*Trigger Warning: Covid-19*
Recently, India became one of the countries globally with the highest rates of Covid infections, further shattering people’s hopes and proving the administration’s failure to ensure the safety of the masses. But is it prudent that we shall only and solely blame the government and the administration for the present deteriorating condition of India because of the pandemic?
The ghastly turn of events during the second wave of coronavirus reflects a two-sided picture. On the one hand, we have people who scream out their lungs to jeopardise the functioning and their faith in the government, but on the other hand, people themselves are responsible for digging their own graves by not adhering to the safety rules, which were drawn out.
It is a really difficult task to create cooperation among a diversity of masses. When people have polarised opinions on various grounds, creating cooperation and coordination does not seem to seep in very deep in the soil. Organising the Kumbh Mela and carrying out election rallies were ill-fitted at that moment, which turned out to be the inception point for deteriorating the pre-existing Covid situation.
But the people who willingly attend these events were solely responsible for their own demise. In the age of television and IT, attending rallies and listening to the manifesto can be done safely at home. People in large numbers flaunted Covid rules like social distancing, not wearing masks, etc.
But the situation doesn’t suddenly deteriorate always. It was during the pre-lockdown months when people became numb to the virus. They gathered in processions, groups, stopped wearing a mask, violated social distancing norms, and cherished the priceless moments of seeing one another after months with hugs and kisses.
The government made it mandatory for shops to keep sanitisers that were not seen and were given into obscurity. According to some, the reason for various people not wear a mask was due to suffocation. The question stands: are the doctors who sweat and clamp themselves in cryogenic spaces off PPE kits and masks doing it out of fun or the necessity to save those lives that turn to the hospital doors?
The statement stands futile for people to avoid masks due to suffocation, and hence, they add on as a piece of additional baggage to the shoulders of the doctors who are already sweating their blood and tears out (as it’s said, our safety is in our own hands).
People stepping in crowded places without safety precautions, considering themselves invincible or the virus to be fossilised, was another major mistake. The people who are the bread earners in the family were given choices with satiable conditions to either work from home or take their safety precautions seriously, which many did not.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 10, 2021
The government cannot be completely expelled from the sphere. It also played a crucial and cataclysmic role in aggravating the number of cases and the mortality rate in India. How did we go from the world exporters of drugs to the world importers of drugs, equipment, etc.? India was bestowed with the tag of the “pharmacy to the world”, to which the Indian administration laid dust themselves.
India’s UN permanent representative Shri T S Tirumurti, recently said that India had exported more covid vaccines than we had used ourselves in the UN assembly. Due to this act of distribution and contribution of vaccines globally, Indians fell short of vaccines themselves.
Many people didn’t receive their jabs and when they questioned PM Modi as to why he sent the vaccines abroad, they were arrested. In Delhi itself, 17 people were arrested overnight who questioned the PM via posters and other means regarding the exports of vaccines.
India was facing dubiousness before the third phase of vaccination was rolled out. According to a report, only 2–3% of people in the age group of 18–44 have been vaccinated until now. The normative statement about the lagging amid the government functionaries gave empirical evidence.
As had been said since 2014 by many people (quoted unquoted), “T(he) country should be run by visionaries and educated leaders and not sadhu’s and pandit’s as they shall sooner or later bring about a reversal to the wheel of progress and revolution.” The statement turned out to be true when the government was blindly carrying out rallies, debarring the processions to carry forward the Kumbh Mela and were ill-planned and prepared for the upcoming wave, which laid waste and disaster.
The government further jeopardised and depreciated the safety and security of the masses. The situation was slipping so hopelessly that the courts had to intervene and “order” the government to execute their duties and roles according to their pledge.
Internationally many countries aided us with medical support and assistance. It was not very surprising to see that even the PM of Pakistan Imran Khan was willing to lend aid and help us out of our miseries, keeping aside the cutthroat politics between both nations. A sweet gesture was acknowledged from Italy, where people gathered, sang and prayed for us Indians.
The cases and the mortality rate in India shot so high that the infection rates crossed 30% and the number of deaths per day crossed thousands. Various places of importance saw shortages, like beds in hospitals, woods and coffins at the crematory and medicines and oxygen cylinders at the apothecary. People literally had to wait for their chance to cremate and bid farewell to the demised.
Many hospitals saw over-flooding of patients who couldn’t be accommodated and were either lying as spasms on the floor or were choking at entrances. Many people resorted to vandalism and violence to get treated by doctors or vent their anger out for losing their loved ones. The last light of optimism dozed out when we saw dead bodies floating on the banks of the river Ganga.
All these negative situations would not have rendered if the administration and the government were well planned and carried out the executions coherently, followed by people taking safety measures and precautions. The paroxysm of this ugly reality gives truth to the dystopian existence and oozing optimism which was doused with the fanning of panic, fear, suffering, and chaos.
Only if we had been better planned could we have been better prepared for the fight against the second wave of covid.