TODAY -

COVID-19 and after: Need for change in perceptions and plans
- Imphal Times Editorial :: September 13 2020 -



The surge during the last 24 hours is inching towards the one-lakh mark, and this consistent and unabated rise would have been a welcome change if it happens to be anything but the count of Covid-19 positive cases in the country.

But then, this figure is not totally unexpected, with a large number of well-informed individuals and groups with enough experience and data predicting an even steeper upward curve in the immediate following days.

If the current trend continues as it most probably will, India will soon hold the dubious distinction of being the country with the largest daily infection of the present pandemic as well as the country with the highest number of infected persons.

What is of increased concern at the moment is the attempt by the central as well as the state government to present a picture of control and readiness no one has been able to feel or experience so far, and an increased pressure from certain groups or bodies with economic interests for opening up the restrictions and attempting to create an economic situation akin to the one before the pandemic.

Despite the continued efforts from the state government and the various authorities as well as civil society bodies volunteering the fight against Covid-19, the state is also witnessing alarming increases and incidences of infection- among the latest victim is one of the most energetic and prolific young minister of the state.

If a cabinet minister with helpers and advisors at his back and call to ensure his safety every waking (and even resting) moment and ensuring that he follows the protocol prescribed by the state government contacting the infection, what chances does the common man have in staying away safely from the pandemic?

Is it that he might have disregarded the prescribed protocol in dispensing his obligations?

Or, is it that the protocols prescribed by the state government which incidentally has been without much change since it was first imposed months back, has developed some inherent flaws which needs to be addressed to keep up with the changing social and technical changes developing over the months?

When experimental resumptions of social functions and events have resulted in more infections despite imposing the strictest protocols, there is talk of the state authority considering reopening of educational institutions in line with the rumour of the central government mulling the same.

Leaving aside the obvious consequences of such a decision, has the central or the state government even made an honest attempt to really draw up a protocol that could ensure the safety of the students?

Isnít it time yet to take a long hard look at the present ways and means being implemented to try and keep the infection at bay?

While it is understandable that the economy needs to start functioning and people need to work, perhaps it is time to accept the fact that a change has been brought upon the present society, and we need to make radical changes in our lives- be it economic or social, to adapt and move forward.

Resisting this uncomfortable and often inconvenient change and attempting to return to our old ways of life might very well mean tempering with the collective fate of humankind.

For this to happen we need to grow out of our present mindset first.

We also need to try and learn from this and make nature an intrinsic part of our lives.

Let us try and rethink the present anthropocentric approach to life as it might no longer be relevant or even inadvertently endanger the future of this planet.



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