Though it took around two months for the deadly virus called Covid-19 to traverse from Wuhan to India, it took no time to spread to different parts of this country. As several states including West Bengal have been affected by this fatal virus, precautionary measures have been mandatory for the rest of the states too. Thus Assam is getting prepared for facing the worst time. The virus has reached its neighboring state!
With the state administration leaving no stone unturned in taking safety measures the people are found to comply with the rules laid from time to time with their understanding. When no one is denying the protective measures, viz., wearing masks, washing hands frequently, sanitization, social distancing, self-isolation, home quarantine, Janata curfew, and lockdown, a question would always trouble the conscious minds if the mass has got their meanings and use exactly.
Being a state of diverse people with different scale of knowledge and understanding, it is not a wonder to see some people putting the sanitizer in the mouth with a great devotion considering it charanamrita (holy water) when they are offered by the security before entering into a temple (as administration instructed to give sanitizer to every devotee before entering the temple/institution). At the same time, it is also not a surprise to find some denying washing hands before getting into a public carrier in fear of their faith.
Indeed, it is a serious question of what technique should be adopted to explain ‘social distancing’ to those who travel a long way from the Covid-19 affected places and go their home without informing the health workers for the fear best known to them. Probably it is beyond the knowledge of the concerned authority how many cases of this kind have stealthily entered our villages who might push the pandemic to an unmanageable stage if any one of them turns out Covid-19 positive.
In the rise of this pandemic, when the indoor stay is need of the hour and so was declared ‘Janata curfew’ by the Prime Minister on March 22, people responded right away until all the Indians were asked to applaud the Corona warriors at the same time at 5 p.m. The applause was for all the military, cops, doctors, health workers, and media persons who are relentlessly working laying their lives at risk. And the people were supposed to do that by ringing bells, clapping, and playing conches, etc staying inside. But for some, it became a happy procession with drums and all musical instruments!
Even as we all are panic-stricken by this unprecedented lethal virus, our curiosity to watch out what others are doing during bandh (called for the safety of the people) seemed to have turned us naive unforgivably. For it is not a rare case to see some trolling the street only to see how these lockdown days look like. Lockdown is not locking the room and go out, but stay locked in a room so we can save ourselves and thus save others. The message is we have to break the chain of Corona.
Naivety at its worst is often misled by vested interests. In the time when the Coronavirus is spreading like a wildfire which requires a sturdy step to stop it, some are working to misguide the people. Some among them are religious fanatics who whisper to their followers that it is not the medical precautions but the teachings of them that can save them from this pandemic.
It pained me when I saw the footage of youths, who came out of their home, being beaten up by the cops during 14 hours public curfew called for fighting Coronavirus. Then for the innocent mass probably it is the last tool to educate them. Thus the idea of a serious punitive measure like imprisonment seems right in case of the violation of the safety measure of lockdown declared by the Assam Government to be implemented from March 24 in the state.