Pandemic Response: Taking Precaution Is Not Out Of Fear Or Negativity!


Apart from the still fluctuating or increasing number of people testing COVID-19 positive across the Indian states, primarily Delhi and a few others, there has also been a growth of a sense of ‘false positivity’ in the response of the people to the pandemic. We had seen in an earlier piece about that surge of defiance in citizens to celebrate Diwali the usual normal way. This ‘surge of defiance’ is somewhat related to what we have said about that sense of false positivity. After more than eight months of paying subservience to the sticky virus people now seem to say and act accordingly, ‘No, enough is enough! No more slavery to the goddamned virus! We’ll do now whatever we feel like. We are least likely to be infected as we are positive about it, and if we do get infected, let it be!’


If fellow citizens around them insist on observing the norms like at least wearing masks they rule it out scornfully, ‘Don’t be scared, guys! Be positive, nothing will happen to you!’ If an elderly person feels hesitant to go the markets because of overcrowding members of his/her family would scoff, ‘Don’t continue living in fear! It’s been nearly a year now! Please go fearlessly out and please, don’t give us that negativity again! Nothing is going to happen to you, and if something does happen, we’ll take perfect care of you!’


Therefore, unfortunately, if you insist on taking precautions or refuse to go to the public places without any urgent necessity or decide to continue sitting at home you’d be labeled as someone in the throes of a numbing fear or transmitting waves of negative energy all around. This sense of false positivity is an extremely dangerous sentiment, because if this gets fully translated at the macro level the fight against the pandemic would be compromised and weakened. Sitting at home without having any urgent reason of going out or wearing masks and maintaining physical distance or refusing to have food out etc. are all genuine and righteous precautions, taken with a positive frame of mind. Going to a restaurant without any necessity is foolhardiness, and walking out in a hurry leaving a half-eaten plate there is fear. Be positive in the right way to prevent being tested COVID-19 positive.


The necessity of having a positive frame of mind is all the more important at this delicate juncture of the fight against the Coronavirus, because fluctuations in numbers are still continuing that may indicate a turn for the worse again. Delhi has been suffering from the so-called third wave perhaps entirely due to this sense of false positivity which may have prompted the Delhi government take unlocking measures in a hurry. Delhi’s COVID-19 positivity rate is currently the highest at over 12%. Except for Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the consistency of falling numbers is lacking in most other states. Maharashtra, the worse affected state, had recorded wonderfully low numbers of daily infections at around 2500 in recent days, but the numbers have again surged to over 5000 as of today. Daily infections are still very high in Kerala and West Bengal while the situation continues to be volatile in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Haryana.


As observed in USA and Europe a second wave is also being anticipated in India, and states like Maharashtra are preparing well for any such occurrence. The scenario in India is more vulnerable because of the festive season violations, increasing pollution levels, reducing numbers of testing across the states, the ensuing winter and of course, the sense of defiance or false positivity in the minds of the people. As per the latest indications a safe vaccine is almost within reach now with at least one vaccine getting ready for mass distribution by early next year. People must not lose their patience till that golden hour. To finally conquer the pandemic combined will is of utmost necessity.


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