Sunday, February 28, 2021

Follow guidelines

We are well aware that the COVID-19 crisis is modifying our way of life very fast. The writ ing is on the wall that there will be a distinct demarcation between pre-COVID era and post-COVID scenario once the pandemic ends. However, one thing is clear – the changes in our way of life which we will settle with in post-COVID times would be lasting changes. That period would be a testing time for all subjects to fall in line with the new norm. The task is not going to be very easy and would be time consuming. Since we continue to be enveloped with the swarm of deadly virus, taking note of enforced modifications engineered in our way of life at this time will definitely help us to adapt to the future inevitable changes in a much better way. In fact it’s the ‘earlier, the better’ policy which makes sense in the given pandemic scenario as the roll out of new norms is still in its incipient stage. The COVID-19 pandemic, described as the ‘greatest crisis of our age’ by none other than the head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres has brought radical changes in peoples’ approach to personal hygiene, working from home and social distancing, which is picking pace. Precisely, a country that readies itself right now to the new norm in post-COVID scenario would definitely help it to make economic revival much faster than others. We know that a disaster like the current pandemic can be controlled only when the political and related leadership at the global level join hands, and start acting in unison. Indeed there are certain problems that can be solved only if the global forces join hands. Not much can be done about these things at lower levels. We have witnessed how things were messed up in the beginning because some of the global level leadership acted in brazen disregard what was expected of them as global leaders. In fact there are many global opinion makers who expressed great dismay over the absence of an effective leadership at the time this pandemic struck us. Now that the effects of this pandemic have rattled the global economy it is time that the global leaders sit down and take stock of the situation, and act beyond the limited nationalistic frameworks. This is not the time when things should be seen in a country-specific paradigm. It is a human catastrophe and it needs a matching response. It’s now over 8 months after the first lockdown was announced in the country. The restrictions were gradually relaxed, so that routine activities can go on. This was primarily done to save the economy from total collapse. Side by side the government also tried to upgrade the facilities of testing, and treatment infrastructure in the hospitals. But after doing all these things this virus simply refuses to go. There is new surge in cases of infection causing alarm worldwide. We now are told that the third wave can be even more threatening. In that case it means that people need to be more cautious and adhere to the guidelines strictly. Sure we are reading of some pharma companies claiming to have developed vaccine for the infection. According to reports, the United Kingdom was the first western country to clear the COVID-19 shot developed jointly by Pfizer and German biotechnology partner BioNTech, which has reported an efficiency of 95% in the third stage of trial. Pfizer has also sought approval from India’s drug regulator – the DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) – for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine, as per reports. Other pharma giants have also claimed developing vaccines for COVID-19. Coming to our state, the Government of Nagaland has also set up committees at the state and district levels to prepare for introduction of COVID-19 vaccine. But all this does not mean that we can lower our guard, because it will take much time for the vaccine/s to reach here. For a common man living in the third world it is really a distant thing. We will have to face disturbances for some more time, and we must prepare ourselves for that in every respect. Till the vaccine for COVID-19 reaches our backyard, we must adhere to the basic protection guidelines, wear masks and maintain distance with renewed vigour.