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Critical Stage

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Vaccine hesitancy seems to be declining as reports of adverse events after inoculation have been too few to indicate a trend. As a result, the number of persons that have been vaccinated in India is approaching the 4.5 million mark. The second set of beneficiaries, such as police personnel, has begun to be vaccinated. It has also been seen in studies worldwide that getting vaccinated considerably reduces susceptibility to the Covid-19 virus even after the first dose. All of this is good news and offers hope that enough people will be vaccinated to provide herd immunity by year end or, at worst, the middle of next year.

On its part, India seems to be reducing its numbers at a good pace and experts are unsure how this is happening. They are offering a number of explanations but not with any kind of certainty. However, what almost none of the establishment scientists have considered is the possible role of Indian home remedies such as ‘kaadha’, turmeric milk, etc. It is a possibility that the kitchen concoctions being ladled out by mothers and others might have a role in raising immunity levels. As such, an effort should be made to introduce these practices in countries where the virus is running wild. It would certainly do no harm, but could do a lot of good.

On the other hand, a worrying fact is that the established preventive measures such as mask wearing and social distancing have more or less been abandoned in most parts of India. Coupled with the general opening of economic activities by the government, it could possibly trigger a ‘third wave’ that could prove disastrous. Events such as the farmers’ protest outside Delhi are absolutely irresponsible from this point of view. If the pandemic revives, it could prove a major disaster after all the good work done so far. Awareness needs to be revived amongst the people about the possible dangers, instead of being complacent at the government and social levels. India is at a critical stage and not everything can be left to providence alone.