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Friday, April 19, 2024

COVID-19: Militaristic response and the crumbling healthcare system

This mishandling of the policy in favor of militarism came as a drop back to the deep strain of historical occurrence between 1939 and 1945 and then in the cold war.

This newer and unpopular version of coronavirus is causing mayhem globally and disrupting the pre-COVID lifestyle that once seems to have dominated us ferociously. COVID-19 has brought to the fore two problems – looking at everything through a military lens and lack of healthcare funding. That could be well described by the fervour of the 90s, when Communism fell and Capitalism triumphed.

So many nukes, so little healthcare 

This time will be a lesson for the newer generation that investing in health was a wise move neglected for the past hundred years. Surprisingly, nuclear powers in South Asia had more tanks than ventilators when the pandemic knocked on its doors from the borders of Balochistan. The healthcare sector finds itself most fragile, amidst pandemic.

Read more: Which people are at most risk with Covid 19?

The realities of the pre-COVID era were so strong in terms of influencing vulnerable minds (especially, the TV-steamers) that the peasantry population turned out to be renegades when the government most needed their support for the lock-down.

Overly militaristic response to COVID-19 explained

Protests against lock-down is not an American phenomenon alone, in fact, it is a global phenomenon, happening across continents.

Read more: How can Pakistan and India cooperate on COVID 19?

This mishandling of the policy in favour of militarism came as a drop back due to the deep strain of historical occurrence between 1939 and 1945 and then in the cold war.

Though the winds of Blitzkrieg are replaced with technologies like warheads equipped with malignant nuclear systems, the deep-seated military-industrial complex remains to dominate politics and economical policy.


It is primarily a case with rising democratic powers that their much-needed transition is hijacked by their military as in the case of African nations, and some Asian, in a transition toward democracy.

It is true that the healthcare sector was seen as a major source of investment in national identity because a good healthcare system equipped with generous welfare packages and free education was an easy way for the cheap token of nationalism in many developed countries.

Powers at the start of the 20th century took it to their heart to invest in this area. Not forgetting that the dividend was good, to be compounded and re-invested later on in the first world war, and later in the second world war.

However, now military chest-thumping has once again gained a higher place than social development in national priorities.

Read more: Ways Covid-19 can accelerate development in Pakistan

The response of the world to the pandemic is different. But the ‘new normal’ in the basket of responses to a pandemic is the easing of lock-down, despite the substantial risk to follow and the protest of medical specialists that are on the front-line, a sector mainly dominated by women.

Healthcare workers’ worldwide backlash

Global South is not alone in battling a scarcely funded healthcare system. In France, a major protest was held by the front-line workers against low-spending. In a move described as a ‘guard of dishonor’ medical staff showed their backs to Belgium’s Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes when she appeared to visit a major hospital in Brussels.

The move was aimed to show their grievances, however, it was deliberately and strategically employed in a way of a ‘guard of dishonor’ to insult the system, that was once-overwhelmingly aristocratic and bourgeoisie-dominated. The healthcare sector during the coronavirus pandemic finds itself on the front-line.

Frontline workers, especially from healthcare, have resented the decision of scarce funding worldwide. However, even worse is the fact that lockdowns were eased in name of helping the economy, further burdening the healthcare system.

Read more: Covid-19: A multifaceted challenge

Easing the lock-down is no less than a conspiracy in itself, being spelt in the name of poverty-stricken workers, unemployed in the times of pandemic and acutely prone to infections.

Thus, if they are to be annihilated by this mutating-little creation of amino-acids, it will be not an ill-rational move on the part of policy-makers to ease the lock-down by morally presenting the facts and figures of downgraded realities of unemployed peasants as a pretext, to retain the patronage-privilege relationship between elites.

The failure to cope with the coronavirus pandemic is partially linked to our historic militarist mindset and our subservience to elites.

The Islamabad-based writer is a Biotechnology graduate. He has overlapping interests in many areas. He’s also a fiction writer. You can reach him at twitter @hassamgul3 The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.