Are we paying a high price for our initial carelessness for the dreadful Corona Covid 19 pandemic, threatening the world…?
(Pictures are for illustrations only)
People are not fed up of staying at home these days, but are bored up with repeated Corona related stories shown by most of the TV channels, as many of them are kind of threatening, putting viewers under pressures and tension, as if the death is at our doorstep…. Normally, one watches or reads it once in the newspapers, rest of the day he / she forgets and will engage himself / herself in the routine activities, but now it’s lockdown time and people are within four walls, and these news anchors tossing with so called statistics from the worst affected nations such as Italy, Spain, US etc., they bring out these same stories again and again, in different ways and zero down viewers self-confidence…. In these days, it’s not a surprise, many have totally stopped tuning to these news and views…….!
Another headache is, these Whatsapp and Facebook messages. Many a time, we all decide not to open or read anything related to Corona, but very next moment anything new comes up, by wasting no time we open and read them…. Prevention is better than cure, as the well-known proverb says, but it made us to introspect ourselves here - whether we are forced to be over cautious….? Some experts from medical fields quietly inject confidence, courage in us stating – we Indians by birth have better immunity power, tropical weather / climate, not conducive to Corona virus to spread and multiply, vegetarian food habits, various masala spices used and consumed by average Indians, coping up with dirt and less hygienic conditions etc. are in a way boon to halt the otherwise galloping speed and spread of deadly disease…. As laymen we find it sensible and contain logic……!
Further, these experts advised and gave simple tips such as washing our face, eyes, nose with soap at regular intervals, drinking of warm water frequently, gargling the mouth with salt water, steam inhalation, usage of simple handmade mask, for that matter, applying coconut oil to hands while going out etc. will both help to protect and kill /drive away the killer virus…. Let us not put off till tomorrow, all these small precautions, which we all can implement from today itself….!!
Virus entered India through international airports and the people who were in contact with them are the victims. Its natural, and rightly one will spend a minimum of 6 long hours both in the airport and in the aircraft, breathe in a controlled environment, especially say around 150 passengers sitting together in the airplane for a minimum of 2 hours, of flying time, even if one or few have the hidden virus will contaminate and transmit the same to the entire group of co-travellers, as they inhale common air, utilize same washroom, sit very close to each other…… and that exactly happened in India…. Closure of International airports at an early stage would have been a better decision….! Better late than never, all such bold decisions now taken by the concerned authorities and implemented both by letter and spirit. Lockdown has been imposed for 21 plus 19 days, totaling 40 long days, till 3rd May, 2020 and public by and large co-operating in the best possible ways…….! The nation exhibited great unity and sincerity in its fight and stood by the Govt. It’s our time to thank them wholeheartedly - especially, the Doctors and Nurses treating such patients in the Hospitals, the alert Police force for its discipline and enforcing the law and executive system, the Govt. Machinery monitoring the whole process 24X7…., many social workers and organizers coming forward to help economically poor in providing relief in kind and cash….!!
Now, let us evaluate the conditions of Corona virus in our own Udupi District. We are surrounded by red alert two districts from South, Dakshina Kannada – Mangalore and from North Uttara Kannada - Karwar, western side protective Arabian Sea and in the East – Western Ghats and two safer districts of Shimogga & Chickmagalore. Here the people are educated and fairly obedient to follow the guidelines of the Govt. and are sensible enough to understand the need of ‘social distancing’ and lockdowns and in these days more or less confine to their homes. There were quarantine (or untouchable) cases here and there, mainly these are the people arrived from Gulf and other foreign countries and those who were in regular contact with these affected persons. In most of the cases, virus infected people who themselves were not aware of the disease at the time of travelling as they were healthy but unfortunate to the forceful unavoidable time, to make their journey, with one in hundred virus affected co traveller, for few hours or unknowingly to come in contact with one such person in the airport.
Most of us heard of a famed saying, ‘to kill a rat one burned the house’, in the event of well planned, precautionary strategy, cent percent screening and forced isolation of all passengers would have been a better way of controlling, rather than todays in-evitable lockdown and complete stoppage of all social and commercial activities, and the time is also so crucial as it is the final examination time for schools colleges and universities…
Yes, the ‘World on its knees’, (we read an exhaustive article by Kishoo Barkur, in Daijiworld web pages) of course its impact would have been so far minimum, in India for ‘natural reasons’, than our health concerns or systems, in comparison with its huge population, fairly poor infra-structure facilities. The irony is, the disease has a major threat in cities, air conditioned world and the people in remote isolated villages are exempted so far, unless otherwise, anyone from big cities get back to his / her native home….?
Many may have in mind, from 3rd May everything will be normal, No…Lockdown is in place to slow the progression of the disease, not a process to eradicate it…..None of us can predict what is waiting for us…? Please be careful. The Rich take care of themselves and the poorest of the poor, to an extent, are looked after by various Govt. agencies and social and welfare organisations….as we read regularly how stranded immigrant laborers are helped in RSMFG College Campus in Barkur. There are many native poor families in our Barkur, who neither open their lips nor plead or call on anyone for support…Self-respect or esteem, dignity, is such a thing, middle and lower middle class, are not ready to give up or compromise….Kindly, show concern, share and reach for these people in the neighborhood….
Today, we are left with no option but to follow and respect the rules and regulations clearly spelled out by the Central and State Govt, especially the guidelines of DC Office, and Police Dept. for our own survival and benefit, to tide over the life threatening danger of corona becoming an epidemic….. Let us hope for the best, and of course be prepared for the worst… It’s in a right way, a time to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves, as both responsible members of society we live in and citizens of our nation….!
Utilize your lockdown time in reading the best books, otherwise if you don’t get time to do so earlier, engage with indoor games, with children, try different recipes, artists and talented can devote their time to recreate best master pieces in music, drawing, literature etc. Youth, please don’t venture to go out unnecessarily, as it is not the time to play with fire, otherwise we all will get burnt…. Let us trust in ourselves, and The Lord Almighty, we have survived a lot… and we all will in union survive whatever is coming…. Be alert, stay at home and stay safe… .wherever you are….!
P. Archibald Furtado, Barkur, 18th April, 2020.