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Governments should spend more on healthcare

Governments should spend more on healthcare
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Does coronavirus give us an opportunity to make the best out of it despite its devastating effect on humanity and its economy?

Does coronavirus give us an opportunity to make the best out of it despite its devastating effect on humanity and its economy? Undoubtedly, it does. Mankind has always faced problems, issues, tragedies and disasters either man-made or nature inflicted and yet, its spirit triumphed over such lows of the civilization.

This has resulted in the development of a field what is called science and it has benefited humanity immensely. Sometime in late August of 1609, the Italian astronomer, Galileo Galilei, is said to have written to his brother-in-law about some fast changing events of the summer.

Galileo had, just then heard of a spy glass invention, and soon announced his own version that grabbed the eyeballs of the Venetian senate which summoned him to demonstrate the same. Galileo did so and was immediately awarded a hefty salary for a job for life at the University of Padua in Italy.

Then he further improved the glass and turned it towards the sky to find four moons orbiting Jupiter. He went on convincing the court officials for further funds impressing them with his 'discoveries'.

You can call this government-science nexus. Science always needed support of the rulers that be or powers that be. Thus was born Royal College of Chemistry to focus on researching in the field to benefit the nation and its rulers' ambitions.

Laboratory after laboratory came up and university after university got engrossed in research. Electrification, telegraphy and expansion of railways and large-scale production of steel were the signature developments of an era often called the second industrial revolution that began around 1870.

And so standard units evolved and developed into fine measures of today. Electromagnetism and thermodynamics began tackling challenges of transatlantic communications, electrical standards, ocean navigation and steam power etc.

Competition began between individuals and among nations and industrialists realised the power of such inventions and grabbed the opportunity to convert science into technology and thereof into commerce and flourished.

Are we at the cusp of one such moment now? We had Swine Flu, Ebola and now corona in a decade or so. Virus has become a scourge for humanity.

Of course, it has got to thank the same humanity which has lost its direction in its mad run to "modernise" itself and in its quest for comfort.

All the world has grown - if we call it growth - in a certain fashion destroying nature first and then heaping inequities on itself enriching some offering them a great care and comfort and denying others of basic existence and its needs.

What has corona got to offer us because it has proved to be a great leveller as never before? As we cannot anyway keep these viruses at bay, best as we may try, the only other alternative is to insure ourselves against the ravaging nature.

Research is the only way humanity can protect itself. Let the governments spend more on health, including India. No one would question if funding in some areas is cut.

Spend more on free healthcare. Let each tehsil in the country have modernised hospitals and enough staff to handle them and future eventualities apart from fully equipped primary health centres. A paradigm shift is needed.

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