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As we all know, a pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across the world and created havoc. For instance, you might have heard this term when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the WHO. Although the history of pandemics is quite long and extensive, from the 1918 Spanish Flu to COVID-19 now, pandemics have always impacted life as we know it. It all started with the earliest recorded pandemic which happened during the Peloponnesian War. After it affected Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt, it not only crossed the Athenian walls but also lay siege to the Spartans — as many as two-thirds of the population died of it. Even though this was the first-ever pandemic, it was not as deadly in comparison to other subsequent pandemics.
One of the worst pandemics was “The Plague of Justinian”. The number of deaths is unknown. It was the beginning of the first Old World pandemic of plague, the contagious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It started in 541 AD and ended around 750 AD. Scientists believe that the Plague of Justinian spread through fleas. Studies indicate the plague may have originated in China or India and was then transported to the fertile valleys of Egypt through trade routes since technology and medicines were quite old and some had not yet been discovered. Surprisingly, the plague doctors had to guess as to what might end this pandemic. They attempted treatments such as vinegar and water or told the patients to carry flowers around all day, but they all failed.
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Now, let’s come to one of the major pandemics, the ‘Spanish Flu’. The Spanish Flu, which is also known as the 1918 Influenza virus, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza virus. Lasting from February 1918 to April 1920, it infected 500 million people — about a third of the world’s population at the time — in four successive waves. By the summer of 1919, the flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity.
History tells us that the worst pandemic recorded to date is the ‘Black Death’, which killed roughly over 75-200 million people. Black Death was essentially a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It was present mainly in Eurasia and North Africa. This plague was also caused by the Yersinia pestis. It was spread around through fleas. These bugs picked up the germs when they bit infected animals, then passed them to the next animal or person they bit.
This pandemic eventually ended through the implementation of quarantines, that’s right, the same quarantine that we are currently stuck in. The uninfected would typically remain in their homes and only leave when it was necessary, while those who could afford to do so would leave the more densely populated areas and live in isolation. I believe that if this same faith and patronage are to be followed now, the current COVID-19 cases will drop and we can return to normalcy.
Coming the West African Ebola virus epidemic, which started on Dec 26, 2013, and ended by Jun 9, 2016, it killed over 11,323 people. It was deadly and dangerous and people again had no clue about the symptoms or how to stay safe from the virus. Researchers and scientists eventually found a solution i.e., a vaccine.
On December 31, 2020, the first-ever coronavirus case was recorded. As we all know, ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ stands for the virus and ‘D’ for disease. The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China and from there it traveled and spread across the globe. The cause of the coronavirus is unknown but that doesn’t change the fact that it is fatal and destructive. In 2020, when the first lockdown happened, we were all quite alarmed and frightened as to where this would lead and how we would manage. We didn’t realize that it was just the tip of the iceberg.
Now that it’s 2021, the situation has not gotten better but worsened. The cases are higher than ever, people are dying and in need of oxygen or plasma. In India, things are not looking good but we can also curb this situation and help out each other in these difficult times by donating plasma or money or even basic supplies, volunteering virtually. There is always something you can do to help others.
Although this article doesn’t even come close to capturing all the deadly and disastrous pandemics, what we do know is that these pandemics have brought untimely deaths of our near and dear ones and a lot of pain and suffering to mankind. Not only this but pandemics are also known to create havoc in human civilizations and disrupt life as we know it. But what I have learned is that in the midst of a pandemic, there is always a greater sense of unity amongst the people also bringing out the goodness and kindness in people. As history is witness, we always end up adapting to such situations and find a solution to make it out of these pandemics. So, with this, we must realize that a crisis can bring misery, difficulty, and death, but it also brings forth hope, the strength of human spirit, the goodness of the human heart, and formidable will to say: “The show must go on.” (IANS/JC)
Divorce is a hard fact in someone's life because it can affect all aspects of life like social, economic, and living status. Conditions become tougher if you have children. Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions. The impact of divorce on finances can be life-lasting but taking precautions and thorough investigations of options can help a lot not only to save unnecessary costs but also some other hidden areas where you weren't aware. Following are some tips to save money during a divorce.
1.Avoid advice from everyone
People like your friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, etc. will start giving unsolicited advice during the divorce process when you discuss it with them. They will share their own experiences and horror stories and advice on how to handle financial issues during the divorce process. Get advice only from those you trust. In this regard, attorneys or financial experts are the best options to save money during the divorce process.
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2.Consider your spouse
It can be challenging for someone who has started the divorce process to think about the soon-to-be ex-spouse's best interests and financial wellbeing. While making decisions about assets and finances, considering not only your interests but also your spouse's interests can help you to reduce divorce process time. You can save your own and your spouse's money if you spend less time in such negotiations because times spend with the attorney will also be shortened.
3.Goodbye to the joint bank account
You should close all joint bank accounts which were in use of you and your spouse especially credit base account. Block major and supplementary credit and debit cards. Your spouse can use it and you can suffer heavy financial loss. Closing of all joint accounts should be the first step to cut down financial loss during divorce proceedings.
