Deaths Of Celebrities And Others Continue Even As The Third Wave Recedes In India!


The daily numbers of infections, Omicron or otherwise, have come down from the high of 350,000+ to around or less than 30,000 in the last few days in India. However, the daily fatalities still hover around 500, and just a few days back the figures crossed the 1000+ mark. Although most of the deaths are attributed to the state of Kerala the figures in many other states are still double-digit, and the spate of deaths of celebrities goes on unabated across the country. That the deaths continue to rise despite the experts or the Government assuring all that Omicron is a milder virus and can lead to only mild diseases, particularly in vaccinated people is an issue that needs to be examined. In an earlier post we explored this syndrome of deaths as ‘the expendables’, meaning the unvaccinated people or people with serious comorbidities and senior plus the super senior citizens with or without comorbidities. Obviously, no country can take the risk of national devastation by resorting to severe restrictions just to save the expendables. As we move on in this piece we’d be faced with a paradoxical situation.


Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar who was 92 died on 6th February in Mumbai, Bongovibhushan legendary singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay who was 90 died yesterday in Kolkata, very popular music director-singer Bappi Lahiri who was 69 died late last night in Mumbai and so on. While the first two legends succumbed to COVID-19 infections Bappi Lahiri died due to prolonged illness for over a month. Personally speaking, I lost my maternal uncle Prof. Nriependra Nath Sarma who was 84 and who otherwise was a very active social worker with no serious comorbidities to COVID-19 infection, and a prominent personality of Assam, Goutam Sharma who was 65, due to prolonged illness since late 2020. There are many others known and faceless who are dying perhaps because of the fact that they are the expendables too. In this logic even Latadi and Sandhyadi, unfortunately, fall in the category of the expendables. Perhaps, they could’ve lived on had there been strict restrictions or lockdowns. The other cases including that of Bappi Lahiri bring us to the paradox.


It is common knowledge now that the Pandemic’s two-year reign has impacted humankind in the most unprecedented way, changing the normal way of working life and social behavior. The problems of isolation, loneliness, weird behavior due to continuous dependence on gadgets for the work-from-home phenomenon, lack of income or work and claustrophobic stay-home have led to depression and mental illness. We had seen the misery and sufferings of the migrant workers, daily wage earners, the pavement vendors, the hospitality sector, the film industry and the micro medium and small enterprises in these two years. They all suffered and many of them shut shop or died due to lack of regular income or work or mental health. Many of the small shopkeepers known to us have perished, most of them dying due to depression and suffocation. Not to speak of the scores of serving doctors and nurses sacrificing their lives. 


However, to try explain the paradox further, lack of income or work is not the only factor. People with some regular income or domestic or creative work also perished due to depression, getting tired of the monotonous chores. Mental health, not considered seriously till the pandemic, has now emerged as the leading cause of deaths, because mental illnesses lead to physical sickness too, and to a relapse of previous health issues. We had seen many artistes, actors and other celebrities die or commit suicides or behave weird in the last two years, obviously because they had been deprived of a life they had been used to for so long. For example, a leading music composer of Bollywood did his last song in early 2020. Therefore, if even the celebrities, mostly with varying bank balances, cannot survive this onslaught what about the common vulnerable people? Besides, the dance of death during the Second Wave had also impacted the mental health of millions adversely.


The Government cannot do much in solving this paradox of deaths, and so is devoting itself to full-time electioneering. As fellow human beings we too cannot do anything feasible. As we hope that the Third Wave could finally be over, not only in India but globally, there is hardly any measure to prevent more and more deaths of such a nature, that is, the expendables. Perhaps, this could be the tragic aftermath of the pandemic. Only God and Mother Nature can decide to show some mercy to a desperate humankind, if they think now ‘enough is enough’.


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