Saturday, May 8, 2021

Follow SOPs

As the numbers of Covid cases in the state sees an unprecedented spike, it is time for all not to contribute to the spike that is expected in the coming days. We can barely forget how this pandemic invaded the human spaces all over the globe and devastated trade, travel, and all forms of human activity last year. The loss suffered by the 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 are yet to contain the spread of this disease. We have now a huge experience at our back and this must inform our future course of action. Now we have realized that trade and commerce cannot be suspended, as it leads to more crises, rather than doing any good. We have seen 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 the precautions more seriously than ever before. We have now been hit by the second wave, and it will be disastrous if we contribute to the spread of the infection by not following guidelines strictly. 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 wellbeing, 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. At the same time, the authorities need to be vigilant and ensure that guidelines are enforced. Sure, in any crises ridden situation the most difficult thing for the people at the helm is to fix priorities. In the current pandemic, particularity the kind of upsurge it has seen from last couple of weeks, any decisions to do things, or hold things, is becoming increasingly difficult for the government, and the bureaucracy. Often it happens that praise and disapproval comes together. A decision that is hailed by one is criticized by another. But what makes decision-making slightly easy is experience. At a time when Covid cases are touching a new high in our state, and the scale of crisis is unprecedented, the first and foremost priority is to save lives. That means to bolster the healthcare systems, so that those infected can be treated well, and mortality rate is brought further down. What comes next is to speed up the vaccination programme so that people start getting immunization and the chances of them getting infected, or acting as carriers, are minimized. Now that it has been decided that people above 18 will get free vaccination, it is to be implemented efficiently. These two measures will definitely help in saving human lives, and curtailing the tide. But beyond these two measures the implementation of SOPs and taking steps so that the contact points are minimized need a review. Even after getting vaccinated we have to ensure that people wear masks, maintain distance and hygiene. Further all gatherings are to be avoided for the time being. The decisions taken in this regard have to be reviewed time to time, so that no undue pressure is brought on the society, which again results in stress and subsequent health problems. The officials handling the crisis and taking decisions must keep in mind that the most important thing is to ensure the safety of peoples’ livelihood. If it is decided, in the interest of life, that market activities are to be curtailed, it has to be taken into account that it affects the lives of the families the same way as does the Covid pandemic. It devastates families. The kind of severe economic depression erupting out of this health emergency is more fearful for the people. In fact, in the first year of the pandemic, it was economic crisis which worried people more than the health crisis itself. Yes, it is always better to think of the ways that do least collateral damage. Rather than asking a dozen shopkeepers to close the shutters, it is better to ask a dozen employees, government as well as private, to work from home.