India has large population and its towns and cities are very densely populated. As a consequence, even local transportation in these towns and cities is crowded. When a pandemic as infectious as Corona first struck India, controlling it was always going to be a challenge for the aforesaid reasons. However, the Nation responded with utmost obedience, though many sections of the society, especially the migrant labourers, suffered a lot. People stayed indoors, maintained social distancing to the extent possible ( avoided social gatherings and parties) and dutifully wore mask. Though India had large number of cases, but the rate per million was lower than several advanced nations and deaths were fewer indeed. Doctors seemed to have come to grips with virus, Covid treatment facilities were created and India was amongst the few nations to be working on two vaccines – one fully indigenous and the other under licence from Astra Zeneca. The entire world lauded India’s handling of the pandemic. In fact many countries, including US, sought India’s support for drugs ( Hydroxyl chloroquine) and medical personnel.
And then we as a nation decided to celebrate our victory over Corona, albeit a bit prematurely. While the lockdown was lifted in phases, people threw caution to winds as if there was no tomorrow ! They flocked to malls, restaurants and started partying hard! But I think it started with Holi celebrations. The way it was celebrated in its traditional strongholds of Mathura, Vrindavan and Varanasi demonstrated as if people were deprived of playing this festival of colours for ages. Holi was still one day, but the way crowded election rallies happened in 4 states and 1 UT, the same proved to be the final nail in the coffin! Thousands of people thronged to election rallies and Corona protocol went for a toss! This was not all ! Kumbh snan clearly proved that in spite of fatalistic essence of Corona, religion in our country was still paramount!
And look at the outcome of all the above! It’s a crisis unprecedented! India is suddenly making new records of daily infections ( already touching 4 L per day) and deaths ( 3500+ each day). Medical facilities have crumbled, essential drugs vanished from the market, oxygen is in severe short supply and crematoriums and burial grounds are out of capacity leading to queuing up of dead bodies for funeral !
Once a country at the top of Corona, India today looks a hapless victim with international community rushing essential drugs, oxygen plants and other materials! The vaccine maker is unable to vaccinate its population and looking at importing vaccines to fulfil demand. Suddenly a country extending help to the world has become a recipient of the world’s aid and sympathy.
I have no clue as to how this pandemic will be controlled and when it will end? More important concern is that how many families will lose their nears and dears by that time!
Let’s look skywards for salvation!