An appeal to all on COVID 19



It is a reality of life today that all of us on the Earth in general and Manipur in particular are experiencing extremely difficult days due the alarming infection by the Corona virus (Covid 19). The virus is spreading like a wild fire. It is suspected that the virus has past the Stage 1 and stage 2 and entering into its Stage 3 and perhaps we are at the tip of Stage 4 which could be Fully Blown.

However, we have to resist and live with this virus for some time as it cannot be done away easily. Every one of us has to be prepared to deal with this virus.

Couple of months back the virus was somewhere far away from our place but as it stroke couple of cities in our country, it spread and infected hundreds of people, multiplied and have penetrated in most of the states of our nation. Its fast spread and infection has created a chaos in every part of the world and now knocking at our door.

Herein, the question arises on what kinds of weapons are available in our hands at this critical moment apart from medical care, testing, therapists etc.

Yes, we do have few weapons in our hands which can make prepare of ourselves and take care to deal with this virus. These can be classified into four categories as cited under:

1. Self :

i. We should not immediately panic or afraid which can lead to anxiety, depression, mental breakdown etc. which may give way for the virus to reach you. It doesn’t mean that we are left without care, meeting people, loitering here and there by not following the instructions, etc.

We should carefully follow the instructions and guidelines of various experts like doctors and our leaders who are deeply concern on how to deal with this virus. Please prepare the situation mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically to deal with the worst situation as mental wellbeing is utmost important to handle most of the critical situations.

ii. In present case many friends who are suffering or might have suffered with this virus will try to be alone without disclosing his/ her status of the virus due to the present social and political environment of dealing with the virus is critical as it increases social stigma and discrimination.

Therefore, anyone who has a doubt of might have been infected by the Virus fulfilling certain criteria provided by the experts then he/she may kindly consult with your doctors or your trusted medical professional, counselors, health workers, nurses etc. so as to undergo proper process of quarantine, observation and other required necessary processes.

iii. At the same time we all cannot wait for conducive environment to disclose the status of the virus but should build our courage within ourselves to open up and disclose.

2. Community :

i. The role of the community is very important to deal with any virus or crisis. We are yet to know whether we are at the stage 3 or about to reach the stage 3. We cannot deny that any person who are with the virus are also the member of our community whether the person is male or female or child or doctors, student , officers, drivers , daily wage earner, rickshaw puller, government officials and so on.

We cannot predict but anyone of us can be infected with this virus. Herein, the question arises on what we can do? If your son or daughter or wife or any family members, etc are infected, what you will do?

The same story occurred in 1990s where Manipur was hit by HIV/ AIDS, where thousands of people have died due to HIV/AIDS as there were no medicines to cure the same like what is happening at present with the Covid19.

ii. One very important measure which must be adopted by the community is to immediately stop Stigma and Discrimination. We cannot deny the fact that every society has good practices, social bonding, customs, guidelines, traditions, norms etc.

But it is also a reality that every society also some time or in many time associated with the serious concern of stigma and discrimination against any person of the community living with the virus which are difficult to treat traditionally and with modern medicine like HIV / Aids, TB (long ago), Leprosy etc. One cannot rule out that a person is infected with a virus from someone who is also infected from another one, may be from the bus or market or in the flight or in the train or from shops etc.

It is not the fault of another, neither ourselves, neither anyone. Then why are we committing ourselves to stigmatize and discriminate a person living with the Corona virus or any other virus?

iii. Our community should learn to accept the survivor or +Positive friends with virus as an important member of our family and community. The discrimination and stigma will deeply facilitates the situation of the person living with the virus to be more underground and spread more without any prevention.

Then who’s fault would it be? Whether our fault or the +Positive person’s fault? Definitely it will be our fault for committing stigma and discrimination. Who will be the responsible person for the dead of the Covid 19 (+) person? need to be questioned and understood.

iv. Our civilized and educated community must extend our support to the Covid 19 (+) friends as a human being with complete preparation and following the guidelines to deal with the + person. To do the same we all need atraining from the experts. Who will provide the trainings? Mainly doctors and other health care staffs.

v. Community members can help and facilitate the family members of the possible infected persons to organize to follow the guidelines or procedures for admission to hospital, PHC or home care / quarantine etc.

3. Role of the Government :

(i) Government of Manipur and India should open counseling centers at the villages and localities in the urban areas which could be feasible (like one centre for every 10 localities or 15) with telephone facility, counseling rooms with micro phone to avoid close contact, electronic reading materials, make available video conferencing to spread awareness, Skype calls, etc.

Confidentiality should also be strictly maintained, so as the person living with the virus will trust and cooperate with you and us in the long run. Or else all our efforts will help only few and the whole society will be with deep fear and helplessness. It will lead to many unwanted incidents like suicide, disappearance from the community or family or migrate from the states which may not be a good sign in long run.

(ii) Human approach by considering the psychological, social, emotional, sense of fear and helplessness of stigma and discrimination and many more will help to empower the person living with the virus to fight with the virus where government can help.

The people living with the virus are having multiple problems assopciated with him or her mention above. He / she is so powerless due to all this environment and factors how our community, society , institutions and government agencies are looking at them.

(iii) Police model: It is very good to deal with the emergency situation. In the present context, we are in crisis of health care and in fact we are in emergency. Many people are following the instruction of the authority such as stay at home. So police are helping the people to be safer by few key important steps or actions.

Markets are closed to stop the spread of the virus including various institutions etc. There may be some people due to some reasons may attempt to disobey such guidelines in which the police has the important role.

Now the situation is at the peak leading to arrest people possibly living with virus who failed to voluntarily report for support. In other word, we are treating the patients as a person who is violating the law like committing a crime. We should not deny that these are the myths of the virus.

(iv) Our government is suggested to create an environment where the + people are empowered to come forward to report and extend their cooperation to the govt. This can be done through many discussions in TVs, News Channels, Radios in Manipur by using Video conferencing, etc. to avoid go out.

Many experienced people in social approach, medical approach, Psychological approach, educational Approach , gender approach , children etc can facilitate our society to empower the friend living with Covid 19 to open up and comfortable cooperate with the system.

4. Role of NGOs and Civil Society :

i. These sectors have very strategic role to deal with the virus. Yes, we all know that this virus is difficult but somehow we are living with it today. We urge to the government to encourage the CSOs/ NGOs to engage with the situation to make the progress faster so as to reach out at various community to sensitize and mitigate the spread.

ii. It could be recalled and some of us may be remembering that some 20-25 years back, one of the important political leader made a statement that there was no HIV/ AIDS in India. At that time the country was going through serious crisis of the HIV virus and the role of NGOs/ CSOs cannot be forgotten.

“We must accept the Reality and prepare for the worst “

Youth Action Committee for Indigenous Peoples

* 'Youth Action Committee for Indigenous Peoples' send this info to
The writer can be reached at youth(DOT)ac18(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 26, 2020 and updated on March 27

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