Covid Peril in India :
Hang in there, help each other
1 June 2021
Probably, there is no family in India that has not lost anyone dear to them, during ongoing Covid pandemic. So much has been written & seen about sufferings, agony, manifestations and complexities. Did the much proclaimed theory of Super-ordinate Goal of industrial psychology come into play at here in India? This- no Robbers Cave experiment.
The goal of saving lives is the highest level of goal hierarcy, and as all theories have assumptions, this one- "all of us should fight Covid together with shared responsibility, in order to survive" is not coming out of some vague microeconomic SPSS spreadsheets!
Simplified-" In Covid soup together, like it or not, we have to care for each other to survive"- is justified.
In an interview with Indian Express (1 May 2021),the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of United States and leading American epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci had suggested a lockdown for a few weeks in India as an immediate step to contain the spread of the coronavirus as its deadly second wave shows no signs of ebbing. He also mentioned getting immediate supplies of oxygen, medication, PPEs. " It just seems to me that, right now, India is in a very difficult and desperate situation. I just got off, in preparation for this interview, I watched a clip from CNN… it seems to me it’s a desperate situation. So when you have a situation like that you’ve got to look at the absolute immediate... I don’t know if India has put together a crisis group that would meet and start getting things organised. I heard from some of the people in the street bringing their mothers and their fathers and their sisters and their brothers searching for oxygen." Apart from this, he suggested that India should look at putting together a crisis group that would meet and start getting things organised.Without naming any government, he said one of the things that should have been recognised that “victory was declared maybe too prematurely”. A day after, on 2 May 2021, Times of India informed that India reported its highest single-day Covid death toll on Saturday, with more than 3,700 people succumbing to the virus, even as smaller states like Uttarakhand posted 100-plus fatalities for the second day and Bengal recorded deaths in three figures for the first time. The Supreme Court of India urged the Central and State Governments to consider imposing a ban on mass gatherings and super spreader events and also consider imposing a lockdown to curb the virus in the second wave in the interest of public welfare. Supreme Court of India directed the Central Government to revisit its initiatives & protocols, including on availability of oxygen, availability & pricing of vaccines, availability of essential drugs at affordable prices & respond on all other issues highlighted in this order before next date of hearing.
Heart breaking news pouring from both- Indian and foreign media on the Covid crisis in India. But did the media wake up a bit late? A day after, on 2 May, all the leading TV channels were mainly pre-occupied in election results in five States-'Who wins, who loses'. But what about the common man? Dr Fauci ended the interview-"But to the people of India, I’ll say, hang together. Everybody is in this together....There is suffering now but I guarantee that we will get it back to normal. Hang in there, help each other. Take care of each other and things will get back to normal".
Has Covid compelled people to help each other, in India?
On 14 April 2021, Subhir Chaudhary's DNA in Zee TV did some straight talking- "..No one wants to talk about death, now Coronavirus has forced to talk about death...now there is line for vaccine, line for dealth, line for cremation in India.." His five words summed it up- "Joh ji gaya wohi sikander" (Who survives this pandemic is Sikander). But who will answer Sudhir's questions- "why political rallies are being held? Why religious functions are being held? Why ILP matches are being held?" . The debate on Republic TV asked- " Covid: Are politicians prepared?" However, on 15 April 2021, a doctor had appeared in programme AIR radio and assured that there is no need to panic as death rate is low. The same day Sweta Tiwari of Republic Bharat asked " Is lockdown a solution?". On 30 April, Indian media moured for death of lead anchor of Aak Tak- Rohit Sardana. A friend of SARCAJC pointed out that Rohit and other journalists could have been saved, if they were vaccinated along heath workers in the first phase of vaccination drive. Are journalists not Covid worriors? Pooja Makkard, in Zee TV was seen weeping while remembering Rohit- simply heartbeaking.
