The Covid-19 virus, particularly the new variant, seems to be a very sneaky one, making its way into people’s bodies despite all the stringent precautions. This seems so considering the fact that the latest round of transmission has hit the middle class in a severe manner, even though it was the section abiding most by the protocols. Even the stringently enforced IPL bio-bubble was breached. Under the circumstances it is only natural that people are suffering from compliance fatigue.
Owing to this, the pressure is growing on governments to enforce lockdowns that basically prevent human interaction. There is a natural reluctance to do so, visible particularly in Uttarakhand, because of the economic consequences that have proved very difficult to recover from. In fact, the reminder by the state’s health secretary that there is a limit to how much medical facilities can be expanded to meet the relentless increase in cases, indicates the frustration among the authorities with the present situation.
The situation is made worse by the unceasing politics, regardless of the cost to society. The focus seems to be more on taking political advantage of the situation. Those having to deal with the problem are overworked and exhausted, even as their task is being made more difficult, even impossible, by self-appointed experts merely reacting to superficial data. The judiciary, in particular, has made interventions that go well beyond its mandate of interpreting the law. Its own performance in disposing of cases judged by these arbitrary standards would be abysmal.
It is time for society to come together, if for no other reason than easing the pressure on the health and other frontline workers. The protocols may or may not seem to prove effective, but they must be meticulously followed. There has to be appreciation of what the doctors, nurses and technicians are doing – successfully treating an overwhelming percentage of those afflicted. While the number of deaths is increasing with the rise in cases, the fatality rate is remarkably lower than that in many countries. Along with pointing out the shortcomings, the media and ‘commentators’ should also project the successes, so that there is hope and the morale remains high. Although it is not being projected that way for political and other reasons, it is remarkable how quickly India has responded to the challenge and continues to leverage its enormous potential to deal with it. In the end, the memory of the loved ones that have been lost should be that of martyrs in a battle that was eventually won by the nation and its people.