The new year marks the completion of a year since the Coronavirus brought a whirlwind of change and worry around the world as well as in Nepal. It is quite hard to believe that it has been more than a year since the entire world halted its due to the pandemic.
The Stat Before.
The first case of COVID-19 in Nepal in January of 2020. The first lockdown initiated in the country was on March 24, 2020, and ended on 21 July 2020. 4 months, the country stood still as the wreath of COVID took over.
Nepalese citizens went through many crucial problems that did not only limit to the danger of covid, they faced further problems like unemployment, hunger, hygiene issues, and poverty.
The government stopped sending workers to South Korea and Qatar also imposed a temporary ban on incoming laborers from Nepal, leaving 40,000 laborers stranded who had already collected permits but were yet to leave. One of the worst effects of the pandemic was on the poor people. The poor got poorer whereas the rich got time to relax.
There was also some chaos in the market after there was a shortage of face masks and sanitizers. 4 pharmacies were charged rs 800,000 for increasing the price for masks. Many of these masks and sanitizers were also confiscated after found in warehouses to be sold on the black market.
Poaching was also suddenly increased since there was a lack of surveillance. Within the first 10 days of the lockdown 3, critically endangered gharials were killed in Chitwan and an elephant was hunted in Bardiya. Later on, many deers were also found dead.
Another field that saw a major problem was the pharmaceutical market. Many essential ingredients that were imported from other countries were halted. This raised a question of doubt and risk of the manufacture of these important medicines. However, later India relaxed the border restrictions and the situation was stabilized.
Another sector, that the pandemic had a major impact, was kind of unexpected, which is the share market.
NEPSE had seen a crazy boom throughout the year. Almost every day, record-breaking highs were being set and a lot of people joined the trading platform. The stock market for Nepal had seen a major impact from the COVID-19.
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After the lockdown opened and the cases started decreasing, finally people started getting back to business. People who depended on their income from their daily work were finally able to earn their daily wages. People like fruit vendors, laborers started looking for work as soon as possible.
And soon everything was almost back to normal. Restaurants were opened by setting tables further away, all shops were opened and even gymnasiums. Newroad was again jam-packed and parking was impossible to find. With a mask on people were quick to go back to her daily routine. Schools also finally reopened physical classes after students spent almost an entire academic year online.
New Year 2078
The new year 2078 comes while the threat of the virus rising again. On 14th April 2021, there were 460 new cases. There are even rumors of lockdown, while the education board requests there not to be. This has been met with many controversies since students are at risk. There have also been many protests at Maiti Ghar demanding public health awareness.
Just when everybody was finally getting back to their normal lives, moving on for the scarring experience, there again looms a threat of lockdown. However, there can not be made any compromises regarding such a sensitive matter. If we had taken stricter precautions before maybe the current state would not have been this bad. Events like Holi, Shivratri, and the ongoing Bsiket Jatra include huge crowds of people. The way Indian people are using Nepal to travel for labor should also be canceled as it has packed all flights and invites out-of-country people inside.
While people generally expect a new year new beginning, but these rising cases of covid might not make this happen. Let’s just hope this new year changes everything in our favor.