“Unlocking” means no lowering of guard

Lockdown relaxations or the phase of “unlocking” brings with it added responsibilities on us with no scope of lowering our guard infighting the coronavirus pandemic as that possibly would put in reverse gear the gains achieved by the people on account of what the Prime Minister described as “austere penance and hardships” all these days of four phases of inevitable and unavoidable lockdown. In fact, post lockdown and during relaxation period, we have ourselves to independently and honestly appraise the level of our constant care and alertness in fighting this scourge since there would probably be less of state imposed strict enforcement in respect of all the provisions of the measures which would keep us away from chances of any types of hazards from the dreaded virus.
In fact, looking to the absence of the flattening of the curve of fresh cases of infections, instead there being a pattern of spike in fresh cases on daily basis as single day spike recently was recorded as 8400 new cases and taking the country’s tally to over 182200, death toll to 5200, “Do gaz ki doori (two yards of distancing) and wearing protective masks were inescapable and inevitably mandatory requirements with attempts to stay as much as possible at home. It may be underlined that relaxations in lockdown, though not warranted looking to the threat and the spike in fresh cases, if the Central Government despite that has done so, it is with two objectives. First, to mitigate the sufferings of the people especially the marginal sections, unorganised sector of the labour and the workers on daily wage basis and secondly, to open up the economy and economic activities in phased manner as that cannot be postponed indefinitely or for more time till the curve starts showing sharp descending behaviour. However, the premise is that there would be no breach of the usual protocol of physical distancing and using masks etc so that the virus did not spread. Since science and medical efforts so far have not succeeded in finding an antidote of this virus, prevention and precautions alone were the alternatives with us to save ourselves from the cringing and feared virus.
We have seen the scenario of the migrant workers across the country encountering various difficulties in returning home from the places of their earning livelihood as their earnings got stopped and their savings exhausted on keeping body and soul together during the lockdown. No doubt, various philanthropic organisations, religious bodies and social service groups extended their help to them especially en-route their homes, in whatever manner they could, still in the words of the Prime Minister “the pain suffered by them cannot be expressed in words”, and further describing the entire gamut as “eye opener to the happenings in the past”. The need arose, therefore, to restart our usual activities gradually and in phased manner but very cautiously since the danger was still there – both in magnitude and in its irreversible adverse impact. The Prime Minister has thus verily referred to this vital point which was the kernel of the entire crisis while sharing his views in his monthly “Mann Ki Baat” and saying that at the same time there were opportunities for scrutiny and lessons for the future.
Our country is unfortunately the 7th among the worst pandemic hit nations in the world according to the WHO findings which warrants added vigil and exercising due caution by each one of us so that the spread was contained considerably. The need of being self reliant has never been felt with so much intensity as has been during the current phase of the unpredictable and crisis on account of the deceptive Novel coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister has virtually lamented over this scenario and wished about our villages, districts, towns and states to have been self reliant which would have resulted in the magnitude of problems having been not of such a vast nature. In other words, he has again stressed on the necessity rather compulsions of being self reliant and we, therefore, feel that if the current horrors of the pandemic do not teach us, the people, the Governments in the states, policy planners in the Central Government and all in the country the dire need of becoming self reliant, we are afraid, we might miss the bus. Can we afford that?