Monday, May 25, 2020

What I am waiting for ...

Image credit: Pixabay

Today is Day 62 of the lockdown, which came into force on March 25, and is in its fourth iteration with fewer restrictions and more relaxations.
  
Many rules on reopening of businesses, travel, quarantine etc have been eased; and the buzz is slowly coming back to this city.

Inter-state bus services haven't started, but they will soon. Trains have begun running. From today, domestic flights have resumed. 

With people moving from one city to another, what many feared is happening - the number of cases is increasing. Almost every other day, it's a record high.

Multiple models and numerous researchers have been saying India's peak is still a few weeks, if not a few months, away. Which means, the chances of getting infected haven't reduced, they have actually increased.

I AM RISK AVERSE

I don't do anything that is perilous. However, there are a number of risks in my daily life. It may be minimal, but there is a risk when I take a flight, when I drive a car or when I travel by train.

Am I not living in the midst of so many viruses and bacteria? Is the air I breathe so free of pathogens that I could catch no infection?

As far as the virus is concerned, I am trying my best to be one up on it by taking as many precautions as possible.

Nevertheless, I am psychologically prepared for the day when I might test positive when the new normal gives way to the old normal. I am being more realistic than pessimistic here.

I HAVE ADDED ONE MORE RISK TO MY LIFE

Image credit: Pixabay

According to NJ.com, a top New Jersey health official said everyone would get the disease. 

In an article in the world-renowned medical journal, The Lancet, Johan Giesecke, Sweden's former chief epidemiologist and current health advisor to the World Health Organization, says: 
"Everyone will be exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and most people will become infected. ... This is the real pandemic, but it goes on beneath the surface ... There is very little we can do to prevent this spread: a lockdown might delay severe cases for a while, but once restrictions are eased, cases will reappear. ..."
But unlike other infections, I am (probably, more) worried about others;.the hardship they would have to undergo.

No, this is not going to be like any other cold, cough or fever. There are wide-ranging social implications too. It's going to ring alarm bells in so many people around me. 

I WILL HAVE TO ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS

Where all did you go? 
Were you wearing a mask always? 
Who all did you meet? 
How close were you to them? 
Did you shake hands with anyone? 
Do you remember someone sneezing or coughing?
Do you remember who they were, where you met them?

THERE COULD BE A FEW REBUKES AS WELL

I told you not to go out ... What was the need? ... You could have waited for some more days ...

All are waiting for the vaccine. Even when a vaccine is invented, it doesn't mean from the very next day the world has been rid of the virus.

WE ARE NOWHERE NEAR THE END 

Image credit: Pixabay

It's going to be a long wait - for the day when, for most of us, today's risk is no longer considered a risk.

I am waiting for the day when a cough or a cold doesn't alarm people.

I am waiting for the day when COVID-19 is seen on a par with many other diseases like flu, dengue, chikungunya, chickenpox, malaria, etc.   

I am waiting for the day when people would have learnt not to be scared but cautious. 

I am waiting for the day when the stigma attached to the disease vanishes.

A POSSIBLE CONVERSATION ONE DAY

"O, you have a fever? Got yourself tested?"

"Yup! I have COVID-19!"

"O! So you will be indoors for ... what ... one month?"

"Ya. Okay, see you then online."

"Sure. ... Take care."

19 comments:

  1. According to New Jersey health official everyone will get the disease. Does it mean we are near the end (of our life). Hope they find a vaccine soon and eradicate this as they with malaria.

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  2. Hari Om
    A valid and worthy consideration of the 'now'. I did read an interesting article yesterday which mooted the likelihood that COVID will settle down as did previous such diseases and the risk of death being little different from all other risks out there (BBC 'How Scared Should We Be?'

    As a health professional (retired), I have long lamented the lack of care among even my near and dear regarding hand hygiene and have long known that just going outside one's front door brings always the chance of something else coming back in with!!! This particular virus has simply brought that to smart and severe attention. The need is not new, only it has now become imperative. I really like the littel scenario you finish with! YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yamini - You are right. Here many elders say this is the reason why in olden days when we come home from outside it was mandatory to wash our legs and hands before entering our house. Many homes had a tap outside for this purpose.

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  3. Hi, Pradeep - Once again you have brought us a very timely, balanced and thought-provoking post. It is well-worth reading by all.

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  4. Everybody should have it, to be protected after that, but still the risk to be very sick, or to die... I'm not in a hurry to go outside, and I'm very pleased to be able to continue to work from home. Until June 2nd. Then I will have to work at my office...

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  5. Everyone really needs to be more cautious. The last thing we need is hospitals getting even more overwhelmed. Everyone needs to avoid getting sick as much as possible.

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  6. From what I've read, it's no picnic. Getting it can flatten a person for a good month or more. I'd really rather avoid that.

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  7. Hi Pradeep - there are lots of questions and scenarios right now ... being 'elderly' but healthy thankfully I'm being as sensible as I can - as much for others as for myself. It's an interesting time - coming well after the War, and after other viruses - though this particular one maybe is the worst ... again - we could go under a bus tomorrow. I'm just being as sensible as I can ... take care and stay safe - eventually we'll all have to do something ... but it may take til 2021 before we have a better indication of it, or at the earliest with a vaccine. thanks ... Hilary

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  8. If it hasn't affected us in any way till now, it will soon. I can feel the despair crawling into my surroundings. It's gonna be a long wait yes. Let's try to stay strong during the time.

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    1. Hi Dashy - Yes, we are in a sense fortunate that the pandemic and the shutdown haven't hit us as hard as it has many other less fortunate people. The least we can do is to take maximum care. Stay safe.

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  9. I think you have a great attitude and wise ideas. ~nods~ My husband finally made it to the barbershop yesterday. He's so grateful to have his hair cut. And they, like other area businesses, are studious with health protocols. Like you, I feel for those less fortunate. Best wishes!

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    1. Hi Darla - I am yet to visit the barbershop, though they are open and are taking maximum precautions. Twice since March 25 folks at home helped me for the haircut. Thanks, take care :)

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  10. The migrant crisis aggrevated the COVID situation, as a lot of migrants are getting the infected on their long journey back home. I cant help but feel this should have been better planned. Arrangements for sending the migrants back to their home should have been done within the first few days of lockdown. Given the current situation I too don't see an end to the lockdown in near future.

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    1. Hi Sinjana - I agree with you on the issue of migrants. That's something the government or anyone didn't foresee. But the moment it started unfolding the government should have quickly swung into action. They delayed. This was perhaps the only blemish in the reasonably well-crafted government response to the pandemic.

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  11. Everyone needs to be more cautious. One weak link is all it takes to multiply the toll by hundreds. I have started working and everyday, I take a risk by reporting for work. But there's no other way. Life must go on. We must learn to live with it

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    1. Hi Shweta - Yes, we can't shutdown the city for a long time and we can't be sitting at home forever. Be cautious, that's all we can do. Take care.

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  12. Very relevant and a thought provoking post and agree we need to be cautious. we have corona cases identified in the next street where we live, and it will not take long to our lane... me and my husband have started work, can't help we have to keep moving, with precautions, mask and sanitizers, and taking healthy food to keep the immune system strong.

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  13. I guess we need to remember and monitor people around us especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing. I try not to visit new places so its easier to remember and track. As you rightly said, we are in a 'new' normal and the faster we accept and implement it the better for us.

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