Like-wise, so many of us are grieving for the loss of our family members, friends and for those we were connected with. The helplessness felt is so raw and gross. Arnab Goswami at one of his debates stated- " I am fed up with these politicans". So is the mainstreet, who is not able to cope with the losses.
In this blame game- the perpetual greed has taken the top slot. On 2 May 2021, Subhir did not mince words about what's happening at the ground level. "instead of saving your life, these"honest people" are robbing your pocket... for medicines, ambulences, wood for funeral rites, oxygen cylinder...dishonesty has become norm.. dishonest people are collectively distributing death. What is the charater of our country?...". Aishwarya of Republic Bharat pointed people are struggling for breath, grasping for oxygen. One of the news highlighted by India Today-" Asked to follow Covid protocols, villagers thrashed cops in Odisha's Mayurbhanj: 13 arrested". NDTV anchor- Aditi at 10 pm brought in 3 experts and asked them - "if lockdown not now, then when?". Dr. Veer P Gupta from United Kingdom sought lockdown for atleast three weeks to be effective curcuit breaker, along with effective vaccination. ABP News in Master Stroke, at 11pm, Rubika Liyakat raised the question- "whether complete lockdown". The correpsondent of APB during the couse of the programme felt that it appears that only a partial lockdown might come in. Not to forget, APB news reminded that PM Modi during his address to the nation on 20 April 2021 had metioned- " We have to save the country from lockdown...lockdown should be the last resort". Sudhir Chaudhary compared state of India with that of Titanic during his DNA programme, Zee News.7 May 2021
This is not a secret that vultures are having a party at expense of mainstreet. You hear, read and saw on media how unscruplous people took undue advance of the helplessness of ailing people. An investigation by Aaj Tak on 21 April 2021 had exposed blackmarketing of oxygen cylinders, selling vital medicines (often fake), ambulances charging extravagant rates, well-off people hoarding medicines & oxygen cylinders at home though they dont need them, and thereby contributing to shortages for the needy ones. The (known) toxic vultures will call you to ask- 'are you still alive'. will be happy at your loss, blame fate for sufferings, in turn- make you depress. More closer, vultures will take advantage of Covid pandemic - spit, cough near your house, not collect garbage, cut trees you planted near your house...and you are alone?
On 20 May 2021, ABP News informed that Covid has increased supersitions in villages, coverage from villages and rightly stated-" you can go ahead with yout faith but please maintain Covid protocol".
The Indian media has focused its attention on Covid patients, but what about non-Covid patients, who suffer from serious illness? During the so call first wave of Covid in India, non-covid senior citizens patients got a raw deal, which the mainstream media did not bother to cover.
Now, all Indian States have implemented lockdown strategy The result is evident, new infections have slowed down, but the States should not hurry to unlock. The vaccines, at present are not in abundance, infections will rise again.
It appears that on micro-level, to a large extent, the Theory of Super-ordinate goal has been overpowered by Greed. Therefore the State has to intervene to tackle the spread of Covid. Lockdown is the best pro-active strategy at this level of pandemic spread. Till atleast 70% of India's population gets vaccinated, dont unlock, continue to enforce strict lockdown.
How many absentees must media report...
How many emplty chairs
Answer my friend,- is blowing pandemic- just a trend?
(apologies to Bob Dylan)
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follow Covid protocols
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mOrE CArTOoONs ON AIR POLLUTION
The Government has taken several measures to meet the oxygen shortages, but more needs to be done. The State and Centre goverment should start a "Plant & Care a Tree' programme, involving all residents of India. Individuals should be encouraged to plant as well take care of the tree sapling (give water- daily) for atleast four years- near their house. Growth of tree can be posted on social media accounts and as an incentive- certificates/rewards (stars) can be provided to them after two, four years. Mere planting a tree is not sufficient, rather taking care is more important than a glossy photoshoot opportunity! So much talk about reducing carbon footprints and climate change, environment day...its time to take action at micro-level!