After some flattening of the curve, Covid-19 cases have once again begun to show a rise in India. This is evident also in Uttarakhand. Having just about tried everything the ‘experts’ have been advising since the pandemic started, it has become evident that only one’s personal efforts to stay away from others actually work. The drop in temperatures is also being blamed for the rise, though it is not clear exactly how that happens.
Even around the world, Covid-19 keeps making a comeback – England has had to go into a month long lockdown in the effort to keep things under control. It is worth noting, however, that people in that country went partying in large numbers to ‘prepare’ for this event. Quite obviously, this is not what the government intended.
One cannot blame those who live in crowded circumstances if they fall prey to the virus despite their best efforts, but what about those that have the luxury of being naturally distanced from others? Should they be making things worse for others by being negligent and uncaring? Personal caution needs to be doubled at a time when, perforce, the economy is being opened up and ‘normal’ life resumed. Students have to go to school and college, businesses that involve public interface need to resume functioning to survive. It comes as a shocker, therefore, that somehow eighty teachers have tested positive in five blocks of Pauri District. How did they manage that even when schools were not functioning? The hills have been relatively free of Covid-19, but is this a sign of things to come?
Every citizen needs to redouble the efforts to ensure wearing of masks and maintaining physical distance. Going by the scenes on the roads, in the markets and residential areas, this seems to have been dispensed with. It cannot be left to the police and administration alone to enforce these rules. Neither Uttarakhand nor the country can afford another lockdown. Whatever bounce back there has been in the economy has probably been because of the pent-up demand and the festive season – it might not sustain. There are also other challenges – such as the standoff at the LAC with China – that may gain momentum. What citizens do matters a lot, both, negatively and positively. Short-sighted self-indulgence might carry a price people may be unable to pay in the long run.