Saturday, May 8, 2021

Observe SoPs

It has been said that familiarity breeds disregard. This is true of any human situation. Even in the times of extreme distress, when the trouble stretches, humans get used to it. Something similar has happened to the Covid pandemic. In our state we saw that initially people were very scared of the disease, and would restrict themselves to houses by not moving out without some valid reason. The government enforced lockdown also created an atmosphere where the sense of danger was heightened. Although that had its own downside but it did help in sensitizing people about the threat at hand. But with time we seem to have forgotten that there is a thing like corona virus that still lives amidst us. Our interactions are just like pre-Covid times. We gather the same way, and refuse even to maintain a distance. We travel in public transport without wearing a mask. Today our response to the crisis in the beginning is way different than what it is today. Part of it is just natural. Humans cannot live perpetually in a state of fear. But part of it is sheer insensitivity. We become part of crowds that is avoidable. Just have a look at the crowded corridors and the wards in a hospital. Board a bus and experience how people are crammed in the seats. Step into a retail store and the customers behave as if there never was a thing like Covid pandemic. Same is the story of government offices and other public spaces. And now we have started schools as well. Not to talk of social distancing, people have stopped wearing a mask too. All this is not just normal. It is an invitation to a return of crisis. We have seen how at many places the corona cases are peaking up again. In fact in India recent figures are showing a sharp upward turn in cases of Covid infection. At many places the restrictions are back in operation. All this entails that we start getting serious about this crisis. Covid is still here, and the virus is travelling from person to person the same way as it was in the earlier days. Without inviting a bigger disruption in normal life, we must start following the SoPs seriously. It doesn’t take much to maintain distance, avoid unnecessary crowding, washing hands and wearing masks. The costs of violating these small precautionary measures are too high to be paid. We have already lost many lives, and we should keep this in mind that the killer virus is still amidst us. Till the time vaccination covers us all, we need to observe the SoPs and ensure the safety of our health and life. Here it is good that the state authorities have also finally woken up to the danger and some actions have been initiated to ensure that people observe the standard protocols to minimize the spread of the disease that has now consumed a year of all human population around the globe. In other areas, beyond our state, and even beyond India, we have seen that the new variants of the virus have created problems and governments are getting serious about enforcing SoPs to ensure that the spread of the disease is checked. Here albeit somewhat late the authorities have now started crackdowns on those found not wearing masks and violating SoPs. It is extremely important that we don’t take the SoPs so lightly. The least that needs to be done is to wear a mask while moving out and meeting people. As stated, it doesn’t take too much to observe this precautionary measure, but its dividends are huge. We must keep in mind that if the disease spreads it will force the authorities to implement restrictions on the movement of people again. And in case that happens the economy that is barely floating will suffer another beating. This time we may not endure the loss. If such a situation has to be avoided we must observe the SoPs and contribute in fighting this pandemic in the most cost effective manner.