is on its knees, rocked by a new vicious strain of a virus on a rampage which
has led to a national catastrophe and a terrifying spike in the infection and
mortality rate. Every time somebody calls, sends a message or puts up a
desperate post on social media it is either a plea for help or dire tidings. The
worst part is this unmitigated disaster could have been averted with a little
advance planning and common sense. They warning signs were there after all, but
the government was busy patting itself and sanctioning the building of central
vistas to commemorate its successes. The citizenry, convinced that Coronasura
had been beaten engaged in reckless, irresponsible behavior. Now the entire
nation is besieged by disease and heartbreak.
It is bad enough
the response to the renewed threat has been shockingly inept with hospitals and
health care personnel hopelessly overwhelmed and the ineffectual vaccine
rollout seeing less than two percent of the populace vaccinated. But there is
worse. Heartless black marketers are stealing and selling lifesaving drugs and
oxygen cylinders at exorbitant prices while all around there are desperate
people trying to save their loved ones. Experts are predicting 1 million deaths
from Covid - 19 by August while there
are others who are insisting that we crossed that figure already.
Yet, it would
never do for us to give up and surrender to hopelessness or anger. Because to
do so would be to run full tilt into an even greater tragedy. Now more than
ever, we need to believe that we can still turn things around. To do that, we
need to have faith in ourselves and those around us. We need to pitch in and
help in whatever way we can. Share information and resources on social media
not vitriol and fake news. If possible help by preparing nutritious meals for
the sick and frontline workers, instead of criticizing others. Reach out to the
less fortunate with money or timely aid and help them access essentials like
food, medicine, a good internet connection or a lifesaving vaccination shot. Amplify
the voices of those in need and question those in power when confronted with
evidence of incompetence or rampant corruption.
If you don’t feel like doing any of these
things because you are scared senseless and you just want to stay at home and
vegetate in front of Netflix for a momentary respite from a world that is
crumbling around you, that is fine too. At times like this, we need to support
each other. And when it gets to be too much let us remember that the bad thing
about good times is they don’t last and the good thing about bad times is they
don’t last either.
This column was originally published in The New Indian Express.