Covid-19 : The Personal Finance Perspective

Wuhan, China had the first covid-19 case in December 2019. 3 months later – March 19, 2020, was the only day when Wuhan did not witness any new case of the virus since its outbreak.

Pointing at that, the Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, in his speech said, “Wuhan provides hope for the rest of the world, that even the most severe situation can be turned around.”

While this may well be our end goal, before we get there, we’re going to have to be very disciplined.

According to WHO guidelines, the basic rules to follow are:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Stay at home and avoid socialising
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with animals as well
  • Make use of sanitizers
  • Wear masks, cover your mouth while sneezing and coughing
  • Use other available Personal Protective Equipments (PPE)

These Guidelines Seem Easy, What Makes it Difficult to Implement?

Governments have banned most medical imports and exports. One of the measures under consideration by most countries to stop transmission has been that of closing borders. Europe, being the epicentre of the pandemic, with a ton of confirmed cases will take the biggest hit economically. The nature of globalised markets will ensure there is a crisis in India as well.

India has more than 400 confirmed cases of the virus claiming 7 lives so far. Not taking necessary precautions could mean we get the next blow. Our health facilities are still rudimentary as compared to the developed countries. Considering the size of our population, once it reaches phase 3 (community spread),  it may be near impossible to contain it without a loss of life on a major level.

Jeopardizing Your Mental Health?

Self-quarantine is not a very easy task, especially when it comes to your physical as well as mental health.

The additional measures you are suggested to adhere to, according to WHO are:

  • A healthy and nutritious diet to keep your immune system strong
  • Avoiding sugary drinks and minimizing alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding smoking because it may lead to a severity if you are covid-19 infected
  • Exercising (for 30 minutes if you are an adult and an hour if you are a child)
  • Taking breaks from your “work from home” to maintain health standards (a 3-minute break every 30 minutes)
  • Talking to people. Checking up on the people you know (by staying 1m away at the least, of course)

Always seek information from a reliable source. Staring at the TV screen is not going to do you any good. All the stress due to coronavirus might affect your mental health as well.

Is the Economy Quarantined Too?

The world’s largest economies risk falling into a pit of recession. As citizens continue to stockpile essentials, we may soon run out of supplies. It has become a challenge to maintain standard hygiene measures when that is all it will take to make a difference. Closing borders will add to the scarcity of most basic necessities. We already are struggling to get sanitizers and face masks.

There’s demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to not only help healthcare professionals, but the larger population as well – a task that is challenging to achieve. Banks are likely to face a crisis soon as loans taken on goods risk turning into liabilities. With the situation being a global phenomenon, collections will be a challenge across the sector.

For now, all we can do is to be sensible and cooperate to forbid any further change that might make covid-19 a disaster of larger proportions.

The challenges you might face on the medical-financial front:

  • Coronavirus check-ups include a blood test, flue testing, molecular test (for active infection), serology test (for investigation purpose) depending on the lab you get tested at and your insurance coverage schemes.
  • In some cases, these tests might be affordable, but what if you are diagnosed for some other disease (like asthma, diabetes and heart condition) that makes you prone to covid-19.
  • According to Business Insider, the test to detect the virus might be free. But you will have to pay for the emergency department or urgent care centre.

During such times, instant personal loans may be your doorway to not let the lack of your insurance policy cover or a month-end crunch compromise your safety. While loans might seem a bother right now, as we near the month-end, many of us are likely to face a financial crisis. With this widespread pandemic at our doorstep, what are the chances that the delay in taking the necessary measures will not lead to a breakdown?

Instant loan apps may be a good fit for times like these, with an entirely online application process, relaxed eligibility criteria, and quick disbursement. Quick credit can play a significantly positive role going forward, by meeting our basic needs to pay for medical bills and other expenses. With testing now available for asymptomatic individuals as well, don’t let the fear of billing stop you from getting tested.

Stay Hopeful, Stay Safe!

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About FinanceGAB

Ajeet Sharma is a financial blogger and I am blogging since 2017. Financegab is a personal blog dedicated to personal finance. The main aim of this blog to help people to make well-informed financial decisions.
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