Lockdown not the option now; Unlock Is!

Mudasir Dar

Corona has affected every aspect of life in every part of the world in one way or the other. After breakout of COVID-19 in China in December 2019, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of corona virus. The outbreak quickly engulfed the world leaving millions of people dead and almost half of the population it’s victim. In India among the 50 lakh tested so for only 6% of its whole population ,i.e, three lakh have tested positive. The figures indicate that even if the whole Indian populace would be tested for covid-19, around 6 crore people might be positive. The irony is that maximum of the positive patients detected are asymptomatic. In no way the deaths are underreported but it can be over reported for one reason or the other as is obvious from covid-19 deaths reported so for. So for 8886 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in India and the deaths reported so for are comparatively very low keeping in view the no of positive cases reported till today. Interestingly around 1.5 lakh people die in road accidents across India annually. Countless deaths of identified or unidentified are reported every year due to other diseases like cancer, TB, Hepatitis, HIV, and other critical ailments. Several surveys show that in every 4 minutes one person dies in accidents but people still avoided wearing helmets, and when they are warned to wear masks, many fight with arguments. What we are doing at the present is the mathematical modelling, that’s to study a data and presume the actual data and on the limited data we may draw conclusion and start fearing. If reports suggest that the death rate of Covid-19 is 0.01 % in India, then we shouldn’t fear to the extent that we actually do. Is there anything else that we really need to fear about other than the Corona? Usually we find there are no debates & fears about anything other than Covid-19. In the current times, unemployment and economy should have been the other greatest concerns. Some newspapers quoted that around 130 million people in India alone have lost the jobs. This is worrisome and troubling from every point of view especially from the economic perspective. We need to understand what impact it will have on the economy and the lifestyle when such a huge population will lose their jobs. They will never get the little privileges they might have enjoyed with their jobs. Thousands of families will die of starvation when they lose their sources of earnings. Likewise thousands of small or large scale industries may wind up their business because of the low demand for their product(s) & insufficient employment resources which will In turn intensify joblessness in coming months and years. So by this way the figure of 130 million will increase and if experts are to be believed, it will cross 200 million mark shortly. Thus we will witness the graph from ”Recession” to ‘ Depression’ and from that point economy will take about 10-15 years to come back on track. The economy of India was already in distress and the lockdown has deepened the crisis and the fear gripping the people has worsened the situation more. Instead of taking out this fear from the minds of people, the administrative decisions are adding fuel to the fire.
Ultimately the only strategy to eradicate the virus is a vaccine, not lockdown. We should learn the new etiquettes.Self-isolate for the minor symptoms till recovery. Wear masks, maintain social distance take other precautions but never fear for this corona at all. Encourage people to come out of homes keeping in mind all the necessary precautions will do wonders.
Recently I had the opportunity to reach out to the needy section of the society through an NGO – The Sajid Iqbal Foundation run by Dr Sehar Iqbal, I reached out to around 450 families across Kashmir. I used to enquire from them how this lockdown was different to them from that of post August 05, lockdown. For them this lockdown is first of its kind when their masters didn’t allow them to work in their homes, orchards or other places of work. Around same 18 individuals asked me whether government is charging for the food and accommodation in quarantine centres and when they learnt it was free, they told me “Dear son, brother ..make a favour to us, get our families quarantined so that we may get the free food in the quarantine centres to save our family dying from hunger. Today you came to help us but who will come tomorrow.” When I told them that they can even get this disease inside the quarantine centres, they replied that atleast the doctors may cure and save their lives there but living at their homes without food and essential commodities will make them to die of starvation. These were some emotional moments I went through and I promised them that till the time there is lockdown, we will take the responsibility of their basic needs. We should make ourselves understand that if the motto is that no death should occur at all, then we have to make this lockdown a permanent part of our lives. We have to stop coming out from our homes, stop driving and doing all other activities associated with our day-to-day life. This way we will be able to save as many as 1.5 lakh sould dying in accidents in a country like India This too is a great idea if we want no one should die. But we can’t do it and in order to live we have to move and vice-versa. The idea that forces us to live in lockdown is nothing but a story of that “Rat” that had entered into landlords house, caused annoyance and when landlord failed to get rid of her, he set his own house on fire and later discovered the rat is still alive in the compound while his home was in ashes. This is our sorry state of affairs that to get rid of the virus, we try to burn our own economy by imposing futile lockdowns and harsher restrictions. The problem of dying economy and unemployment is as grave as covid, each one of us will contribute to the destruction and our haplessness. The idea of quarantine centres will work only till the time cases are low and if the numbers rise, this too will stop altogether. We are in a situation where our home has 1000 doors surrounded by floods from all sides and we are trying to close only one door firmly and tightly so that the water won’t come inside without actually taking care of other doors and without thinking water can enter through other doors as well.Now if the current trend of testing (50 lakh tests have been conducted in a huge population of 130 crore,i.e, about 1 lakh in 24 hours) persists in India in future, it will take about 36 years to test the whole populace of India. Even if numbers of tests are doubled still it will take 18 years to complete the testing of whole population and in these 18 years no one knows where the corona will be. By this trend it becomes obvious and quite clear that testing of entire population is a hoax. Government may tell us that where lies the practical solution, we should be able to know the actual available beds in the hospital, how many are occupied and how many free and how many can be arranged more either in hospitals or in quarantine centres like hotels. People should be allowed to come in keeping in mind all the necessary precautions, health advisories, safety measures, and maintain social Distancing but not to fear. Confidence has vanished, they need to understand the reality. Government is time and again saying that construction and other works have been started but have they really started it? Obviously No! This is just a paper statement because majority of the population lives in fear and are not ready to leave their homes, sacrificing everything for their lives. If media continuously starts showing that cases of corona are rising, people will never come out of their homes. So what we actually need is this that, the fear of people should go first. Aggressive testing should be halted for a while. They will get confidence and will start going to their work which in turn will make an effort to bring the shambled economy back on track. Ultimately the only strategy to eradicate the virus is a vaccine, not lockdown. We should learn the new etiquettes.Self-isolate for the minor symptoms till recovery. Wear masks, maintain social distance take other precautions but never fear for this corona at all. Encourage people to come out of homes keeping in mind all the necessary precautions will do wonders.
(Author a student cum social activist is recipient of a Presidential Award in world scouting. Views are his own, [email protected])

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COVID-19

India
Confirmed: 5,992,532Deaths: 94,503