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Panic amid pandemic: Did we get complacent as we thought we got lucky

As India struggles in second wave of coronavirus pandemic, a lowdown of how we all got complacent to the Chinese virus

When the Chinese virus hit us last year, the anti-CAA protestors refused to leave the protest site. Before the protests turned into violent anti-Hindu riots, many Islamists were excited at infections in India as it was considered ‘Allah ki NRC‘. The Shaheen Bagh ‘protestors’ who were ‘fighting for their identity’ refused to leave the site. They truly believed Indian government had cooked up Coronavirus pandemic theory to get them to stop protesting. They were protesting against the fast-tracking of Indian citizenship of persecuted religious minorities in three neighbouring Islamic countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Essentially, the protestors thought Indian government ‘made up‘ Coronavirus ‘theory’ so that they can continue their veritable anti-Dalit protests.

Eventually, though, when some of their own started getting unwell some realised it is not a myth.

Then the Tablighi Jamaatis were discovered hiding inside the Nizamuddin Markaz, flouting visa norms. At beginning of pandemic, they accounted to about 60% of initial infections. They spat on doctors, defecated as protests in quarantine centres because they continued to believe Covid is a myth. Calling them out was considered ‘communal’ so everyone then became ‘politically correct’.

Soon, as disease and deaths spread, people got more alert and started washing everything that came inside the house. Vegetables, milk bags, everything was washed thrice before storing or consuming. Everyone stayed at home, followed social distancing norms, avoided unnecessary travels and masked up.

Once things started looking better in September, the country also opened up, and rightly so. One can’t stop economic activities indefinitely.

Then came Bihar assembly elections. Cases were still rising. And who all held massive rallies?

Everyone.

Everyone boasted about the massive rallies of Tejashwi Yadav.

In fact, Congress supporters also claimed the crowd at Modi’s rallies was lesser than that of Tejashwi and Rahul Gandhi’s.

Here is the joint rally of Congress and RJD.

On 23rd October, 2020, there were little less than 7 lakh active cases in India.

No one in Congress-Left ecosystem wanted the rallies to end.

In December when the ‘farmers’ started protesting, rioting and blocking roads at Delhi border, these very politicians encouraged the mass gatherings. Congress and Aam Aadmi Party has been explicitly supporting these massive gatherings. Their leaders have even attended these gatherings and given WiFi, toilets, water and other facilities to these protesting crowds.

Everyone thought coronavirus had ‘gone’. Apparently, the ‘protestors’ were somehow immune to the virus.

On January 31 2021 Prashant Bhushan had declared COVID was virtually dead in India. He wanted students to gather and protest.

At this point one wonders how being a professional protestor in India is such a viable career option.

Speaking of professional protestors, here is what our old friend Yogendra Yadav up to.

Yep, organising massive rallies. On April 14. Today is April 17. On April 14, India registered over 14.5 lakh active coronavirus cases amid an unhinged infection.

So what happened? Is it the massive rallies by BJP, TMC in West Bengal that has led to the spike? Is it the Kumbh at Haridwar? Or is it those ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ protests demanding the beheading of Yati Narasinghanand that has led to the spike? Or have we just become complacent?

Are we as vigilant about social distancing, masking up? Or have people got ‘fed up’ of being ‘caged’ and are just getting fake negative RTPCR so they could vacation in Goa or the mountains? If Modi and Shah’s massive rallies are ‘wrong’, are we to believe TMC and Congress is not holding rallies?

Here is April 14, 2021 rally of Congress’ Rahul Gandhi.

Here is Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee holding a massive rally. Most of it got unnoticed perhaps because everyone was busy appreciating Mamata Banerjee’s flash artwork where she painted burnt toast and something that resembled a virus while on a dharna.

Yes, the coronavirus cases are surging and state administrations are crumbling and health infrastructure is on verge of collapse in many parts of the country, but who is to be blamed? Did we all just get complacent that India ‘got lucky’ and let caution go out of the window which led us to where we are today?

Let us admit, we all got complacent. Some stopped masking up and some leaders even said how the cases are so low, there is no need to mask up. Bad timing since just a week later, the cases were through the roof. We started going out, foreign vacations, big weddings, honeymoons in exotic locations. Which is where they ended up testing positive for coronavirus and well, sent out SOS to Indian govt to bring them back. These could have been delayed by a few more months, maybe? The caution went for a toss.

Maybe the state and central administrations also started taking it lightly like everyone else and did not see the tsunami coming. That since we emerged out of the first wave despite the doomsday predictions, we thought we are over the danger. No one saw the second wave sweep across so rapidly.

As a Gujarati, I am even more baffled to see my state struggle responding to the disaster. We’ve survived 2001 earthquake and 2002 Godhra carnage followed by communal riots. A state which has received nothing but hostility from the Centre when Modi was the chief minister. My state has struggled with drinking water because of protests which stalled the Sardar Sarovar project for years. Gujarat has now built such solid infrastructure that potable drinking water now reaches parched lands of Kutch-Saurashtra.

For a state that has managed to create opportunity out of adversity, I am shocked beyond belief at the long queues at hospitals and people struggling for hospitals. We are the pharma bowl of India and if we did not ramp up our facilities in a year’s time to ensure we are better prepared for second or third waves, who are we to blame but ourselves? And we should. But having said that, it is time to chin up and take it on bravely.

Other state governments can continue with their vasooli, extortion and planting bombs, we can do what we are best at – emerge victorious.

And what could our leaders do? Least they could do is stop social media boasting of massive rallies.

And for the rest of us, mask up, avoid unnecessary travel, get vaccines and monitor your symptoms. COVID is curable but we need to be vigilant.

BTW, I am still COVID positive. So if you are offended with anything I wrote, just get lost.

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Nirwa Mehtahttps://medium.com/@nirwamehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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