It has been over a year, the world is still battling the devastating coronavirus pandemic. While rich countries more or less have managed to mitigate, to an extent the adverse effects of the pandemic thanks to their higher and faster vaccination coverage, low and middle-income countries are still desperately seeking vaccines to cover their vulnerable population groups.
US economy is slowly showing a positive uptick so is the case with other rich countries and China.US retail sales increased in June as demand for goods remained strong. Israel is considering the option of booster shots to its already largely vaccinated population after few instances of breakthrough infections. while Israel’s actions are truly justified given the severe nature of the virus, it sometimes feels a little unjust when we consider the cases of many low-income countries where healthcare workers are not even administered with a single shot. Vaccines nationalism as a result of the pandemic is not surprising and given the already deep wide divide between rich and poor countries the pandemic has further exacerbated this divide. Also within the poor and middle-income countries, the gap between the rich and poor has drastically increased.
According to Pew Research analysis, the number of poor in India is estimated to have increased by 75 million because of the pandemic recession. Many economists attribute India’s sluggish recovery post to the deadly second wave to dampened demand. While this may be true as the majority of the population in India fall under the low or middle-class category who’s the ability to spend has been severely compromised(affecting demand). But this is one side of the story. Recently Santosh Iyer vice president of sales and marketing, Mercedes Benz India, told that the company is seeing strong demand for its product, and supply-side constraints have made their customers wait longer. He further adds that sales and demand are back to pre-pandemic levels. This indicates that these upper classes especially in economic terms were not affected as Mercedes Benz’s target market usually comprises the upper class who prioritize luxury.
Hence the rich grew richer and the poor given their already vulnerable state further slipped into pathetic poverty.