Not a Storm in a Teacup


Not a Storm in a Teacup

Swapnil Bharali | March 14, 2020 13:18 hrs

The flavour of the week, besides of course the novel coronavirus, has been political – the speculations surrounding the Rajya Sabha elections and the candidates thereof. The gauntlet that was threatened to be thrown down by senior journalist Atanu Bhuyan petered out rendering the elections rather insipid. Good, I’d say! After all, the Rajya Sabha is no flea market where seats should be haggled and bargained over.

The nomination process took its slice of media space though and the great fortunes of arguably the luckiest politician in Assam – Bhubaneswar Kalita – raised a few amusing observations while the new found bonhomie of Tarun Gogoi and Badruddin Ajmal in propping up their joint candidate, Ajit Bhuyan, raised its share of snide remarks. And so, it clearly boils down to the fact that the Rajya Sabha speculations over the last week have been a storm in a teacup basically. 

Well, the focus now shifts back on what is certainly NOT a storm in a teacup anymore.
Coronavirus has been declared pandemic by the World Health Organization and it need not be a joke on social media anymore. With normal activities all over the world grinding to a halt, is it Nature beckoning humankind to slow down from the abnormal speed that it has taken? Stadiums going empty, isolation being forced upon humans, schools and colleges issuing advisories to close down temporarily, cricket series and IPL being cancelled et al (with the hope that sooner than later the coronavirus will perhaps be wiped out), it seems that staying connected virtually and not physically has become the new normal.

The state government has communicated its preparedness to tackle the pandemic should it reach Assam. Announcements to this effect have been made by the government. Isolation wards in hospitals are ready and helpline numbers are in place. But the concern starts with the firms that have been supplying oxygen to government hospitals and are now threatening to stop the same because of mounting unpaid bills. While it is an unfair situation for the firms, the government is clearly not prepared with this basic necessity in its hospitals. Medicine stocks are the next that need checking and an honest self-assessment/introspection is the need of the hour. 

While we take heart from the government’s assurances on its preparedness, we would be delighted if it sheds its negligent attitude on this front.

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