My international guest


Graphics: Courtesy WHO
Finally the most overrated international guest reached my neighbour, next door. Wow! It has been a fantastic journey for the guest, originating from Wuhan, China to my country, my state, my city, my area, my lane, my apartment and next door. I am not sure whether to consider myself lucky or otherwise for this unwanted guest who has chosen our site in the whole planet for its recreation?  We have two main gates to enter our apartment area and as a precautionary measure, the security guard used to keep both of them locked? I asked him jokingly, ‘how did the virus enter then?’ The situation is alarming, entire world is bleeding. Corona virus has brought the world to a standstill. Many countries are pretending to move ahead riding on the wheels of economic growth but the price to be paid is quite higher.

The initial response of the country’s social defence personnel and the leaders to this virus entering their country was quite encouraging but as the virus has shown its strength, the entire defence infrastructure seemed to be collapsing day by day. The virus has ensured its reach to every nook and corner of the planet like the mobile signal. So, we have mobile and masks with us compulsorily. Just imagine in the past, whenever there were terrorists attacks where lives of innocent people were lost, the entire state machinery used to gear up to take the culprits to the task. Today the daily deaths are in thousands and all the so-called powerful advance countries have literally become helpless restricting themselves being busy in clearing up the mess. If the deaths are less by 100, we consider it as a win!
In our country also, this mess is superlative. It all started with something solid where we thought there is a definite shape and size of the mess, but then slowly it turned into liquid and now it is like gas which no one is able to contain. As far as my city is concerned, previously the municipality personnel used to seal the entire lane, then they restricted to sealing the apartment/building and now they are sealing just the home or sometimes not even sealing the house, just asking the residents not to come out of their houses. Dilution factor has reached its peak as the corona virus spread is heading towards pinnacle. Looks like the Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest will rule in this blind war with the minuscule enemy.
More than 40k cases in a day is not a joke. We are just behind US and Brazil and the cases still are increasing exponentially. With great difficulty countries like Italy had tamed the virus but the suffering continues. The WHO world map depicting the spread of virus is scary. In the case of corona virus, the role of WHO is really ambiguous limiting itself to just issuing statements and instigating the public.
My neighbours are under home quarantine. They say, ‘love thy neighbours’. I will as I am not scared, the virus should be. However the fact is that people are terrified and panicked on one side but adamant enough not to follow the prescribed guidelines. Half of the time, their hands will be touching the nose or the mouth. I don’t understand why a person has to derive pleasure in feeling the mask every now and then? Like the intelligent people wear the specs on their head the new lot keeps the masks down to their nose or even mouth. Will the virus not do the same if you tease it?
However there are over-disciplined people too. One of my friends has not stepped out of his house for the past 5 months. The plant on his backyard has matured enough to reach the first floor and peep inside the house to confirm if he still lives in. He even sanitizes the packed products after unboxing them. He has blocked the main door keyhole. Pigeons are not allowed to sit (and shit) anywhere. All the goods deliveries are through his balcony with a rope-bucket.
The corona virus pandemic has grown so big it appears that it has eclipsed all the other ailments. We hear less about death from other diseases. In this scenario, the role of frontline workers is really admirable. They need to be paid at least double of their salaries and perks as the situation is war-like. People bank upon doctors for survival and doctors on the banks. However I have seen doctors who had been practicing privately making lots of money curing seasonal ailments but absconding in this grave situation even as the demand for doctors and nurses surges. If doctors are the front end of the frontline, sanitation workers are the back end, the ambulance drivers etc. all need to be honoured with sufficient risk allowances.
But I really do not know what the municipal corporators and other elected representatives are up to? They are seen, partying, rallying and enjoying every bit of the situation. Looks like, they have given up all their basic responsibilities. The sanitisation, fumigation, disinfection etc. are the prime jobs of these municipal servants. Tests, check-ups, ensuring availability of beds in hospitals, maintaining covid-discipline, ensuring availability of food items etc. need to be done without fail. The sanitation workers are doing their bit even without being armed with basic necessities like gloves, suit or masks. The lockdowns are announced but the keys are handed over to so many people such that the lockdown appears opened up.  Most of the spread of this virus is due to the reason that they failed in their duties. The virus is strong as they appear to be weak. All well that ends well. I am also eagerly waiting for the vaccine to roll out!

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