CORONAVIRUS TAKE HOME MESSAGES

The Nanjangud-based Jubilant Generics Pharma (Mysuru Generics) company where Covid-19 cases were reported said at first it could be due to a contaminated imported Chinese consignment, but this was later disputed and the report corrected. According to Union Health Ministry on Wednesday there are a total of 11,439 Covid-19 cases in India, 1,306 patients have recovered, deaths so far are at 337. The recovery rate is 11.41% but there are still 170 hotspots of coronavirus infection in the country. The key guideline going out to the public is to stay home, be safe

LOTS of messages to take home courtesy the coronavirus pandemic, my dears! From the sound and looks of it Goa has been spared the brunt of the epidemic in India but the nightmare isn’t over yet. There’s been reoccurrence in China and we know enough to know that consignments coming from China are suspect – if you have read the Mysuru Generics story where the pharma company’s officer dealing with the consignment contacted the infection despite having no travel history. Nobody could believe it! Till it became clear from the infection was coming and several others too were diagnosed with Covid19 and the employees had to go into quarantine eventually. How much time was lost in denial before the connection was made between China consignment and infection. So, the moral of the story is clear, scan everything coming from China a lot goes from China to a lot of other countries too….how do you take a call on this insidious mode of infection?
While we go around wearing all kinds of ridiculous masks of all color and shape and wash our hands endlessly to save our lives! Funny or not funny, my dears. How precious life is even if the human of the species has come face to face with its own mortality during this sordid episode.
Don’t know about you but there are several take home messages here for State and Central government folk and citizens to take note of – like in a month’s worth of lockdown the birds started singing more vocally in the trees at dawn, the rivers ran clear and clean because no industrial kachrapati was going into them, the air was more breathable and felt like taking a deep breath…and how nice to step out of the house with roads and streets easier negotiate – no loud four-wheeler monsters breathing down one’s back all around…no traffic smells in the air.
It was like hey, where have the people gone? Where are they hiding? Time passing and feeding themselves fat indoors luxurious or mundane or downright pitiful — take note of the slum migrant population forced to live cheek-by-jowl in crowded tenements with government freebies coming in fits and starts for a while, but not good enough to keep them indoors for any length of time. They are more vulnerable to infection and have nowhere to go if coronavirus strikes them to be treated on a priority basis. This wonderful country in which grand palaces, statues, religious houses of all denomination and government offices where there is not money to rescue the people in real trouble. The sarkar’s healthcare budget is barely one to two percent of the total expenditure budget (AYUSH or no AYUSH, just a vanity showpiece with little ground level delivery to the common people of this country).
Well, the less said the better. The one big take home lesson I dare say is that Mother Earth would be better off without the human species making short work of her or so to speak! Yes, if we can swing more folk working from home it would mean less traffic outdoors to give the earth a window to convalesce and recover from the onslaught of pollution and other evils the human civilization has been inflicting on her courtesy greed for the good life of mammon.
Life is not about money, surely that much is clear even to the most blind, deaf and blind amongst us (our senses clouded by material prosperity piled up for the next several generations). No other animal of the animal kingdom except two-legged humans hoard as much as we do to live forever….until a stealthy coronavirus comes along to pull the rug from beneath our feet and promises to demolish us before we can demolish it! As the old song goes once in every lifetime comes a time like this to teach us lessons of infinite humility, patience and love for whatever good it may do in the long if not short run.

I ASKED a friend, so how are you surviving the coronavirus lockdown? She replied, “It’s easy for me to stay in doors for I have no livelihood problems! I’ve a good home in a housing society in upmarket Mumbai…there is the balcony to hang out with plants and watch life go by down the street below. We do our own breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner and watch films all day and half the night in air-conditioned comfort. Of course I would go buy veggies every morning wearing a mask, the police are fining 1,000 if you step out without a mask! But the lockdown is cool for me, no complaints and in fact even after it is over I’m thinking how much better it is to work from home with smart phone and computer…working from home is so possible nowadays with all the ease of accessing technology! One can also get almost everything delivered at one’s doorstep.” Well, there you are, that’s the summing up of the well-to-do sections of Indian society. It’s the not so well-to-do sections which are in deep shit and in need of rescuing – governments need not think that the public exchequer is only for the comfort of the government, it’s anyone’s guess what percentage of public revenue actually percolates to those who need it the most. What was the famous statement that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made in 1985 about how only 15 paise of every rupee reaches the poor of India by way of government welfare services and economic boosting? I notice the present government is quite fond of quoting Rajiv Gandhi on that although it would be interesting to know what it has done to stop its own administration leakages and extravagances and how much of a rupee reaches the poor daily wage earner even today in India?100?! The promised `15 lakh in every account??? Promises, promises, mostly con promises.
IF there’s one thing this whole coronavirus scare teaches us it is that the haves of society who live in rose gardens, even their thorns must be sweet pain — must redouble their efforts to bail the have-nots out with better earning infrastructure and kinder aid and all kinds of helping hands. The coronavirus pandemic may be on its way out but down market local miseries I’m sure have doubled, trebled, quadrupled and more depending on where you stand today, employed or unemployed, junior or senior citizen, you have a home of your own or live from one rental to another…how much affection and love there is in your life from family and friends – or is it indifference and hate lined up all the way with stress and depression taking its toll on the peace of mind of the many. All that, think about it my dears and don’t just think, on that note it’s avjo, poiteverem, selamat datang, au revoir, arrivedecci and vachun yeta here for now.

— Mme Butterfly

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