It’s easy to feel, these days, that we’re swirling in a coronavirus-induced vortex of helplessness. In many regions, COVID-19 case counts are jumping dramatically. Healthcare workers face impossible decisions about who to disconnect from ventilators. And those of us who remain well must comply with “stay at home” orders, which anchor us in place as the needs of people around us keep growing.
India is the latest country of the coronavirus pandemic in Asia. Thousands have been affected and hundreds had already died by the end of April. Maharashtra has been the worst-affected state.
On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated to shut India’s ₹3000-billion economy, closing its businesses and issuing strict stay-at-home orders to more than a billion people. Air, road and rail transport systems were suspended. As testing has ramped up, the true picture is emerging. The virus is beginning to spread through dense communities and new clusters of infection are being reported every day. More than 250 of India’s districts have reported the infection. Reports say at least seven states have a third of all infections, and want the lockdown extended. Six states have reported clusters of rapidly growing infections – from the capital Delhi in the north to Maharashtra in the west and Tamil Nadu in the south. The lockdown is hurting the economy. Mumbai, India’s financial capital and Maharashtra’s main city, accounts for more than a third of overall tax collection. The densely populated city has reported more than 500 cases and 45 deaths, and numbers are steadily rising. Authorities say the infection is now spreading through the community. Mumbai has made wearing face masks mandatory.
But lockdown has advantages on other hand. Absent from the throngs of buses, two-wheelers, rickshaws and hand-drawn carts, the birdsong and cleaner air have returned to most of the cities of the country. The shutdown has brought air quality to acceptable levels even in Delhi, which last year was blanketed by such heavy haze that schools were closed and flights couldn’t land. And for the first time in the recent history, residents of Jalandhar in the Punjab could see snow-capped Himalayas, some 200 kilometers from the city.
Global shutdowns have put new focus on online learning, and India has 250 million students now home from school.
Health and fitness permitting, you probably want to do something useful and meditative with your self-isolation time. One must take the opportunity to learn or develop a particular set of skill or pursue any hobbies. Young generation can brush up the skills they are weak at and can learn them from elder too.
So in my opinion, the steps taken by PM Modi are indeed very helpful for the whole country. As less and less people come in contact with each other and maintain the social distancing, the infection can surely be stopped and everyone can emerge out from the problem. Stay Safe and Stay Healthy.
Dr. Dipti S. Shah, Dean and HoD (Dept. of Prosthodontics), Karnavati School of Dentistry (KSD)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.