Corona: wound of infection, loss of death, period of panic  



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com, Dhaka
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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Corona opened its poisonous claws in Wuhan, China in December 2019. On January 11, 2020, after several days of suppression, China announced the death of the first person in Corona. On January 13, it was heard that Corona's attack had also started in Thailand.

The world's leading corona-infected country, the United States, died on February 29. On March 11, Corona was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The death toll from corona in the United States at the beginning of March was less than fifty. Even then people were coming and going freely from Europe and some parts of Asia. Meanwhile, the students got spring break. The joyous parties began with unbounded pleasure. There were lots of mixing. As a result, the corona spread at a great speed.

In Peru in April that fifty was five thousand. And then it touched about twenty-five thousand. The highest number of deaths was in New York. Most of the victims are black people who have been given food. Assistance has been provided for the unemployed and homeless. The 2 trillion 'Corona Virus Aid Package' had been passed, bringing some financial relief to the common man and small and large businesses. The vaccine has already arrived. The pace of the ongoing preventive war against the pandemic had largely shifted to the people.

As of Tuesday (October 12), Johns Hopkins University reports that 238,346,847 people have been infected with corona worldwide and 4,859,112 have died. According to Bangladesh IEDCR sources, 15,63,501 people were infected and 27,713 died. The number is expected to rise further in December, two years after the outbreak of the Corona pandemic.

Jonathan Quick, an American physician, is a man involved in reading about the pandemic, its remedies and various projects. His book (co-authored by Brownwin Fryer), The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It, was published in 2019. "We are all afraid to die," he wrote. Overwhelmed by the fear of the pandemic, we want to put the blame on someone else. Whenever there is a threat, it is the ‘they’ who do not think we are exactly ‘us’. When the Spanish flu broke out in 1918, the Americans blamed the Huns (Germans). The blame for AIDS fell on homosexuals. It is believed that the reason for this curse is that they are different. The most contagious thing that attacks the political leaders, the merchants, the common people beyond the real disease is panic. Panicked people exaggerate themselves in the news, raising their concerns. Panic is actually a precautionary measure that alerts us to potential dangers, as in the case of an animal. Whenever we let it overwhelm our reasoning, it gets more and more confusing. "

Not everyone is the same. In The Psychology of Pandemics: Preparing for the Next Global Outbreak of Infectious Disease (published: 2019), psychologist Steven Taylor writes differently: "Many people can cope with trauma. It doesn't have a lasting impression. But it is certain that many people will be terrified of the next pandemic, some of which will have a very high level of it. Psychological trauma or psychological 'footprint' will be more than traumatic trauma. "

What happened in Ebola as well as in West Africa during 2014-15 did not match the level of panic that arose with the number of pandemics. The United States was also alarmed, although the chances of infection were very low or negligible.

Corona will one day be cut off, as many pandemics of the past have been removed. But the wounds of the victim, the loss of death, the fear of terror will not cut through people's lives and minds very easily. People's lives and livelihoods will undoubtedly change into a clear division between 'before corona' and 'after corona'. This can be said in the light of the various types of research that is constantly being done around the world on the effects and effects of the Corona pandemic. These issues are becoming clear in the research. This includes accounts of financial gains and losses due to corona, various health issues, as well as mental issues. Researchers also say that the world's average life expectancy has dropped dramatically due to global Covid.

So much thought and research about Corona is not being unreasonable. Because the death toll from the coronavirus has already surpassed the death toll from various global pandemics in the past. Millions of people are suffering from the next reaction after being infected. Not only that, this is for the first time since World War II that the average life expectancy has dropped dramatically.

This important information was found in a study by Oxford University. The average life expectancy of men in the United States, the world's top affected country by corona, has dropped by almost two years, researchers say. In addition, the average life expectancy of Covid has decreased in European countries and several countries in South America.

Oxford conducted the survey in a total of 29 countries. University researchers from 22 countries have found evidence in support of this claim to reduce life expectancy. The survey was conducted in a comparative trial with 2019. The study found that corona outbreaks have led to a worrying decline in life expectancy in 2020.

Meanwhile, the whole world has been fighting with Corona for almost 2 years. Corona has a strong presence in South Asia as well as in Europe and America. From time to time new waves of viruses and new species of viruses are spreading all over the world. But hopefully, over the last two years, many people have developed antibodies in their bodies fighting corona. That antibody is making people stronger in the fight against corona. Vaccines are playing a special collaborative role in the ongoing war against Corona.

The coronavirus, the most widespread and deadly global pandemic in the history of the world and human civilization in the twenty-first century, has changed the nature of society and civic life. The nature of human society has changed. Just as the desolate streets cried out when all the people were suddenly under house arrest, so did the many warnings come to life. Market places, crowded tourist spots often seem haunted by the movement of a few people. Many cities have become alive or half-alive. Countless people have lost their jobs or been forced to change their profession. The footsteps of the financial crisis have been heard in many countries.

Corona has forced the world to learn a lot. It has changed the way of life and daily life. In Europe, instead of shaking hands, boys now greet each other on foot. The practice of greeting women with cheeks will probably come to an end. Social interactions, chats, hustle and bustle, travel, transportation, etc. have also undergone extensive transformation and control.

