Care for Corona Scare
Whatever is the development of knowledge, science and technology in the world, whatever their disciplines are, their basic objective is the interest of humanity, through which the human constantly tries to conquer the nature. But the nature is the nature, and it stops all knowledge-science and technological development as soon as it gets an opportunity, and in the process, the human and all his/her resources are relegated to nothing. The story of the Corona virus spread from China to the entire world is the new story of hide and seeks between humanity and the nature. By the time of writing these lines, 2,29,917 people have been found infected worldwide, while in India the number has increased to 201. Italy is the most-affected country by the Corona spread after the Wuhan province in China. The impact of this disease is so fierce that a kind of emergency has been imposed in China and Italy, where its brunt has been the severest. In terms of population, India is second only to China. Even though the number of people infected with Corona is limited in India as of now, it can be attributed to the reason that cleanliness is a matter of ritual in India. There has been the tradition to keep a child clean, do not eat things without washing hands, wash hands after defecation, etc. The rite of cleanliness in Europe came after the plague epidemic. But cleanliness has been a philosophy of life in India. However, it is a matter of research, why, in latter days, our society distanced itself from public hygiene. Our rituals of cleanliness, our eating habits and conduct have been in harmony with the laws of the nature. There will hardly be any person here, who does not want to search for water, as soon as he comes out of a toilet or urinal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemingly knows these facts about the Indian rituals of cleanliness very well, which is probably why he, in his address to the nation on March 19, appealed to the people of the country to take restraint and resolve. PM Modi appealed to the people of the country to observe March 22 as “Janta Curfew” and remain at their home from 7am to 9pm.
Here it is pertinent to mention that after witnessing the disaster in Italy, the US and Canada are acting vigorously to flatten the infection rate curve, using social distancing and limit the infections to levels that can be handled by the existing health care system. Starting with Harvard/MIT, all universities are going online and packing off the students. Schools are closing for two-three weeks. Given the high fatality rate among 70+, it is quite urgent that India follows similar such steps immediately and vigorously to limit the community spread and spare the elderly. Also, it is anticipated that the impact on casual, non-salaried and non-unionised employees can be severe, directly (through self/imposed quarantine) or indirectly (through loss of business), unless the government provides the same social safety net as in the western countries. Against this backdrop, let us pray that the impact on the world population is minimal. The world had witnessed the devastation, caused in using nuclear weapons in World War II; later on, in Vietnam, chemical weapons were used. A decade or so ago, there were much allegations and counter-allegations of countries producing/stockpiling biological weapons. Could the present havoc, caused worldwide, be a precursor of the impact of a biological weapon used? In this case, unlike the earlier two, it would not only cause harm on the exterior of the body but enormous pain within too. Hence, this pandemic has given a message not only to the superpowers, but also to humanity that if you go away from the nature in the era of technology and development, then the nature will try its best to cast you in its mould. Therefore, understand the nature, and emulate it.
By Deepak Kumar Rath