It was on 24 Mar 2020 that PM of India announced the first nationwide lockdown. How our lives were affected by COVID induced lockdown is well known to everyone. Some lost lives while many lost livelihoods. The strict lockdown continued till June/ Jul when economic requirements prevailed over the health issues.
Indiscipline is the norm….
By Oct 2020 it appeared as if the spread of the virus had been contained and in India too, like most nations, life started limping back to ‘old normal’. Unfortunately, corona had been contained not vanquished. As the markets opened, local transport started running and large populace started hitting the roads the caution was thrown to the winds. What one sees on the streets is just shocking; there is just no discipline.
COVID….The rising trend….
As feared by many the virus has started spreading again in 2021. New strains of the virus are being discovered. Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, and J & K are witnessing a resurge in the cases of infection. Lockdown has been enforced in many cities.
The vaccination drive has started in the right earnest. But keeping in view the vastness of the nation and the economic constraints it is anybody’s guess how long it will be before the last person gets the jab. Will the vaccine give protection against all variants of the virus is another question for which answers are being sought? The vaccination drive requires a further push; the daily numbers must improve. Given the size of the country the drive is going too slow.
Slow progress of vaccination has a lot to do with insufficient health facilities.
The need of a government enforced nationwide lockdown has been debated enough. In a diversified country like India, it is not easy to enforce, especially when a large part of population survives on daily wages. Every individual has a right to a decent livelihood. No one can survive and thrive locked inside the concrete walls. Most of Indian cities have heavily congested thickly populated pockets where chances of a pandemic ‘breakout’ are always high. We cannot afford a nationwide lockdown. The government must find a way forward which should be for the good of the people and find their support.
The reasons for COVID spread….
Lack of discipline is mainly responsible for the spread of virus. It is not about lack of enforcement; the police have got more serious jobs to do then just enforcing ‘Covid Protocol’. What is harming is the missing self-discipline on part of the populace at large. Indians somehow just cannot follow orders; our education system has totally failed on this front. Unless people behave Covid will not end. It is for their own good that people must practice self-discipline and follow instructions.
I do not know how difficult it is for anyone to maintain a six feet distance, wear a mask at public places or keep hands sanitised. I understand there are some who feel suffocated behind a mask but then they must avoid large gatherings.
Some will reason that the spread is worse in some of the developed countries than why blame poor education system for spread of the virus in India. But that remains a weak argument.
The way ahead….
Vaccination drive and the ‘Covid protocols’ have to run parallel till they finally reach a meeting point where corona is eradicated. Health sector certainly needs a boost. Police and social organisation have to take on the baton of enforcing discipline at public places. There is no alternative; the government and the public must join hands and do their bit. Till that point is reached general public must wear mask, avoid handshakes/ hugs, and use sanitiser regularly.
Vaccines are safe. Every individual in my department has been vaccinated. There are just minor side effects like headaches/ body ache or mild fever which does not last for more than a couple of hours.
Get vaccinated, stay disciplined, stay safe, stay healthy.