I was happy to have received first dose of vaccine. Number of cases were falling with each passing day. Frequency of going to office was expected to be increased from 2 days in a week to 3 days. We had started planning our much pending visit to Johannesburg in May /June. And then all of a sudden the second wave of Covid struck from nowhere. Unfortunately, it made the commercial capital of the country its first victim again and daily infections started going up from 2000 to 8000 and panic was set in. Worse, this wave seemed to be more contagious, spreading more rapidly and what used to take 7 to 10 days to affect the lung happened in 2-3 days. Mortality rate started mounting.
As I write this blog, Maharashtra government has already promulgated lockdown. Delhi government is having weekend curfew and several other, hitherto “safe” states- UP, HP, Odisha, WB – are staring at pandemic !
I think it was alright till Holi though enthusiasm of the people in the traditional strongholds of Mathura and Vrindavan seemed a little misplaced. Elections in 4 states and UT of Puducherry were fought as if there was no next day and someone had to meet his or her Waterloo in these elections itself. Leaders exhorted people openly who responded with same gusto albeit without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing ! And Shahi sanan at Kumbh and onset of Ramadan and Hindu new year festivities have only compounded the misery.
Scenes of migrant labourers returning to their natives and commercial establishments downing their shutters are heart rending. Economy had barely started recovering and job scenarios had just started improving when this second wave came to be a spoilsport.
If the entire business establishments have turned to virtual, can’t electioneering be virtual in these pandemic times? In the name of faith, can people expose the entire humanity to the risk of pandemic? Hospitals are overflowing with patients and there is serious shortage of beds and ventilators at some centres. Remedesivir is in short supply and being sold in black market in certain places.
Corona warriors are tired and getting infected themselves. Health infrastructure is creaking. It’s a very grim scenario and unless we all become Corona warriors- strictly observe Corona protocols, avoid going out without purpose, help affected folks and contribute generously – this battle will hurt very deeply. Celebrations and elections will come and go but to savour them we need to exist!