It was very difficult for me to motivate Qasim that corona virus does exist, who was an illiterate nomad but behaved like a smart aleck guy. Qasim like other Bakarwals “the tribal nomads who travel to Kashmir from Jammu for grazing their livestock in summer” was on seasonal stay here in valley. I met him and had a brief conversation with him, while i was on the way to my apple orchards. Meanwhile I asked him about corona testing. According to him he had undergone thermal testing only once while proceeding to valley Kashmir from Reasi. He said, “A device was put infront of our faces to check us out, then we were allowed to enter the valley”. In the beginning of conversation he remained stuck to his point that corona doesn’t exesit. He cited two illogics to support his stand. One that yet no Bakarwal “seasonal nomad” known to him in Jammu and Kashmir had suffered from covid-19. Second, he was not restricted by locals to enter Jammia Masjid without facemask to perform Friday prayer. It was quite Humorous, when finally he took out a black colour facemask from his pocket to impress me that he was not lacking the mask. But he said, “I have kept it for the safety, whenever police would ask me, I would show them”. It was as if he was a driver and the facemask was his driving licence. Not only outsiders who include Bakarwal and other labourers who have entered kashmir during covid pandemic, there is no dearth of Kashmiri people like Qasim who refuse to accept the reality about corona virus. Here the point is, how to make such kind of people aware about necessary safety measures. On the other hand, the most infamous corona virus which is still in it’s furious mood, is continuously taking the toll on the precious lives of people, which is very concerning. While corona related death toll in Jammu and Kashmir is continuously going up but unfortunately still some people are not taking it too serious and still suspect about its existence, so they keep themselves busy to make fun out of it. We come to listen different fabricated corona related tales making the false belief that corona is a suspectable myth, ironically such tales are mostly being narrated by those who dont know abc of medical science. Therefore instead of making silly discussions at public places, whether it is a myth or reality better is to adhere the preventive measures till the scientists, who are yet working day and night since the outbreak of covid-19, would come up with an effective vaccine to combat the deadly pathogen. Since we the commoners are being repeatedly told by the experts from the medical science background that as of now, yet there is not any better way to contain the spread of covid-19 other than the proper use of masks, the physical distancing, and boosting immunity. So people need to make maximum use of these prerequisites to stay safe from covid-19. From the part of administration, in order to ensure better physical distancing and to ensure no social gatherings, lockdown has been put in place. No doubt, if on one hand lockdown has proved a good tool to limit the spread of most contiguous corona virus, on the other hand people have suffered a lot due to it’s negative implications on various aspects of life like business, education, social life etc.
Somehow internet connectivity has minimised the boredom, relieved the stress from the minds of it’s users by keeping them connected. Therefore people having accessibility to internet do not feel loneliness. People remain in close touch with their social circles while interacting through voice calling, video calling, video conferencing and chatting, on social networking sites.
Though social life has remained most hit under lockdown. But there is a maxim in Kashmiri “Zow Aor Jahan Aor” when health is good everything is good or in simple terms we can say health is wealth. So the people at large who are educated and well aware about contagious nature of corona, have prioritised the safety of health than all other worldly things. Lockdown was put in place since ending March, right from the beginning of lockdown people who are well aware of things have been living the life totally against their own likes and desires in order to keep themselves in a safe state of health. They have limited their outings, their visits to relatives, their business related activities, their tours and picnics, meeting their friends and have refrained themselves from most of their habitual activities which they used to do outdoors before the outbreak of covid-19Though lockdown with limited activities has proved good in the sense that it would have saved innumerable lives, which would otherwise have fallen prey to corona, if restrictions were not put in place at right time, but at the same time people feel almost trapped and holed up in their homes during lengthy lockdown. So the social fabric of life which is very important to remain mentally calm and away from boredom and stress is somehow lacking amidst this lengthy lockdown. With the result most of the people tend to break the protocol and come out of their homes and engage in gatherings. It is right that we can’t ignore necessary things and emergency situations and we may need to come out during such cases while following preventive measures properly. But the huge rush of people near market places without keeping a required distance in between, unnecessarily roaming of people from place to place without using face masks and the mass gatherings of spectators during cricket and football matches, is all concerning and creating a big threat to mankind. This irresponsible behaviour of people would cause serious implications. So people need to refrain from breaking protocols unnecessarily; however they can choose alternative virtual ways to remain socially connected. Since in modern era, fortunately we are blessed with internet technology. So in addition to voice calling social networking sites on internet like Facebook, Watts App, Twitter, Instagram etc, have helped out the people to keep them socially connected, hence these sites have literally bridged up the gap between nears and dears to some extent. No doubt, virtual connectivity can’t equalise the way people feel while meeting each other in actual. But somehow internet connectivity has minimised the boredom, relieved the stress from the minds of it’s users by keeping them connected. Therefore people having accessibility to internet do not feel loneliness. People remain in close touch with their social circles while interacting through voice calling, video calling, video conferencing and chatting, on social networking sites. Apart from that social media platforms also provide you an access to news updates, covid information, time to time instructions regarding covid-19 from administration. However in Jammu and Kashmir 2g low speed is irksome. Hence people should follow the time to time advisories from administration and should implement them in letter and spirit. People can take advantage of internet connectivity to stay connected with nears and dears, however more screen time should be avoided so that you can save yourself from its hazards. Moreover, as medical experts say, exercise is necessary particularly during the period when people have limited their outings and their activities. So we need to make a schedule of workout on daily basis to remain physically and mentally fit.
(The author is a teacher by profession. Views are his own) Azadhussainganie9@gmail.com