The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak that occurred in 2019 is still ongoing and posing a continuous threat to both the economy and public health at the global level. One of the important sectors that contribute to the global economic growth which was affected by COVID-19 is the aviation industry.
The aviation industry has contributed to 3.6 percent of the world’s GDP by creating a total of 65.6 million jobs around the world in aviation-related industries through different types of jobs. The direct job includes employment of aircrew, airport operators, airlines, air navigation service providers and indirect employment includes construction companies, fuel service providers, suppliers of original equipment manufacturers, and several others .
Among these 65.6 million jobs, approximately 36.7 million jobs come through the tourism industry in which air travel plays a significant role. Taking Nepal into consideration
where the geographical landscapes are mostly mountains and valleys, the aviation sector has made travel and transport much more advanced and easy in today’s time. The unpredictable weather of the country where we face road blockages due to floods makes the public more inclined towards taking flights.
After 2 years of pandemic and different covid variations it is important for the public to understand and educate themselves on the fact that wearing masks all the time is one of the best ways to fight covid. Further lockdowns will only hamper the economy. Like the countries in the west who are learning to adapt with covid by just wearing masks in public transportation and in flight travel the same way it could be implied in our country.
Nepal as a country is highly dependent on tourism and not just international tourists but
also domestic, for such purposes people should be encouraged to travel. The aviation sector. should revise and look into the terms and conditions of travel making it easier for the public to travel within and across. More the flights are used in Nepal,the more advanced the aviation sector in the country gets resulting in a boost of economy. Even according to a few studies like “The risk of exposure to the coronavirus on flights is very low,”a U.S. Department of Defense study released, which is a positive sign for the airline industry as it tries to rebound from the pandemic’s crushing effect on travel.
Even in the borders if the government restricts travel and imposes rules which are complicated the tourism sector will dry in business. This implies only one solution which is to take precautions by wearing a mask.
The large vaccination drives which started last year in Nepal were aimed to bring life of the public back to normal and especially to boost back the affected economy of the country. With the rapid spread of the highly infectious Omicron Variant, we need to focus on 2022 as the year that Nepal will usher in a new era of “living with the virus”.
A silver lining towards a resilient recovery of the economy from 2020 can be by accepting that infections will occur and as a responsible citizen we need to wear masks and move forward with daily life. The idea is to move from crisis mode to control mode, approaching the virus in the same way as the countries deal with flu, measles etc. The economic consequences of the pandemic and impact on livelihoods across Nepal has been tough for informal workers or those without social security or assistance, who are more at risk of falling into extreme poverty. For the prevention of more damage towards poverty, the education of wearing masks and getting vaccinated has become of utmost priority.
Countries like Europe and the US have begun practices to accept Covid and live it by just using masks.