POST COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Yes, I am talking about the Corona Virus named COVID-19 which has caught us all off guard. It has now slowly mushroomed like the poisonous ivy and has swallowed nearly 1,58,691 innocent lives globally and 507 nationally. And that too for no fault of ours.
Well! What is the way out or solution for this Pandemic. Medical experts and scientists the world over have agreed that self-quarantining oneself at home and distancing oneself from each other are the only somewhat surer measures of self-protection. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the “Janta Curfew” for the whole day of 22nd March, 2020 due to the Covide-19 attack, people were busy looking for the hidden agenda behind it.
However, undeterred, the Prime Minister went on to announce the 21-day lockdown from 24th March 2020 and later followed it up with another 14-day lockdown till May 3rd, 2020. And he did that keeping the nation’s safety and health in mind.
As we are steadily progressing towards the 20th April 2020 when essential and mandatory businesses will start operating with skeleton staff, we should clearly understand that this lockdown is in place only to stagger the progression of the disease.
Scientists and medical experts, the world over, are laboring day and night to find a vaccine or cure to this COVID-19. And still, we are only at the beginning of the curve. So let’s not go around believing that miraculously the entire life threatening disease will be eradicated from the face of the earth by the end of May, 2020.
Let us not be naïve enough to think that the Indian Government or the World Health Organisation, for that matter, will somehow manage to get rid of it quickly so that life can again go back to being normal and smooth. NO.
Friends, let it sink into our heads that life all over the globe has changed once and for all. Let us not be those people who have ignored the global reality flashing in our eyes since January 2020.
We will then end up being those dangerously delusional people advocating stoppage of lockdown because we are waking up to the permeating danger only now or during our first lockdown.
So, for the benefit of such delusional people, let’s raise the curtains a wee bit.
1. Flattening the curve means slowing down the rapid progression of the disease so that hospitals are better prepared to cope with sick persons. It does not mean eradicating the disease all together.
2. No Government or WHO will be in a position to eradicate the disease altogether this year. The COVID-19 is here to stay until a cure or a vaccine is discovered.
3. Let it sink in that a vaccine or a cure is about a year away, i.e. April 2021. The earliest vaccine trials and tests started only a month ago. It takes approximately 18 to 24 months to find, test and assess the efficacy of the vaccine. So, a minimum of one year period is literally a “Hail Mary”.
4. And very importantly, friends, there is no going back to your favorite normal niche. That has disappeared from the face of the earth and will not be sighted for nearly another year or two.
5. Globally, economies will continue bleeding. And there are bound to be rolling lockdowns on and off until a vaccine is found.
6. Even when lockdowns are done away with in the near future, the tourism, hospitality and many other industries will not see the light of the day for another year. Even after the lockdown is lifted, people will continue to self- quarantine and self-isolate themselves for their own good.
7. The only reprieve and silver lining will be the marginal level of herd immunity developed during the course of the pandemic. Thousands of people who have been infected and recovered and the minimum unavoidable deaths would have paved way for this herd immunity.
8. However, this may still be an unproven theory since there is a strong suspicion that reinfection may also creep in. With all these uncertainties and confusions, NORMAL is not at all feasible. Fear and panic still reigns supreme. Fear of the unknown is wide spread. Hence, people will continue to remain isolated till safety and security is guaranteed either through a cure or a vaccine.
9. All this is still six months away. World Medical Institutions predict that India will peak only in September, 2020. This means bleeding economy, rolling lockdowns, mortality and chaos and confusion till then.
10. One significant point to be noted here is the Government decision to ban alcohol and dog walking or running and also no e-commerce. This decision was not taken keeping the privileged society in mind. It was taken keeping the masses in mind. What is permissible in the towns should be allowed in the suburbs also. However, the two decisions look completely different when implemented in their respective localities.
Kudos to the Indian Government for the way it is going about tackling the pandemic. And also for the way in which the State Governments are rising up to the occasion. We should know that our Government has reacted faster and more intelligently than most other developing countries. Our progress is much better than most. We are also wishfully hoping that somehow BCG will give us some fighting chance. However, this has still not been proven scientifically. So it remains as I said “wishful thinking”.
Let’s do our very best and give our country and its leaders the very best. Let’s strive to help them positively and fruitfully to fight this evil COVID-19. By our combined united effort, let’s raise the world’s eyebrows for a good deed. Let’s do all we can to help our neighbors, each other and support staff.
Finally, once again I stress. Let’s not have any delusional ideas about any level of normalcy by the end of this month.
NORMAL IS DEAD. Let it sink in.
However, HOPE is very much alive. And hope and pray we will.