7 days since lockdown. Haven’t been able to write much in the last 3 days as work has been keeping me busy. Writing with a heavy heart today after an overwhelming day. Lots of reasons for the overwhelming but will not mention them all.
The number of covid-19 affected has crossed 8.45 lakhs globally and 1345 in India are affected. Today we also saw the largest number of additions in a single day. Globally, as well there is no evidence of a receding trend. (Source: Worldometer)
Over these disheartening numbers, there were two stories that really bothered me- A super-spreader hotspot detection at Nizamuddin in Delhi in a mass congregation that saw more than 3000 people gathered on 19th March, 2020; at a time when the State Govt. had already evoked the Epidemic Act which prohibits mass gathering of more than 50 people. The other story was the incident of a religious procession in Solapur, Maharashtra at a time of National lockdown, where on being stopped by the protecting Police, the people began attacking the police instead.
Both these occurrences show that the seriousness of the situation hasn’t yet seeped in the minds of people despite a lockdown. If the spring-breakers of the western world value their freedom over health and life, here we have people who value religious rituals over health. I say religious rituals because if it was praying to any form of God that was important, there wouldn’t have been need to gather in masses. I yearn to see the day when health and life in all forms will be a matter of concern for us.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I feel, social distancing in our country is a privilege that only some classes among the masses can afford therefore it is all the more important why these privileged class needs to be utmost cautious in following it and enabling the lesser privileged in sailing through to the other side of the lockdown. The tragedy of the mass movement of migrants is unfortunate, whose effects will only be fully clear in the coming days and weeks.
I am a hopeful person, and I hope that through this pandemic we come out better and wiser. Stories of people, doing their best to help the lesser privileged out, distributing food and collecting funds and doing what is possible in their strength is really heartwarming. I ended the day on a higher note knowing about the goodness that is emerging out of this.
This pandemic has highlighted the importance of a strong health system and the need for a greater health budget. Let us learn to demand greater commitment towards health system strengthening and a greater budgetary allocation on healthcare. Let us give the ownership of health to the communities. Only if we learn to fight our elections based on real issues like Health and Education, can we hope to become more resilient and face the future threats, for there will be more, better.
Lastly, I hope you all are taking care of yourself and following necessary precautions. Stay safe, stay healthy and help those who depend upon you, to stay safe and healthy as well.