It's not time to relax, worst is yet to come
- All governments, one by one, are easing the lockdown restrictions that were imposed for nearly 60 days to contain the deadly coronavirus and has even decided to open the skies for domestic travel
All governments, one by one, are easing the lockdown restrictions that were imposed for nearly 60 days to contain the deadly coronavirus and has even decided to open the skies for domestic travel. Both the people and the governments have come to the conclusion that they have no option but to restart all activities, maintaining strict protocols like mandatory physical distancing rules if wave two of the pandemic is to be avoided. But unfortunately, we are proving to be negligent in following the guidelines forgetting that Covid-19 is like a migrant labour.
While migrant labourers are travelling by road, corona has been using all possible modes and spreading faster than wildfire. While it is necessary to reopen economies cautiously to restore livelihoods, people should understand that the path towards post-coronavirus normality is arduous and long.
What is required is self-discipline which we are lacking very badly. Even airports which are set to open from Monday are worried over the likely reaction of the travellers and have sought the help of the police. There are videos going viral which show that at places like wine shops or other places where markings have been made, chappals, umbrellas etc are kept there and people are sitting elsewhere giving go by to social distancing.
Political leaders too are more concerned about photo opportunities rather than self-discipline. What we fail to understand is the best way forward for all countries which are tiptoeing out of lockdown is to follow the new way of lifestyle and ensure strict physical distancing and try to avoid lasting economic damage. We should realise that worst is not over, and second wave could be round the corner, once monsoon sets in.
Even in cities like Hyderabad, many shops are not following the special operating procedures. Take for example medium level salons where maximum number of people visit. No disposable cloth or proper sanitisation procedures are being followed. In some places even gloves are not being used. With no known treatment or vaccine available, protecting ourselves from the virus seems questionable. We also cannot stay in our homes forever and the idea of social distancing and wearing a mask each time we go out seems more and more like our new normal, at least for the next couple of years.
Experts warn that an extensive lifting of controls could spark a second and a possible third wave that will erupt once lockdowns have been lifted all over the world and perhaps deadlier - wave of a pandemic that has so far sickened more than five million people and caused more than 330,000 related deaths. I don't want to draw a doomsday picture, but I think we have to be realistic. That it's not the time now to completely relax. China, where Covid-19 originated is already witnessing second wave weeks after lockdown was lifted. New reports are arriving telling us that the virus is mutating to be more difficult to test, with longer incubation periods and not having the usual symptoms of fevers and coughs. Germany has also seen a rise in infection rate.