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“Life has knocked me down a few times, I’ve seen things I never want to see again, But one things for sure, I’ll always get back up, I will never stay down.” – Author Unknown

At a time when the COVID 19 pandemic is at a critical juncture in India and apprehensions of an imminent community spread are real, instances of irresponsible individual and community behaviour is ‘criminal’. I say ‘criminal’ because such behaviour may precipitate the community spread that all of us are working relentlessly to contain. In a manner of speaking, most COVID deaths may be caused by this overt display of irresponsibilty.

How can a celebrity returning from an affected part of the world attend a high profile party in India? And how can other high profile people be part of such gatherings – laudable though it may be that they subsequently placed themselves under self-quarantine. How can a bureaucrat’s son, again just back from an affected country go on an unrestricted jaunt before being symptomatic of the disease? How can people continue to throng markets and eateries till governnent issues closure notices? How can people hoard sanitizers? The hand sanitizer is not an alternative to soap and water. Why can’t we leave sanitizers for those who actually need them? Please remember that these are all educated folks from well-heeled backgrounds. These incidents lead me to believe that education and economic status is no indication of responsible behaviour or common sense.

COVID 19 is serious. It is not localised to a few nations or some parts of the world. It has afflicted the entire world. As the Prime Minister mentioned in his address to the nation – no nation can help any other as all are fighting their internal battle with the disease. We in India must be very concerned as our healthcare system will be severely challenged to address a community outbreak and may crumble under pressure. If we do not act responsibly, our death toll will be unimaginably high – with equally horrific consequences. We can always hope things will turn out to our advantage but hope is a poor alternative for positive and responsible behaviour.


21 Mar 2020

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