TODAY -

Single digit spike of just 4 in last 24 hours : Studying the reluctance
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 03, 2021 -



Single digit spike of just four in the last 24 hours (As on February 1) and perhaps this is one of the best news that all daily newspapers in Manipur must have carried the next day (February 2).

This coupled with the arrival of the two Covid vaccines, Covishield in the case of Manipur and things seems to be looking up after days of lockdown and restrictions placed on the movements of the people.

However the new normal is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future and the advice is, 'even if you have received the vaccine shots, you should not forget to abide by the three commandments - always move around with a face mask, regularly wash your hands with soap and water or with a hand sanitiser and maintain a physical distance of at least two feet'.

This is what the new normal would entail and along with the penalties on public spitting, coughing nonchalantly without covering one's mouth and public gathering without giving a thought for the others should all be passe now.

A time to take one more hard look at the public behaviour, of the typical Indians, or more specifically the people of Manipur, a people who do not hesitate to cover the freshly painted walls with spat out betel juice, the nauseating habit of spitting anywhere and coughing loud in public without the basic etiquette of covering one's mouth and more.

If at all the Covid pandemic has taught mankind any lesson, it is that for far too long no thought has been given on, how one's behaviour in the public can endanger others who are in close proximity.

Take the call for the new normal to a larger context and it should give one just the right moment to reflect on how unthinkingly people have been behaving.

It should also be clear that science still cannot fully understand how the virus behaves or functions and this is one primary reason why the call to maintain Covid appropriate behaviour even after receiving the vaccine shots has been rung out.

This apart, it is a matter of concern that so far the vaccination programme in the first phase has covered only a little over 54 percent of the targeted health care workers here in Manipur.

The report that out of nearly 8000 health care workers, only about 3986 have turned up to receive the vaccine shots is a matter of concern and this says that instead of lining up to get the vaccine shot, nearly 50 percent have preferred to stay away.

This is a point that should be studied and the Government should not stop at just issuing warnings to the people to refrain from spreading unfounded rumours about the vaccine.

As widely commented and reported in different media, it takes anywhere between 5 and 10 years to develop a vaccine and to come to terms with the fact that two vaccines have been rolled out within one year would be enough to make one uneasy and obviously no one would want to end up as guinea pigs.

This is a point that the State Government should seriously study to counter and perhaps this is where the political leadership of the day may take the lead and get the vaccine shots themselves as have happened with US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The Heads of other countries like the UK and Canada are reported to have done the same.

It is not science which those reluctant are questioning but a reflection of the fact that they do not want to end up as guinea pigs.

Yet at the same time it is important to remember what Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has also received the vaccine shot said "We must take politics out of the pandemic".



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