- As the second covid wave sweeps across a few of the most affected states led by Maharashtra, respective state governments are compelled to come out with measures ranging from strict to inadequate to bizarre to grossly defying logical sense. It appears that some of the state authorities are failing to accept the fact that the pandemic is in its second year now and as such, whatever experiences gained over the past year in combating the virus as it was an unknown entity back then could be put to good use now having learned from earlier times. Unfortunately, unyielding measures like night curfew, weekend curfew, and semi-lockdowns are being contemplated.
- Going by the reports emerging, the Maharashtra government is mulling imposing strict lockdowns which are being vehemently opposed by the alliance partners as well as the opposition party to not press ahead with the economically disastrous move. The state of Karnataka is witnessing a surge in confirmed infection rates over the last couple of weeks prompting the government to come out with measures to stem the spike before allowing it to spiral out of control. Reminiscent of other states’ knee-jerk reactions, the Karnataka government has come out with few guidelines like banning of rallies and large gatherings for the next fortnight alongside the strict implementation of covid appropriate behavior in all public places.
- While ruling out any lockdowns is a welcome confirmation, the bane of the virus spread equally rests on the public as well with some forceful prodding by the authorities concerned to observe covid appropriate behavior like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and hand hygiene. Of course, the government can do only that much as the economy cannot be suppressed by blunt instruments like lockdowns perpetually. Most worryingly, indications emerging from the virus front in the supposedly second covid wave are extremely infectious and the spread witnessed over the last few days buttresses the expert opinions from the medical fraternity.
- Also, reports emerging from across the world point at many more covid waves striking before humanity can heave a sigh of relief from the menace. Make no mistake, people across the continents are fatigued by the unmitigated fallout of restrictions and would love to break free from the unavoidable shackles. Despite several vaccination candidates appearing on the horizon as a panacea, there is no clarity visible in the foreseeable future as to when we would be able to finally announce the conquering of the dreaded virus. Yes, learn to live with the virus is appropriate and par for the course measure as humankind marches ahead albeit battered from all fronts.
- In the meanwhile, the Union and State governments should enforce strict mask-wearing behavior amongst the public with hefty fines if that works as an appropriate deterrence. Unless the people are diligent enough to follow the guidelines, let the state machinery impose fines which would be a useful addition to the struggling exchequers as well. A word of advice to political leaders. Set example by restricting your followers during by-election rallies or else people will float the guidelines issues with impunity. People need to move on from the virus.