4.Open a new checking account
In continuation of the previous point, open your new checking account. This will help you in terms of not only building up of financial history but also your credit record. Credit history will be helpful if you apply for a loan or any other credit facility. This financial history will let you control your money during the divorce process. If your bank account is not a joint account but you own it, then make sure that your spouse was not using supplementary debit or credit cards. If the spouse was using then block it immediately.
Divorce can include many additional and sometimes hidden costs along with routine costs. This can bring more stress and worries to your life. Saving money can help you to fight such financial status. Force savings every month in this regard can help a lot. You can do this by opening a savings account and setting up a debit order from your checking account.
Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions.Getty pictures
6.Keeping track record of the expense
You may not be interested in maintaining a record sheet of your expenses during your married life. If so, then you should start now. Analyze your bank statement critically because expenses can be out of control now. Review your daily cost of things and make critical decisions to cut down unnecessary costs.
7.Chalk out budget
Ideally, a proper budget should be chalked out to control expenses and save money during the divorce process. Select important segments/areas of your lifestyle and allocate a budget to each of them. After allocation of budget, stick to it strictly every month. This can be problematic in the beginning but become easy when you become used to it. By doing this, you will also be able to manage your savings account by allocating money.
8.Own health insurance
Medical emergencies and different health issues can be sudden or without any notice. So, it is necessary to have a health insurance plan in order to not only pay bills of medicines and lab tests but also an unexpected expensive hospital stay. If your health insurance has previously been covering your spouse then it is advisable to set up your own health insurance plan. This can help you to save money.
9.Amendments in your will and beneficiaries
If you have already decided about your will beneficiaries then it is the right time to update it. Now your divorce is under process, so, the content of your will and beneficiaries should also be significantly changed. This is much needed because it is possible that now you have children and who you like to allocate your property and saving especially if the children were not present when you drew up the will.
10.Change power of attorney
Many people assign power of attorney to their spouses during the marriage. Now it is essential to update and end the power of attorney and signing authority given to the spouse. This will help you in terms of legal and financial matters.
11.Apply for online divorce
Advancement in technology has made it easy for everyone to save time and money. Now in the United States, it is easy to apply for a divorce online. You can save time and attorney fees by downloading all the required divorce documents online. You should not worry about which document and how downloaded because many local court websites can give detailed information about how to file divorce online and which documents are needed.
12.Make use of the mediator
It is extremely helpful to use the mediator to decide terms and conditions between you and your spouse. Although an attorney is needed in certain matters of divorce use of a mediator will help you in saving attorney fee
Many spouses are very conscious about expensive assets and luxuries that are going to be distributed among spouses after the divorce. So, they make decisions to splurge on these luxuries. It is advisable not to splurge as the cost of divorce proves may be past your expectation.
14.Do it yourself (DIY) divorce
Many people are unable to afford the cost of attorney and mediator, so, they now try to handle things by themselves as much as possible. The rate of divorce and its cost is increasing day by day. This factor making "do it yourself (DIY) divorce" popular. DIY spouses are using information given by some attorneys who are offering free consultation on their first meeting.
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Gone are those days when people, sports enthusiasts, and governments lined up to host the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics, once seemed to be an immensely prideful event, but it has now transformed into an economic burden. Host cities grapple with a plethora of problems which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has more or less aggravated the problems. The Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for 2022 in Bejing, China. Furthermore, Paris and Los Angeles have been recently nominated as the hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Games respectively. Both cities have held the Games on two occasions previously, with Los Angeles hosting as recently as 1984. Simply submitting a bid to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) costs up to millions of dollars. Host cities typically have to spend $50 million to $100 million in fees to a slew of consultancy agencies, event management companies, etc.
Hosting the Olympics is more costly than the bidding process. For instance, London spent $14.6 billion for hosting the Games in 2012. On the other side, Beijing spent a lavish $42 billion for the Games in 2008. Meanwhile, the Russians spent $51 billion dollars on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Making, it the costliest Olympic Games in the history of the Olympics.
Governments of host cities and bid teams love to brag about the legacy of hosting the Games. But the hidden costs of such a massive project is too evident to hide. Such megaprojects require additional employment, as well as subsequent improvement of the pre-existing facilities and public infrastructure. Most of these projects are fraught with costs overruns, shoddy work and a lack of long term vision.
According to a study conducted at the prestigious Oxford University In England, by Danish geographer Bent Flyvbjerg and American journalist Allison Stewart, which looked into the individual economic parameters of hosting the Summer Olympic Games between 1960 and 2012. The findings were astonishing, they found out that the Olympic Games overrun the initial cost estimate with 100 per cent consistency. No other megaproject is this consistent regarding cost overruns.
Athens, in particular, seems to have been the tipping point. The city pridefully hosted the Games in 2004, which ended up costing them €9 billion (a whopping $11 billion at today's exchange rate). The offset of the Games was in disguise the onset of Greece's tumultuous years. The country now is in total disarray, with sky-high unemployment rates, failing economic apparatus, record levels of homelessness, all among the grandiose venues built for the Games.
The conclusion is simple, hosting the Olympics is an extravagant affair. If not planned properly, it tends to result in a severe economic crisis for the host city. If the host city lacks facilities and public infrastructure to support the excess crowds pouring in, not hosting the Olympics may be the best option.
Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.
On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.
Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.
Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).
Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.
India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.
He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.
Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.
The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.
Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.