spheres of the Mauritius civil and business societies and cuts across the different communities to emerge as an experienced and balanced business leader.

After completing his Licence – Lès Sciences Economiques from the University of Montpellier, France, Saleem Beebeejaun started his professional career as a supervisor working in the agricultural sector, mainly managing cane fields, with his grandfather. He subsequently undertook further studies in insurance and graduated as a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He was awarded the H G Greening prize rewarding him as the first in Life subjects worldwide.

Saleem also followed the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School and is a Harvard alumnus.

In 2012, Saleem set up a management company, Baines Trust which he sold in 2017 and in 2014 he set up Warwyck Private Bank, the only private bank operating in Mauritius which now manages in excess of USD 1.3 Bn. Warwyck Private Bank is regulated by the Bank of Mauritius and the Financial Services Commission.

Saleem Beebeejaun – Honorary Consul of Malaysia

Saleem has served as the Honorary Consul of Malaysia to Mauritius since 2008. He has been very active and has helped organize many missions and visits of Malaysian dignitaries to Mauritius. In that capacity he met and greeted Tun Mahathir in Mauritius in 2012 on his way to and from the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

His personal website is https://saleembeebeejaun.com/

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