Saturday, December 5, 2020

Follow guidelines

We cannot overstate the importance of taking precautions and following guidelines issued by the Government from time to time as the number of COVID-19 cases in Nagaland continues to rise, with the State breaching the 10000 mark last Tuesday. This is particularly important as we now head into the winter season, if not already into it, as it is supposed to contribute to the spread of the infection if we don’t follow the guidelines strictly. So we must not contribute to any spike that is expected in the coming colder days. As the temperatures dip every passing day, and the cold winds announce the arrival of winter, we must brace up for the season, not just for the hardships it usually brings with it, but also the things that it will complicate in the wake of this pandemic. For nearly a year now mankind is wrestling with a tiny creature that has left the world in a state of stupour. From economic activities to normal meetings of people, everything stands in a state of suspension. The number of people who have been affected by this virus and those who finally lost the battle and died is staggering. Still there is no solution in sight, and the only precautions that we can take are the ones that were publicized from the beginning of this crisis – wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Positively there is nothing that we can do to ward of this virus. In fact no one can now be excused for not wearing a mask, not maintaining the required distance, and not washing hands frequently. These things have been publicized to a degree that none can pretend ignorance. To save our economic well being, to save our lives, and to allow the markets and other collective spaces to operate unhindered, we must look to it that our negligence doesn’t contribute to the expected spike. As per reports, the world is expecting a second spike and already global leaders have started expressing fears about the situation that might arise in the wake of this second spike. We can barely forget how this pandemic invaded human spaces all over the globe and devastated trade, travel, and all forms of human activity. The loss suffered by global economy has been unprecedented, and the disruption has been, and continues to be unknown to the modern world. After taking such steps as complete lockdown, and suspension of all activities, we have seen that the world has somehow succeeded in containing the spread of this disease. Now we have realized that trade and commerce cannot be suspended, as it leads to more crises, rather than doing any good. In our state we have seen firsthand how the effects of job loss and diminished economy led to psychological collapse of many families. In such a situation the only way to move ahead is to take precautions more seriously than ever before. And with the arrival of winter season, health hazards like flu, cold, chest congestion, and sore throat are going to invade our household space. Although many people, unlike earlier years, have taken flu shots but still that is not a total safety. In this situation we will face many more problems. The winter ailments can be confused with COVID symptoms and it can give rise to a situation of panic in many families. Consequently it will be a burden on the arrangements put in place for COVID testing and rehabilitation. Already we are way short of the required facilities, and an additional burden can turn the system upside down. Further, it can create psychological problems for the people who get sick. A simple flu can be considered as COVID infection, triggering an asymmetrical response from the patient and the family. In this situation the concerned authorities need to gear up and think of some solution to the problems that is going to surface in the coming weeks. One of the ways is to publicize the whole thing and sensitize people about this. In case of COVID we have seen that community spread of information finally pays. Here also if people are made aware, in advance, about the seasonal health hazards, and are educated to take precautionary measures, much of the crisis can be nipped in the bud.