Maintain distance

Today we are seeing an unprecedented rise in COVID-19 cases in Nagaland, particularly in Dimapur. As per the latest data, the commercial capital of the state has one of the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in the country at 50%. In the past week, out of 1970 samples tested in Dimapur, 991 had tested positive. Twelve COVID-19 deaths were also reported in the district in the past week. Experts say it’s just a tip of the iceberg. The positive cases reported in the State on a daily basis are mostly symptomatic patients or travelers. And most of the asymptomatic people remain undiagnosed and are freely mixing up with other uninfected people. This, if allowed to go uncheck, will be catastrophic. We must ensure that we don’t contribute to any spike that is expected in the coming days. We can barely forget how when the pandemic first hit us and devastated trade, travel, and all forms of human activity. The loss suffered by the economy was unprecedented. And when life was returning to normal, things took an ugly turn after the administration opened up the doors without any restrictions whatsoever to every activity, throwing the SOPs governing Covid-19 to the wind. Masses attended social events, including marriages, routinely. All Covid-19 prevention guidelines and SOPs were run roughshod. No social distancing and the use of masks were observed. And today the unnecessary travel and social gatherings are turning out as viral hotspots. A cursory look at how all hell has broken loose in several Indian states should give us a clear idea on why we – the government as well as the people – must urgently do what we are supposed to do to contain the second COVID wave from creating havoc, which is not sparing the young, let alone the old and those with co-morbidities. An important thing we all seem to have forgotten is that the only way this corona virus can be kept at bay is to maintain social distancing as much as possible. An infection that can be triggered by a mere touch can swallow millions as a meal. It’s like a sleeping atom bomb and if it goes off, there will be no one left to isolate ourselves from. But we have the luxury of using isolation as the only anti-virus against corona. The only way to move ahead is to take the precautions more seriously than ever before. We need to follow the guidelines strictly. In fact no one can now be excused for not wearing a mask, not maintaining the required distance, and not washing the 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 open again, we must look to it that out negligence doesn’t contribute to the expected spike. Small gatherings and strict social distancing need to be observed. Mask should now be an obligatory part of our dress code when we venture outside the home. Agreed, Covid-19 has a good recovery rate in our state. However, it does not mean that we have to be complacent about its virulence, complications and mortality. It would be unfair on our part if we think that it doesn’t matter a big deal if we contract this virus. Maybe most of the infected won’t get symptomatic but they are turning potential spreaders and are responsible for the death of someone somewhere whom they don’t even know. There is now a dire need to be painstaking towards ourselves and our society. If we aren’t, we are then heading for bigger catastrophe. If Covid-19 cases continue to scale with a rapid upward trend, hundreds getting infected in a day, people here should be ready for worst times to come. More so as no active contact tracing is being done now. Any complacency is going to cause a catastrophe that will be only next to impossible to control. Coronavirus is too tiny. But it’s too dangerous to be misjudged.