‘Go Corona! Go Corona! Go Corona!’ – The magical chant to redeem us from our pitiable plight, the ultimate solution to defend our country from the deadly clutches of this malignant malady. Let’s just sit idle and recite these ”miraculous” words. Perhaps, the microbe may hear our pleas. My words might sound bizarre to some, however, quite appallingly our fellow countrymen are staunch believers of this theory and are practically implementing it to evict the coronavirus from our country.
Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 is the gravest of the crises that India has seen in recent times. As of this publication, we have over 500K confirmed cases and around 20,000 of them have succumbed to this dreaded disease. It is needless to say that if no concrete action is taken soon, the virus will have invaded every neighborhood and every house in the country. While some leaders take their own sweet time to realize this bitter truth, the hospitals continue to receive swarms of countless patients every day. The congestion in the hospitals and the proximity of healthy individuals with infected ones have further aggravated the spread of the virus. Hospitals aren’t equipped with appropriate technology and other requisites such as beds to cater for all the patients. Numerous such instances haven’t been given adequate attention. The health ministry must take full charge of this medical insufficiency and guarantee unbiased treatment for all patients, regardless of their affordability. While celebrities across the world are generously donating funds and providing people with medical assistance and other amenities in this hour of need, our public figures choose to clap and bang utensils from their balconies or light candles. Few like Sonu Sood and Shah Rukh Khan have gone out of their way to assist us in these pressing circumstances. If hopes have to materialize into reality then one must take appropriate and timely measures. Advertisements and social media can be used for encouraging people to donate and serve the needy.
While the government is announcing the unlock phases to bring the nation out of the lockdown, citizens must abide by the rules and regulations laid down by the government. Instances of public gatherings, overcrowding, religious congregations, and obstinate mobs have worsened the scenario over the last few weeks. Warnings have proven to be ineffective in such cases. The last resort to set things right is detention. Authorities need not hesitate to punish those who refuse to respect legal directives. What disturbs me the most is the callous attitude of people towards the police and health workers. Incidents of stone-pelting and harassment of doctors and nurses sound frightening and horrifying. To obviate this in the future, the police must be granted complete liberty to exercise power in controlling the crowds or when dealing with the miscreants.
The lockdown in India was first announced on 24th March. Little did our leaders think of the poor migrant labourers trapped in an unknown city, miles away from home. Schools and offices could’ve been converted into shelter homes to offer refuge to the helpless who have nowhere to go. Keeping future possibilities of epidemics in mind, leaders must invest in healthcare, sanitation, and makeshift homes for the migrants. The policymakers have initiated several schemes to serve this purpose, however, we still have a long way to go.
Recently, when the Prime Minister Modi requested all citizens to applaud for our health workers, many mistook it for a celebration. Subsequently, hundreds flocked on to the streets to dance and rejoice for no reason at all. Supposed applause soon grew into a full-scale procession. Ironically, this did not scare the virus away, rather it triggered its spread further. It is such a shame that we are to blame for our damage. If only we had obeyed the instructions, things would’ve been better off. What we can learn from this is to heed the guidelines as prescribed by the authorities.
‘Prevention is better than cure’, goes the famous saying. It is an old adage but seems to be the only way out given the speed and scale of infections. Our first and foremost step towards nullifying the number of cases is prevention. The nationwide increase in cases seen in June could’ve been averted by simply adopting suitable preventive measures. Guidelines that have been issued regarding the washing of groceries purchased from the market or consumption of immunity-boosting foods must reach every nook and corner of the city. The most effective tool to combat the coronavirus is awareness. People should be familiar with the causes, symptoms, and precautions to avoid getting infected. Based on surveys, the symptoms don’t show up for almost a week, so even a seemingly healthy person might turn out to be infected. Hence, one must not risk coming in contact or proximity of anybody. It is always advisable to wear masks almost all the time, especially when speaking or interacting with others. The uneducated may not be able to comprehend the gravity of the situation, therefore the state government and public administration must take up their responsibility.
Andy Gilman rightly said and I quote, ‘’THE SECRET OF CRISIS IS NOT GOOD VS BAD; IT’S PREVENTING BAD FROM GETTING WORSE.’’
-Nalin Khare (One of the prize winners of Covid-19 Article Writing Competition in the 13-17 years age group)
Picture Credits: radio.wpsu.org