The Simple Mantra

Tuesday, 04 August 2020

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The Simple Mantra

Swapnil Bharali | July 04, 2020 16:11 hrs


Today is the 7th day of the Guwahati lockdown – one that is expected to flatten the Covid curve at the end of its 14th day. At the halfway mark, things do not look very positive; ironically, there have been more positive cases through the week than ever before. 




Some observations through the week show that the government is intent on putting up a dogged fight and yet certain lapses in enforcement of the lockdown were clearly visible. 


The first day of the lockdown was indeed strict with security personnel manning the streets and flagging down every vehicle moving on the streets. Also, the checking points were carefully strategized so that vehicle movement could be streamlined for proper monitoring. 


However, as the days passed, the laxity began to show. Moreover, the propensity of the city folks to gather for small addas in the evening in their by-lanes and main roads means that the message of staying home and thereby staying safe has hardly been understood. 


Another observation is that the poorest section has taken the worst brunt this time around. The Good Samaritans and social workers distributing food to the city’s pavement dwellers were nowhere to be seen this time. The stray dogs also made for a pitiable sight. The lockdown this time has indeed been the harshest so far.


But it would be rather impractical to even consider that the lockdown would be extended any further given the tumble that the economy is taking. Moreover, the union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has already come up with the Unlock 2 guidelines that seek to further open up all the closed avenues effective July 1. While a reliable and top source in the government has confirmed that status quo would be maintained for the rest of Assam (with Guwahati already being locked down) as far as Unlock 2 guidelines are concerned – which essentially means that weekend lockdown and other conditions would be in place – a reality check and balance exercise is expected to prioritize matters for the state.


And so an apathetic city just has to learn to live with Covid hereafter, I guess.


The small trick to understand is that saving ourselves means saving everyone else. And that can be done by keeping social distance, regular hand washing and maintaining hygiene. That’s the simple mantra actually. This small battle just has to be won even as the war remains.
 

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