September 5, 2020

People InCOVID-19 Pandemic : Now And Then

Even though the single-day spike of covid-19 reported positive cases on September 3 in Jammu and Kashmir crossed the thousand mark. Surprisingly still the reaction of people was not so shocking as it was in March 2020 when the first positive case of an elderly lady was reported in Jammu and Kashmir. According to the reports from concerned government authorities, till September 3, 2020 Jammu and Kashmir had reported 39943 positive cases of covid-19 since it’s outbreak in the UT, in which 743 had died, 30759 were recovered and 8441 were still active. If on one hand the corona is exponentially spreading with rise in reporting cases by every passing day. Fortunately on the other hand the recovery rate is good and the mortality rate is less. However that doesn’t mean people would take this dangerous contagious virus for granted at any cost. In the beginning of covid-19 outbreak people were extra careful about it’s dangerous nature and would follow preventive measures in letter and spirit with fear. As the days passed by the people gradually forgot the contiguous nature of dangerous virus and did away with precautionary measures. Though corona made it’s entry to India little later, but in ending 2019 it existed in Wuhan a city of China, therefore made the city a world infamous hotspot. On March 18 Kashmir confirmed its first case of covid-19, who was an elderly lady from Khanyar Srinagar who had a travel history from abroad. The news sent shivers down the spine of people and soon, the things went panic abruptly and contiguous nature of virus scared the people a lot. Since no vaccine was available to prevent the disease, therefore in the beginning, most of the common people took it as a life consuming disease, and were not well aware of it’s immunity related curable nature also. So covid-19 caused uncertainty, scare and deep distress among the people. Just in the backdrop of continuous rise in the number of positive covid-19 cases in India, like other covid hit countries, India imposed lockdown in the country by ending March 2020, in order to contain the spread of deadly virus. On one hand lockdown protected excessive spread of it, therefore played an important role in saving the maximum precious lives. On the other hand lockdown severely affected the social aspect of life by creating barrier between all nears and dears in the form of social distancing. It also affected the financial resources of people by binding the earning hands of households with the chains of restrictions. “However life is a precious thing, you need to save it, if you can, even at the cost of other essential worldly things”, was an option that the people followed during covid-outbreak. In the process various activities were restricted including most important one the religious gatherings. To implement the restrictions in letter and spirit everybody avoided handshaking, visiting neighbours, relatives and friends, therefore it made people to experience inexperienced strange things. Moreover, Lengthy lockdown holed up the people in homes. It made you to avoid your likes too, which is a hard challenge to face. But the people embraced all this for the sake of their life in the beginning.
Curbs on activities are gradually being unlocked in phased manner, but during the course of business activities, can’t we follow preventive measures to some extent in order to mitigate the spread of this disease.
Due to sudden restrictions, as no movement of vehicles was allowed in the starting days of lockdown in India, those who had travelled to other countries or states for business, employment or studies got stranded and had to wait for months for return. Therefore covid forced stranded people to have boring stay away from their homes. Lockdown affected the whole economy of the world and left labour class in lurch. All the labours, street vendors, shopkeepers and small business owners were severely affected. Education an important sector has also remained hard-hit. When the number of covid positive cases started rising up exponentially, aggressive testing process for those with symptoms, contacts and travel history started. The people in the beginning linked the disease with stigma. Scaring if tested positive they would feel stigmatized, most of the people preferred not are tested. They later became the cause of covid spread, therefore threw salt to the wounds. The most heartbreaking was the funeral rites of those who died due to covid, only a few people with protectively gears were allowed to offer last rites. But now the people seem hardly careful about protective gears during last rites of those who die due to covid-19. Before the outbreak of covid-19, I usually witnessed hospitals would remain crowded with patients and attendants. But just after the covid-19 outbreak, when I happened to visit a clinic near hospital to get some essential medicines, the area in and around hospital seemed deserted with pin point silence, as if people didn’t fall sick. Now again the rush of people seen at hospitals is even more than before. Though blocking roads through red zones was good a thing. But I witnessed in some adjoining green zone areas of my residence, people would break the protocol of lockdown, would gather in groups attempting to stop the spread of a tiny biological entity by blocking the main roads leading to their localities. They used wooden logs, stones, even at certain places fencings were made across the roads, so that no inword or outward movement of vehicles would be allowed. Before doing that they didn’t think for a moment that what about those in emergency. As the days passed by, after witnessing more asymptomatic cases and less mortality rate most of the people took covid-19 as a conspiracy or a myth but not a disease. So they started unfollowing preventive measures, therefore created more probability for its spread. It was more interesting part of the story that during the beginning of covid-outbreak, when a person would see any known person from red zone, he would turn away his face from him and would pretend if not seen by him. That was the extent that people would go to for being careful about corona virus. But now when more than a thousand covid-19 positive cases are being reported in a single day and people are being repeatedly asked to follow SOPs in order to take a little care of themselves and others, they mostly turn a deaf ear to it. Though to sustain our survival we need to restart our business. So curbs on activities are gradually being unlocked in phased manner, but during the course of business activities, can’t we follow preventive measures to some extent in order to mitigate the spread of this disease.
(The author is a teacher by profession. Views are his own) [email protected]

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COVID-19

India
Confirmed: 5,562,663Deaths: 88,935