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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Staying Positive In Corona Times And V For Vaccine?



It sounds incredible that only three months back the old world still existed and went about its ways, except for a small area in China. Since then it's been an immense struggle to stay positive, locked up. During this time the world has managed to learn precious little about the invisible invader. It's one of the most mysterious enemies humankind has ever encountered. Nothing is known about its basic nature; why its virulence is so variable; why it selects some countries with a vengeance and why it's deceptively kind to others. In any case, we just don't know what would be its future course—even in countries that have seemingly thwarted its invasion. China, the origin of the attack, and now in apparent control after a 76-day lockdown, fears a rebound. Some experts even say there is no guarantee that a cured person develops immunity to re-infection. However, we must stay positive and live on hope. 

The behavior of fellow human beings disappoints us a lot. Why can't they understand lockdown is basically to save their lives by making them stay home safe and to break the chain of infection outside? Why can't they understand that lockdown has to be a temporary measure only to buy time and prepare for the worst, if it comes? But no! They want all their lost benefits and pleasures in a hurry; they want to join their friends for the daily chatter: they want their favorite dishes, sweets, cakes at any cost. They even attack doctors, nurses and the enforcement authorities who are out there at great risk only to protect their lives. Except, perhaps, for the immense human tragedy involving millions of stranded migrant workers in India most of these human beings are fairly well-off: have homes, jobs, money and opportunities to work from home or engage in other creative activities. But no!  They keep on buying essentials, much more than the household requirements, just for the chance to go out again and again. In India, there have been widespread violations of social distancing and other norms in various parts of various states. The killer virus might just be lurking round the corner to capitalize on such human follies. But we must stay positive and encourage as many others as possible to stay positive. Quality family time is one asset to ponder upon for all us busy bees.

The unpredictability of the virus causes one more hurdle: it doesn't allow our minds to rid our obsession with it and focus on other productive things. We keep on listening to the news and updates, what the experts say and tracking its impact the world over. However, we must still try our best to divert our minds and stay positive. Daily workouts and sessions of meditation are very necessary for this as morning or evening walks are also prohibited.

The economic damage COVID-19 has already enacted and the looming threat of an absolute ruin is another major concern that's been tormenting our minds continuously. Numerous forecasts are being made about negative growth rates in most countries of the world. Well, negative rates can be reversed once the recovery process starts. But, recovery can be made only when the killer virus leaves us or is fully controlled. It's been said that by September, 2020 Coronavirus is going to go away while it's also been said that during the winter it may come back, more virulent. Scary thoughts must not be allowed to generate negativity in us; we must stay positive hoping for the best. 

Economic reason is the driving force for exiting lockdowns at some point of time, sooner always the better. However, an exit cannot be outright; it has to be executed in a phased manner. India has started this process of easing out curbs in safe and safest zones. And here, we feel aghast and disgusted seeing how our fellow human beings react to this. Like the burst of foam from an uncorked Champaign bottle they rush out of homes in ecstatic insanity to break norms everywhere. More nightmarish thoughts creep in. This is only a partial easing of curbs with the lockdown is still in force. What would happen after a full exit? After living through the horrors Italy is considering a full exit; if they’re successful thank heavens for that. For an overpopulated country like India how would the governments ensure social distancing: in the sprawling slums where a single toilet is shared by hundreds and 8-10 people live in 10/10 ft cramped tenements; in the overcrowded local trains, metro rail and buses, still unable to cater to the surging crowds in most cities; in the congested offices; in cinema halls, malls, hotels-bars; in marketplaces and in hot favorite public spots? It’s believed, it could require at least 6 months of observance of safeguards in normal conditions or till the virus becomes dormant whichever is earlier. Now, if the business establishments are asked to ensure seating on strict social distancing rules how would they continue to be viable in business? The developed countries may not have many of such limitations, but the habits and lifestyle compulsions of people there can compromise the observance of safeguards as well.

We, the people, must realize that only we can make this battle against Coronavirus successful; the authorities can only guide us for that common objective. The onus in on us, and so we must strive, make maximum efforts and move forward painstakingly, but positively. And, there is the final key to success for all of us: a COVID-19 vaccine. US President Trump said the vaccine will be achieved by end of this year. If we don’t feel right to go by Trump, considering all his bombastic or bizarre utterances or contradictions and his ultimate election desperation, we can easily take solace in the numerous projects going on in earnest across the world for which world leaders have shown solidarity by raising a fund of over $8 billion, fully backed by World Health Organization. A few of them, the ones in UK, Germany and India, have promised a market-ready vaccine by September, 2020. So, time is still with us, and hope is not running out. It’s all the more reason to stay on positive and breathe an equally infectious air of optimism around us. 

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