Corona will one day leave the world, but many socially conventional behaviors may be completely forgotten. Masks and sanitizers will be the main items of daily use. Many people will suffer from corona. Many families will be saddened by the loss of relatives. Lower and middle class people will breathe a sigh of relief. Most importantly, the stagnant captive years in Corona will never be found again. The average life expectancy of a person who has been reduced in Corona may not increase again very easily. In fact, the life of the earth and human beings will be clearly divided and differentiated under the headings of 'before Corona' and 'after Corona', the remnants of which will remain in the wake of Corona's wounds, death, terror.

Who will lead France for the next five years?



Dr Mahfuz Parvez
Macron and Le Pen Prepare for Showdown

Macron and Le Pen Prepare for Showdown

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France on Saturday (April 23) prepared to choose between centrist President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen to rule the country for the next five years after a bitterly contested and polarising election campaign. By Sunday (April 24) evening, the world will know whether France has elected its first female leader, or the first two-term president since Jacques Chirac.

Considering the election processes, It’s looking like Emmanuel Macron is headed for victory; he holds a ten-point average lead in polls over his challenger, the far-right Marine Le Pen. That she is still within range of Macron, who trounced her by 30 percentage points in 2017, has Western capitals nervous that the French could swap an ardent EU supporter for one closer to Moscow than Brussels.

However, Undecided voters are one concern, with as many as 11 percent still yet to make up their minds. The supporters of the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon are another wildcard. The worry for Macron is not so much that they would go over to Le Pen, but that they simply won’t vote at all. Just under half of his first round voters don’t intend to cast a ballot on Sunday, but two-thirds of those who plan to vote say they’ll back Macron.

Michele Barbero, in a Paris dispatch for Foreign Policy Journal, spoke with one Mélenchon supporter who isn’t sure whether to vote on Sunday. “I feel disillusioned, desperate, and I have less and less confidence in politics to bring about more social justice,” she said.

As the election of Joe Biden in 2020 showed, a victory for a centrist candidate doesn’t magically de-polarize an electorate. So even a loss may not spell the end for Le Pen, who will be just 58 when the 2027 elections come around—and would no longer have to face Macron, who would be barred from serving a third consecutive term.

With Le Pen within arm’s reach of Macron, some world leaders have gotten off the fence. In a rare foray into French politics, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made the case for Macron in a Le Monde op-ed on Thursday. Sharing a byline with his left-leaning counterparts Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, the three men presented a choice between “a democratic candidate, who believes that France grows in a powerful EU. And a far-right candidate, who openly sides with those attacking our freedom and democracy.”

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former Brazilian President has also stated his support for Macron, describing the election as one where “the future of democracy” is at stake.

Although U.S. President Joe Biden has not publicly expressed his preference, his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama still might. The former president would be leaving it late; he already had backed Macron by this time in the 2017 election cycle.

Perhaps doing Le Pen a favor, given the distance she has tried to put between herself and the Russian leader during her campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stayed silent. Her ideological allies in Hungary and Poland have too.

Imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has also stumped for Macron—while skewering his opponent, saying on Twitter that any so-called conservative who is sympathetic to Putin “is actually just a hypocrite with no conscience.”

Barring a too-close-to-call election, exit polls should predict the winner by the time voting ends at 8 p.m. Paris time on Sunday.

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Professor, Political Science, University of Chittagong and Associate Editor, barta24.com

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Let’s talk about the elephant in the room



Tazlina Zamila Khan
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room

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Our nation has reached a point where just walking down the street is the most risky and courageous undertaking that one can perform. Once you go out into the street, there is no assurance that you will be able to return to your loved ones. No matter what mode of transportation you choose, such as a bus or a car, you are not protected. I was taken aback when I received some news about one of my students. He and his mother were driving home from school like they often did when their car collided with a rickshaw, killing one of the passengers. The chauffeur was able to flee the scene very quickly, but my student's mother was gravely injured. It was a traumatic experience for such a young boy like him to see such an occurrence unfold in front of his own eyes. The person who died could have been anybody, and it might have been someone you know. Every day, the number of accidents increases, and the worth of human life decreases.

Sometimes it does remind me of one of the dialogues of Spiderman II --‘Uncle Ben was killed that night for being the only one who did the right thing’. Bangladeshi street scenes are similar to this in terms of situation. Even if you are driving safely and, in your lane, you may be involved in an accident due to the negligence of another driver. Thousands of Uncle Ben is Somebody else's careless behavior resulted in these people's death. To make a safer road, how much blood must be shed?

According to a news report of The Daily Star which stated the road accident rates increased by 30%. In addition to reckless driving, a lack of skilled drivers, mental and physical illness in drivers, insufficient benefits for drivers, slow vehicular movement on highways and youths riding carelessly on motorbikes, an ineffective traffic management system, and a lack of awareness among the general public are all factors contributing to traffic fatalities and injuries.

