Covid-19: Have we learned our lesson Thanos way?
Thanos Killed half of the population, by the way.
31st December 2019 — WHO was officially intimidated by the first coronavirus case that was detected in the Wuhan province of China. The news made it to the international section of most major newspapers. But, let’s face it. We don’t read that section, do we? Not like its as gripping at the Sports section or as scandalous as Page 3.
By the next fortnight, Coronavirus or COVID-19 made its way to the front page of our newspapers. Every news channel spoke about it. The threat was very real. With more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries (including 4,291 deaths), on the 11th of March 2020, WHO announced COVID-19 as a pandemic. But we are healthy and strong. COVID cannot after us. That’s what we thought, right?
An 18-year-old student at the prestigious Oxford University returned to Kolkata and like most of us, believed that his immune system was too strong and that COVID could not affect him. On the 18th of March, he tested positive for coronavirus. The irony? In the interim period, he had visited malls, restaurants, and other places and interacted with many people. His mother, a senior bureaucrat at Nabanna (the office of CM Mamata Banerjee) met hundreds of people and even chaired a meeting on Coronavirus while her son roamed about disregarding the guidelines of the Health Ministry.
Today, a week since then, Kolkata has 10 COVID positive cases with 1 death. Couldn’t all of this be prevented if we were only a tad bit more responsible?
As one of the most diverse countries in the world, people from different regions of the country have always had differences. Suddenly, in this difficult time, all our differences seem to vaporize, and we engage in tomfoolery with equal zeal and enthusiasm.
People from Gujarat, one of the most developed states of the country, come together in celebration during the PM’s ‘5 pm 5 min’ clapping of hands-on Sunday, the 22nd of March. The honorable PM had asked the citizens of the country to keep themselves isolated in their homes and come to the balconies at 5 pm and clap their hands (utensils, conch shells, whistles, etc) in appreciation of the service rendered to the country by the medical fraternity.
Such a callous attitude disrupts all the efforts on the part of the government. If we can’t do anything to help, let us at least not make matters worse.
The story of disgrace and thanklessness of us Indians is indeed a long one. Doctors and nurses working in AIIMS (New Delhi) are being asked to vacate their rented homes. Air India crew members who brought home Indians stranded in countries like China, Japan, Italy, and Iran are being ostracized by their neighbors. If this is the attitude we hold, can we expect to tackle coronavirus?
What is ironic here, is the fact that daily wage earners and laborers (ones whose livelihood is worst affected by this pandemic) are not the problem causers. It is the educated elite who are taking their cars out and spitting on police officers who are doing their duty. This just goes on to prove that the nation’s biggest problem is not its illiteracy. The callous attitude of the highly educated lot is our biggest hindrance.
The story of national unity (read stupidity) continues as a family got into a clash with the police in Beed, Maharashtra. The police merely acted upon their orders and requested the family members to stay at home. Not only did the family members defy this but they also resorted to physical abuse of the police officers. At the moment, several members from the family, as well as the police force, are hospitalized because of this.
When we know how hard hospitals in India are preparing to deal with coronavirus, did we need all of this? People with poor immunity are the most prone to it. Did we need to get these people to the hospitals by engaging in such unnecessary acts?
At the time of writing this article, the nations stand at the threshold of community transmission, the third stage of the pandemic. We already have more than 600 active cases. In a nation of 1.3 billion people unevenly spread of 32 lakh sq. km, we just cannot afford any more of it. If at all we do get there, we will not be able to stop Thanos from killing half (or probably more) of us.
As a generation, we have often disappointed society. This time all we have to do is stay indoors and do nothing. Let’s not fuck it up. Just this once.