Nobody knows what’s happening anywhere, where to go or what to do at a time when one of the biggest pandemics in the modern world wipes almost $6-8 trillion from the global market. So far, there are just over 200,000 cases that have been registered of which almost half are still active cases, half of which have recovered and from which around 6000 have died.
World Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director, Michael Ryan, says the there is still growth of Corona virus cases in India but at a decreasing rate and that the impact of the pandemic is variable in rural and urban settings and has not exploded as expected. WHO Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, says that the overall covid-19 cases look big but for the size of the population, is still quite modest. Now suddenly, it doesn’t seem that scary does it?
As of now, Delhi has had around 25 thousand cases and Haryana 3000 odd so far, as the government site shows. But who really knows what the real statistics are if we don’t bother testing people. Not only are tests hard to come by, they are not doing them even if you show mild symptoms. People are being turned away everyday, as doctors and nurses refuse to test patients that come in with typical symptoms and told to go home and look after themselves. God knows where the money is going in this sector… Moreover, if people do die, they are not tested to see if the cause of death is Covid-19. So what actually are we all working on, what do we actually know about the severity of the infection. Yes, it’s quick to get, yes, can be fatal and a horrendous experience for those with underlying conditions, but otherwise seems to be a normal seasonal flu. unless we have the Covid RT-PCR test which costs Rupees 4500, nobody will really ever know the truth.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Now because of all these unknowns, one can question as to whether It really was necessary for India to go into lock down or even if it did, was it required so soon losing millions of rupees in the process. It could have been the case that maybe the infection wasn’t as bad for Indians in India compared to the rest of the world considering we have a younger population who come into the less risky category. China does suggest that the fatality rate is greater in the 80+ year range and India has 75 % of its population below 40 years. So Did the government show ‘herd mentality’ when maybe it could have tried ‘herd immunity’ and saved the economy in leaps and bounds. Then it would only have had to concentrate on health care and tests, rather than absolutely everything else!
From what I can see, social media, has really concentrated on the worst cases, I guess because it’s sensational news, andcreated a deep rooted fear amongst those, who really don’t understand how it all really works.It’s ended up scaring labourers and villagers so much, that they’ve run back to their villages, saying that they would rather die at home if the disease is going to kill them. There seems to be a lack of true communication on the ground where it really counts.
So now, we are left with a shortage of labour as Unlock 1.0 occurs where flights are now being sent to bring workers back for companies that need them. Even labourers have gone back to their villages to find that they have no means to support themselves and have now started calling their companies in the city for re employment, especially in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) Zones. What I’ve realised, is that a knee jerk reaction by anyone, Top tier to bottom tie, to every situation is the worst one, especially in a country where at least 3% live in extreme poverty, forget those who are barely making ends meet. Even if we didn’t know whether people were going to die from the infection, you can be damn sure that they will now die from starvation.