coronavirus lockdown, kashmir lockdown, covid 19 lockdown
A government forces' personnel standing guard during the coronavirus lockdown in Srinagar, Kashmir. Photograph by Bhat Burhan for The Kashmir Walla

The world is in an unprecedented transformation. The measures and strategies are in action as never before. It looked all together a different place just before 31 December 2019 — when China conveyed to the World Health Organization (WHO) that “cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan” in Hubei province of China. It led the WHO to issue a statement on 9 January mentioning that the Chinese researchers have made “preliminary determination” of the virus as a novel Coronavirus. 

What started from a seafood market killed more than 30,000 people across the globe and the counting is still on.

Global powers are in a state of chaos when after putting all the resources in use and channelizing all the energies, at least to put a check on COVID-19, the results are still unsatisfactory. The governments are trying to manage the affected population and stop the transmission of the virus further by promoting social distancing and self-isolation.

The whole world, and its order, seems to be conquered and occupied by the new conqueror — SARS-CoV-2. And it not only conquered but also established a new pandemic model of governance, which the world has never experienced before.

This pathogen has changed the political setup of the world in a way that the most powerful nations are helpless, as it challenges their hegemonic character — and in a way, setting up a new world order with no superpower dominating the world affairs and no bargaining states at all. 

The proud economies are crushing in such a way that they are compelled to redesign their economic policies with a single purpose of beating a pathogen.

It has also strangely changed the religious discourse of the world as well. The clerics of different religions are in deep introspection with closed lips as the rallies they used to lead and the sermons they used to dominate are no more. The mosques, churches, and temples are silent. This pandemic has turned hospitals into places of worship. 

Under the current circumstances, the social phenomenon has taken an amazing shift too; it has compelled the societies to maintain the distances not only between the individuals but between the nations — with closed borders, the term globalization is meaningless nowadays.

The air has also taken itself in the process of sanitization as there is no black smoke coming out of the big factories and the rivers are also regaining the long lost freshness.

The resounding bungalows are soundless and the busy gates of the elites are closed. The escalators and the lifts of the huge shopping malls and skyscrapers are motionless. The school grounds are empty and the doors of high tech classrooms are locked. With the world at still and everything in pause, the virus has all different governing rules: lockdown and curfews.

The pandemic has challenged — and somewhat replaced — the long-standing idea of military domination. And now the nations are empowering their healthcare system, which was long lost in their backyards — including India.

Dr. Tawseef Khan is a former research scholar of International Relations and Politics.

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