If the management is tight, however, all of these issues will not be addressed for some time. What annoys me the most is that in our nation, there is no consequence for individuals who are guilty for their actions on the road. The vast majority of the time, drivers escape after murdering someone. Every attempt is made to bring justice to the victim's family, but all of it is in vain.

With each victim who escapes, it sends a message to the whole society that "it is alright to murder someone since no one else will come to haunt you." This is very hazardous, and sadly, this is the reality of the situation in the country. As a result, accidents are happening on the other hand culprits are moving freely without being punished.

Despite the government's stated goal of reducing road accidents by 20-25 percent by 2024 and 50 percent by 2030, the number of accidents in the nation has continued to rise over the last few years.

When it comes to following the rules of the road, motorcycles have a particularly difficult time. They indicate that time is more important than human lives by rushing to the destination with the passengers. Every member of the family is affected by even a little accident. No matter how sympathetic or empathic you are to the victim's family, you will never be able to replace the gap left by the death of a spouse, a daughter, or a son. It's impossible to fathom the anguish and misery endured by the families affected by such tragedies.

Despite this, traffic accidents are still being referred to as the elephant in the room. As a matter of fact, it should have been dealt with and resolved much sooner had it been given more priority. In reality, though, it is steadily increasing. Why has it been put off for so long?

Road accidents are still a severe problem, despite the fact that our communication system has undergone a major shift. Adequate driving instruction is essential, and law enforcement authorities should be harsher with those who breach the rules. To illustrate that no one is above the law, the perpetrators of these crimes should be punished.

The writer is a faculty member of a private school

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Japan, China and Asian Peace



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez
Japan, China and Asian Peace

Japan, China and Asian Peace

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Japan and China, two important countries in Asia, are also influential in regional and international politics. These two countries can play a leading role in peace and development in Asia. Although their pasts are conflicting, their peaceful alliance is essential to world reality. Especially for Asia-Pacific peace, it is essential that the two countries come together.

Considering the important position of two countries, researchers have worked on the positive aspects of the friendly role of Japan and China. As they look to the past and the present, some researchers have raised hopes for the future. Ezra Feivel Vogel was an one of them.

Ezra Feivel Vogel, (Born: July 11, 1930, Delaware, Ohio, United States, Died: December 20, 2020, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States) was an American sociologist who wrote prolifically on modern Japan, China, and Korea, and worked both in academia and the public sphere. He was Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and the author of a masterpiece titled China and Japan: Facing History, published in 2019 just before his death.

According to Ezra Feivel Voge, China and Japan have cultural and political connections that stretch back fifteen hundred years. But today their relationship is strained. China’s military buildup deeply worries Japan, while Japan’s brutal occupation of China in World War II remains an open wound. In recent years less than ten percent of each population had positive feelings toward the other, and both countries insist that the other side must deal openly with its history before relations can improve.

From the sixth century, when the Japanese adopted core elements of Chinese civilization, to the late twentieth century, when China looked to Japan for a path to capitalism, Ezra Vogel’s book examined key turning points in Sino–Japanese history. Throughout much of their past, the two countries maintained deep cultural ties, but China, with its great civilization and resources, had the upper hand. Japan’s success in modernizing in the nineteenth century and its victory in the 1895 Sino–Japanese War changed the dynamic, putting Japan in the dominant position. The bitter legacy of World War II has made cooperation difficult, despite efforts to promote trade and, more recently, tourism.

Vogel underscored the need for Japan to offer a thorough apology for the war, but he also urged China to recognize Japan as a potential vital partner in the region. He argued that for the sake of a stable world order, these two Asian giants must reset their relationship, starting with their common interests in environmental protection, disaster relief, global economic development, and scientific research.

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh and Associate Editor, www.barta24.com.
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Our victory: our pride



Syed Iftekhar
photo: Barta24.com

photo: Barta24.com

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In the 21st century, technology is a crucial factor for economic development. Bangladesh is not left behind, the current time the region is part of the global community. The country embarked on a long way since the declaration of independence in 1971.

Nowadays, Bangladesh turns 50 years. Digital Bangladesh is developing swiftly with this momentum that will lead the territory into achieving its future goals. Meanwhile, the region has commenced the journey towards Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's 'Sonar Bangla' through this massive triumph.

Here and now, Bangladesh is making an impressive leap on the Earth as our situation has dramatically improved. The world leaders have even noticed our successful transformation. Consequently, Bangladesh has ranked the fastest-growing economies in the world. From 1971 to 2021, Bangladesh ameliorated enormously; our food safety has significantly improved, poverty is also declining.

On the other hand, the private sector has expanded at an astonishing rate. Although there are still some sectors Bangladesh needs to address. We need to do major works more efficiently at present to secure an ample future. In this case, the present government is striving. As conscious citizens of this country, we have individual responsibility too.

However, as a firm citizen, I also have a gigantic dream. A dream for a better life, prosperous life. It is not just a conception. This would happen soon. I am immensely hopeful because without hope this country could not be created. Further, we could not overcome several obstacles as well as challenges. Nonetheless, the rigorous reality is hopes are not well enough. We must make a noteworthy endeavor to turn them into reality, thus, we can go far.

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