Numbed by the Second Wave

05 May,2021

 

By Sanjeev Kotnala

 

Sanjeev KotnalaAs I sit to write this, the fingers refuse to move on the keyboard. The mind no longer asks the fingers to keep pace with my thoughts. I am numbed with the pain surrounding us. Corona is far too close for comfort. The second wave of Covid-19 has touched and pained almost all I know. Nearer home, we have had the second casualties and a promising young man lost the battle. And there are more than 20 in close family who have tested positive and quartantined at home. All you read and hear is upsetting. It’s a terrible scene out there.

 

I am not sure what I should do and what I could do. 

Do I rejoice on the election results? Do I appreciate and see a silver lining in the self-less put-in by the next generation? Do I sit back and share the pains of people who have lost their near ones during the ongoing Covid-19 second wave? Do I focus on helping those currently fighting for life? Do I just cocoon myself and protect my family? Or do I redefine the term family that I belong to? Or do I, like Ramki (Cartwheel), who has created the post you see in this article, find how to contribute with my skillsets?

Who do I blame? And what will blame gain? Maybe it will force people responsible to finally act decisively? Perhaps they will now try to better manage the situation? So, you and I must raise our voice till we are heard, and some effective action is taken.

 

MANAGEABLE Vs PREVENTABLE.

Let us not fool ourselves; our existence could not have managed this scale of the pandemic and the Covid-19 second wave. However, better planning, implementation, and a dedicated, focussed unrelenting approach would have definitely eased the pain- maybe a bit. The infrastructure and the essential services like medicine, oxygen, and beds be better managed and not stretched at the seams. Everyone understands this is unprecedented. Everyone knows we could have lessened the pain a bit, and that would have counted.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA A BOON.

Yes, thank god for social media and mobile technology, the apps, and the internet. In the absence, many cries for support during the Covid-19 second wave would have gone unanswered. Strangers across geographics were working in tandem. The nation is a bit more united and secular—no one asking for caste, religion, region or language while stretching to help.

However, everything is not right.

People are sharing forwarding half-baked and, many times, fake information. The visuals shared can scar you for life. The right intending advice not always right.

Some medical scams are already running. Exorbitant rates being charging for medical supplies and support services. Some middlemen brokering treatment. And here, too, social media and the internet is playing their role.

I will live with all this if only the Government acts and we have some order of managed pandemic. I, like others, am confused.

 

CONFUSION.

I don’t know much. And what I know, I cannot be sure of its authenticity. Everything is suspect. The situation is anxiety-creating, and the relationships are getting strained.

I don’t know when to take the second vaccine dose. Initially, I was told to take it after four weeks. When I got the first dose, I was told to come after six weeks. Now, they are saying 8-12 weeks. However, the Aarogya Setu app is asking me to schedule an appointment now, immediately after four weeks. It is a different thing that there are no centres to schedule.

No one knows if the INR 10 steroid works or it has to be Remdesivir.

When should one home quarantine and when to get admitted?

At what oxygen level should one start looking for the bed, the cylinder, the concentrator?

Is it Covaxin or Covishield, or should one look at Sputnik?

The confusion entropy keeps increasing with every new post and video on social media. With every call among family members at different locations. The early ring of mobile feels like a telegram and for a change- No News is really Good News.

 

COMMUNICATION.

I still feel that the government  messed up communication big-time when it started and during the Covid-19 second wave. As a result, everyone is short on knowledge and information. Everyone is an undisputed expert. Each one busy playing fastest finger first to forward whatever they get. Everyone is a video star and interested in the next sensational share about the Pandemic.

Could this Central Government and state governments not use every possible media time and space to ensure clarity and transparency to answer most basic queries and FAQs.

There is so much confusion even after one year of living with the virus. Simple things like symptoms, vaccination, process, self-help, home isolation, treatment, and initial care are still confusing.

During illness, what to measure and what to monitor? What are the new early symptoms?

 

NEED ACTION

I expected a lot more from this government that was comfortable taking unpopular decisions. But, for Corona, they seem to be hibernating.

Why not blank unauthorised advice being shared on social media instead of taking offense to some post criticizing the inactivity or questioning the status.

In a media-centric world, how have we forgotten the power of effective, transparent communication for critical information? Why be the pigeon in before the cat? Why live in denial?

Why can there not be centralised bed allotment and control? Possible! Could have been possible! I was thinking just like multi-level parking with franchised at multiple locations and central control.

Why not strongly act against black-marketers and hoarders of essential goods and medicines? The government could make an unregistered unauthorised stock of oxygen cylinder medicine a crime. Give people a day to declare online and then on a war footing seize what is unauthorised and unregistered. Or are we better with people being atmanirbhar in arranging for them?

Why should one need to come to the vaccine centre? Why not carpet-cover the cities and towns and villages with the vaccination team moving to locations? Why should the person have an option to be vaccinated or not?

 

ATMANIRBHAR

I don’t know anything, but I do know that I want to know. I know that I will never have all the answers, and I am okay with it and continue questioning.

There is no debate. The government has failed the citizen of the country during this pandemic and more so during the Covid-19 second wave..

This gives rise to a few questions.  my dear friend Peter Suresh is anguished when he asks- What were the citizens doing? Why did they go and attend the rallies? Why did they go to Khumb mela? What stopped them from observing the essential sanitisation, handwash, and social distancing? Why they still not wear the mask? Why blame the politicians? Did we vote them to power? At least remember and make the right choices next time.

And, I say: Blame Ourselves. We are the ones who are the cause of wave intensifying.  When it’s a lockdown, we do side business. We are hoarding oxygen cylinders and damaging the refiling cycle. We are willingly promoting middleman and kalabazari? When we are asked to remain at home, we venture out to see how serious the government is about it.

And thus we continue to fail our fellow countrymen. instead of one for all and all for one- the cry of Atmanirbhar seems to have been misunderstood by many as u everyone for themselves.

 

TIME TO ACT.

There is still time to do something and contribute to the containment Covid-19 second wave..

Follow precautions.

Remember, we are as strong as the weakest link, and individually we are the smallest social unit.

Do help out if you can.

Donate and volunteer with known names and setups to ensure your contribution is well utilised. Remember- Everything does not require you to step out of the home.

 

 

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