TODAY -

Compassion and cooperation amidst the COVID gloom

Jeet Akoijam *

 Quarantine Centre at Sagang Higher Secondary School located at Samulamlan Tehsil in Saikot Constituency of Churachandpur District
Quarantine Centre at Sagang Higher Secondary School located at Samulamlan Tehsil in Saikot Constituency of Churachandpur District :: Pix - IT News



Even thought the public seem to have come to terms with the reality of the still surging COVID-19 pandemic that has reached every district of the state, the evident lack of social discipline and disregard for the Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs is a very serious cause for concern.

This needs a new approach of implementation given the fact that the relentless and almost annoying- though necessary, bombardment of announcements on basic public safety measures in all the available forms of media and even the mobile phones have not been able to prevent a huge number of the people from crowding up without any caution or concern.

Along with the surge in the positive cases of Covid-19 infection in the state, there is also a growing suspicion that community transmission might have taken place in the state-a situation which will render the pandemic uncontrollable.

Though the state authority has yet to make an official announcement on the matter, if the insensitivity of the public on the present situation continues, it would not be long before the dreaded possibility becomes a reality.

However, amidst the emerging picture of gloom, one incident from the recent past will remains as a beacon of hope for every one of us in the state, a glaring example of what can be accomplished if in such difficult and dangerous times, each one of us come together and contribute to the fight against the dreaded scourge.

A few days back, in a first of its kind after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state, a young woman from Sagang Village, Samulamlan Tehsil in Saikot Constituency of Churachandpur District returned from Chennai and reached Churachandpur on May 24 and was put up at the district level institutional quarantine centre at Sielmat Christian Higher Secondary School early morning.

She talked to her father at around 3 am and was looking forward to meeting them after her mandatory quarantine period after almost three years away from home but a heart wrenching tragedy struck and at around 6 am the same day she was informed that her 67 year old father suffered a heart attack and passed away.

When she expressed her utmost desire to pay her last respect and bid her final farewell to her father, the Village chief got in touch with the government authorities. What followed was indeed a tale of triumph of humanity over adversity.

 Quarantine Centre at Sagang Higher Secondary School located at Samulamlan Tehsil in Saikot Constituency of Churachandpur District
Quarantine Centre at Sagang Higher Secondary School located at Samulamlan Tehsil in Saikot Constituency of Churachandpur District :: Pix - IT News



The SDO of Samulamlan, after receiving the request, went out of his way and immediately got down to discussing the possibilities in consultation with the experts, the village chief as well as the volunteers at the centre numbering around 90, who have incidentally been given a three day intensive training and sensitization course prior to opening the centre.

Given the delicate and dangerous nature of the issue which is unprecedented, the SDO took a huge professional and personal risk by granting permission for the young woman to finally have a final glimpse of her departed father albeit for only a few minutes, even though the strictest SOP was maintained during the whole exercise with each and every one involved following the guidelines to the letter.

This incident paved the way for the authorities to develop a protocol for people under such restraining circumstances to fulfill such emotional and psychological needs which are as necessary, if not more, than our physical requirements. This incident also showed that there still are people in position of authority and power who would rise beyond their call of duty to perform extraordinary acts of kindness and humanity.

The Chief of Sagang village also showed exemplary leadership by not only motivating but also preparing and equipping the volunteers with the right knowledge and equipments to successfully fight the pandemic and do their bit with determination and vigour.

It is these acts of humanity and cooperation that is sorely needed in the society even more at this present times of uncertainty.

And the best we can help and contribute to the noble cause of these brave souls is by following the social norms of wearing and keeping our masks on at all times in public places, washing our hands frequently with soap and using hand sanitisers whenever necessary, social distancing of at least three feet or one metre which, incidentally has been increased to 2 metres in most European and other western countries which are worst hit by the pandemic.

These simple exercises will make life much easier and safer for everybody.

Every single one of us matters so let us all mindfully do our part to defeat this pandemic.


* Jeet Akoijam wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on June 17 2020 .



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