And for a Friday as we reach end of Lockdown 4.0, some thoughts….. some hopes…..
It’s NOT clear yet – is it Chinese created Wuhan virus or COVID-19 as per WHO terms? But what is CLEAR is, our life is being challenged, freedom constrained and Economy getting increasingly contracted. After more than 70 days of the lockdown, it is no longer Life or Livelihood. It is Life and Livelihood. If we leave it to our local politicians and Sarkari Babus, they will like to continue the lockdown, on and on. Their salaries are fixed and will come to their banks on the first of the Month with additional DA. But what about the millions who have to make a living. India is not America or Germany. There is no Social Security. People have to earn or dive into their meagre savings and these are fast depleting. So let’s plan out how to make our livelihood happen while “Living with the Virus” – Social distancing at all times, face masks and hand washing at individual level, Testing, Tracking, Isolating and Treating at Community level…. Let’s face facts. 13th April 8500 cases, 21st doubled, 2nd May doubled and today at 1,70,000. So most conservatively we will cross 4 lakhs by June end before tapering as per Experts. So nothing to get shocked in 70 days of Lockdown. Every child now knows Corona…. करोना…. Every citizen is aware of steps to do. Enough PPE is around and hopefully the Medical infrastructure to handle the rising numbers.
India is a developing country for sure. But it’s Entrepreneurship, Scientific temper and institutions are World class. The IITs, IIMs, IISCs, AIIMS, PGIs, CISR, DST, BARC, ISRO etc. etc. and at the forefront of COVID-19, ICMR, Dept of Biotechnology. We have some outstanding Scientists, Medical Professionals and Researchers, who according to well known Dr. K. Vijayaraghavan – The Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt. of India, are working almost 24 by 7 to find a science based solution to eradication of COVID-19. More than 30 groups – large companies, startups, research institutions and friendly hackathons- are working in the Country to get Vaccines both in collaboration with Global institutions and otherwise. In addition, more than 10 Drugs are being repurposed and under trials for treatment of COVID-19. Also, irrespective of what the Chinese or WHO may say, let’s fully believe our Medical fraternity and Indian specialists when they continue to recommend HCQ as preventive for our front line warriors with the needed precautions. Meanwhile, for all of us normal citizens, precautions is the only Mantra. Vaccines and Drugs are at least 10 to 18 months away.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention. German football league commenced with empty Stadiums. But TV will still carry the thrill to millions. So let us all find innovative ways to work safely, get the Economy going, the Masky, hand washing, Social distancing way, the caring way, the SEEGOS way.