By M.A. Saki

The moral side of the epidemic 

April 22, 2020 - 22:17

Now the shoe is on the other foot. The timing couldn’t be better for Americans to experience first-hand a downturn economy, a chronic pain Iranians have endured for four decades under U.S.-led sanctions.  

Unlike previous economic hardships, this one is caused by a common cause, and that’s what makes it unique. 

The novel coronavirus is all over the place. As yet, it has left thousands dead, more than two millions infected, and virtually everyone affected in more than 177 countries. 

The U.S. has now become the country hit hardest by the pandemic. For the first time in the history of the country, all 50 states are under major disaster declaration with severe consequences for national and economic security. 

The pandemic curve seems to be flattening out in the major portion of Iran as it peaked sooner there than in the U.S. despite a few hotspots seeing a resurgence after phasing in essential economic sectors. 

For a rare moment in modern history, both nations, and by extension all other nations across the globe, are scratching their heads over the same set of questions despite living in categorically dissimilar geographical, cultural, economic and political fabrics. 

Aside from human fatalities, the economic havoc the pandemic is wrecking and the uncertainty of returning to a semblance of normalcy before long have come to the fore over the past two months.  

In the U.S., more than 22 million have filed unemployment only in a space of four weeks, almost equal to all jobs created after the last recession in 2008. 
In a bellwether change to the epidemic scene, anti-lockdown demonstrations have started to break out around the U.S. as political leaders continue to wrangle over reopening the economy. 

While the U.S. economy is resilient enough to bounce back fast soon after the epidemic is contained, the story is enormously different for Iran. 

What is a return to normalcy in the U.S. is almost non-existent in Iran. We have always been looking forward to a return to less abnormal conditions not to a full normalcy due to unwarranted sanctions led by the U.S. 

This has strengthened our resilience threshold in the face of such roller coaster swings and made us less susceptible to them. 

If anything is to emerge out of this apocalyptic period, that is for Americans to put themselves in the Iranians’ shoes and feel the pain of an economy falling apart. 

Can Covid-19 serve as a catharsis for Americans who have never had to live under lingering economic hardship? Let’s hope so. 

PA/PA

Leave a Comment

4 + 14 =