Do we care about Covid anymore? We better do

Do we care about Covid anymore

Do we care about Covid anymore


The intensity of the pandemic has increased, and it is spreading faster than last time. There is an upswing across the country. The situation is fast deteriorating in many states particularly in north and western parts of India.


The intensity of the pandemic has increased, and it is spreading faster than last time. There is an upswing across the country. The situation is fast deteriorating in many states particularly in north and western parts of India.

Who is to be blamed for this spike in cases? No pandemic can be controlled unless there is people's participation. We have seen this during the first wave last year. Though the NITI Ayog and the medical experts have been cautioning that next four weeks are going to be very critical and if the political executive of the country both at Centre and in States should wake up and see that the entire country comes together to halt the situation from turning from bad to worse, nothing in that direction seems to be happening.

Though the tools to fight coronavirus remain the same as last year, it is being totally ignored by all sections of the people across the country. While the political parties both national and regional parties continue to hold election meetings and campaigns as if they were in pre-Covid-19 period, people started feeling that the virus has run away from the country thanks to the beating of plates and lighting of candles and the scientists finding vaccine.

As a result, all Covid protocols have been thrown to winds. The governments almost stopped tracing and testing programme. Many Covid hospitals have been closed. As far as people are concerned, they started feeling that with economic activity back in full swing and the government allowing 100 per cent occupancy in cinema theatres and opening of bars and pubs in full scale, there is nothing like Corona. Majority of them have stopped even using masks.

This has led to a situation where in 24 hours the country recorded 1.31 lakh new Covid cases. The only way to break the chain is to hammer the need of Covid appropriate behaviour like wearing of masks and maintaining social distance once again into the minds of the people on a campaign mode. People should understand that along with the increase in the number of Covid cases, the mortality rate is also on the rise.

We've all seen it. The masks worn as chin protectors; the people who don't don their masks when they meet someone, and those who don't wear masks at all. This is not the case just with the man on the street but even the so called people who belong to high society and travel by Merc and Jaguar cars are among the culprits who refuse to wear the masks.

According to some survey reports only about 40-45 per cent are wearing masks. This low compliance is due to the failure of the administration to initiate strict measures to ensure that the rule to wear was strictly implemented. Once the process of unlock had begun the authorities forgot about unified efforts to battle the pandemic and it has led very low compliance of health protocols leading to the second wave raising its ugly head.

While some say that the key factors behind low compliance of using masks was because of breathing problems and discomfort, some felt social distancing was enough and that there was no need to use the masks.

Another factor was blind faith that God would protect them had gained upper hand in many towns which are known for their religious importance. Take for example Mathura, the birth place of Lord Krishna. There seems to be a strong belief among some people that places of religious worship like Mathura are Corona proof can do no harm to them and hence there was no need to wear masks or maintain social distancing.

Mathura, undoubtedly is a sacred city in Uttar Pradesh. People residing there refuse to accept the reality that they are risking their lives as well as that of their near and dear ones and the society by not wearing masks. Even though Mathura has been witnessing steep spike in the number of Covid cases, they maintain that it can do no harm to them and 'Krishna Kanhaiah' would take care of them. Here religion seems to be superseding science and reality.

This defiance of rules has resulted in people continuing to organise programmes where the gathering is unusually large. Even the recent Holi celebrations were held on large scale. They not only refuse to believe that God will help those who help themselves. Try to argue them on these lines and you would be a victim of mobocracy that is the situation there.

The district administration has either been asked to blink over strict implementation of the rules or they too feel that since it is the birth place of Lord Krishna it is his responsibility to protect the people. Whatever the reason be, the fact is that in the last four weeks or so, Mathura town has seen a surge in the number cases have doubled since March 21 while the death rate has tripled. Cases are increasing at an alarming rate.

There is nothing wrong in following traditions and in fact moving away from them in the name of modernisation has led to people getting affected by many diseases. This was what the Covid pandemic had taught us and when the Corona virus first took the nation by surprise last year, people started following the old practices like removing footwear before entering the house, washing their feet, hands, face, change clothes etc.

This made one feel that traditions can breathe comfortably next to global technology. But we now find ourselves standing at the juncture where these two meet, sometimes restless, sometimes nonchalant.

Though some are not questioning the old practices, they are neither following them. There are some who are accepting them unwittingly. "It is definitely important to question to prevent a slow degradation of our society into anarchy but it is also important to look for answers and be receptive to answers that others may find," the wise people say.

Whenever there is an eclipse, our ancestors used to say do not go out or look at the Sun during Solar eclipse and they had spelled out certain reasons which rationalists always criticise, But then the intention behind putting some restrictions by our ancestors had logic behind it. They very well knew that observing Sun during a solar eclipse could cause blindness, But may be they had no scientific explanation and hence added their own native logic and explained it with the stories of Rahu and Ketu.

They had also set certain rules in construction of house which includes where the well should be, in which direction the kitchen should be and in which direction one should not sleep and this was known as Vaastu which has now become the USP for realtors. If you search for logic, our ancestors knew that there some relationship between earth and its magnetic field and the human body. Sleeping towards south could lead to blood pressure and other diseases says science. They could not explain it in such detail and said don't sleep in that direction as it invites death. Which of course is not far from truth.

Similarly, those days there were no vaccinations against contagious diseases like small pox or other such infections. Hence they used to insist that one take bath before entering the house and more particularly after attending the funeral so that infections from the dead body can be prevented. It is a different thing that over a period of time different stories got added to the reality.

We have seen our grandmothers insisting that we eat curd and sugar before heading out. The tropical climate of India highly recommends the consumption of curd which has a cooling effect on the stomach. The sugar which is added in generous quantities, before someone is setting out for an important work, provides instant glucose. This combination is hence indispensable for Indians and so its consumption slowly linked itself to good luck.

The reason for taking back the readers to our ancestral practices is just to tell the people that there is nothing wrong in having faith but please do not have blind faith without logic. Do not think that God will protect every individual from the pandemic just because one stays at a place where he is said to have been born.

God is omnipotent that's what is believed. That being the case he should be protecting everyone on the globe from pandemic and then there would be no need for vaccine or medicine. But then such blind faith amounts to lighting a lamp when strong winds are blowing and saying 'Oh God it's your responsibility to see that it does not blow out."

Let's wake up and follow the Covid protocols, protect ourselves and our family. The administration too should give up part of selfishness like organising political meetings as they are more for their narrow political gains not for larger public benefit and see that the pandemic ends sooner than later.

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