The COVID-19 pandemic, which graced the world with its presence during the final days of 2019, is still wreaking havoc on its population.
Countries like Israel have entered a full lockdown for the second time as a way to prevent the virus’s spread. As an aside, Israel is the first country to have entered a complete second lockdown.
At the same time, countries like France, Spain, and the UK are mulling over implementing a second lockdown. In the hope of preventing another full lockdown, these countries have instated local restrictions in areas with the highest virus count and where the R number has increased to more than one.
What is the R number?
The R number or Reproduction number is a rating that determines the virus’s ability to spread. In other words, it is the number of people that one infected person can pass the virus onto. When this number rises above one, the infections increase exponentially, ultimately resulting in the uncontrolled spread throughout the world’s communities, overwhelming public health facilities, and resources, resulting in a high fatality rate and economic destruction.
As described, if the R number rises above one over time, the number of infections increase exponentially. The bbc.com article titled, “Coronavirus: What is the R number, and how is it calculated?” provides a graph, or a visual aid, demonstrating how the infection rates will increase if the R number is 1.1. In summary, the number of active infections will rise from 1 case on day 1 to 25 000 cases on day 60.
Clearly, this is an untenable situation, and something must be done to control and prevent the virus’s spread before it destroys the world’s population, health care facilities, and economy.
COVID-19: The socio-economic consequences
Global governments are battling to balance the need for economic recovery versus the need for social isolation. As highlighted throughout 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is extremely infectious and spreads rapidly via person-to-person transmission. The CDC also released a statement on 5 October 2020, noting that the coronavirus also spreads via airborne transmission. In other words, it has been acknowledged that it can spread through central air conditioning systems.
Ergo, the more people move around and interact with each other, the greater the risk of contracting the virus. However, economic recovery requires residents to move around, go back to work, shop, eat out, and travel to other countries, cities, and regions.
During the first six months of 2020, the virus ravaged global economies, driving the world into a recession that is as bad as the US 1930s Great Depression. US statistics show that more than 33 million workers have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. It is challenging to find global unemployment figures; thus, these numbers are seen as a representation of the worldwide unemployment rates.
Consequently, this scenario has increased the need for philanthropic or charitable giving to charitable organizations or NPOs like Yad Ezra V’Shulamit. The question that begs is whether wealthy individuals and philanthropic organizations have risen to the challenge or not.
The answer to this question is found in the following statistics reported by causeinspiredmedia.com.
“In this study, they found that most donors plan to maintain, or even increase, their charitable contributions this year. Specifically, 25% of those surveyed reported that they would increase their charitable donations, and 54% plan to maintain their current giving levels.”
This study also highlighted the fact that the millennials were the generation most likely to donate to charities and increase the hours spent volunteering at local charitable organizations.
It stands to reason that most of the older generations indicated that they would stop their physical volunteering activities. This is because statistics suggest that people over 60 years old and those with co-morbidities are considered high-risk. In other words, they stand a greater chance of contracting the virus and succumbing to the illness associated with the virus.
Why it is essential to give
This discussion is not complete without a brief expose on why it is essential to donate your time and money to charity.
Succinctly stated, there are two sides to the giving equation: The individual or organization who donates to charity and the charitable organization (or NPO) that receives the donations. Both sides benefit from charitable giving or philanthropic acts.
The NPO benefits from money and time donations in that it can fulfill its mandate. These organizations cannot care for the needy without donations. Therefore, these donations improve people’s lives, providing medical treatment, food, clothing, and shelter for those who have lost everything during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other side of the scale, individuals who donate to charitable organizations benefit emotionally, mentally, and physically from the act of giving. In summary, giving cultivates, or improves, self-worth by increasing endorphins or mood-enhancing hormones like dopamine.