By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
Now that, wanting or un-wanting, we are moving towards the gradual lifting of the country wide lockdown and are entering a very critical phase in our fight against coronavirus. Now is the time to get behind the people who are working to save our lives. The doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, police and all other emergency responders, who are already burdened to their limits, are going to see their time, resources and strength stretch beyond capacity as the lockdown opens gradually. The least we can do is to understand and appreciate the situation they are in.
In past few weeks we have heard news of healthcare and security personnel being attacked in the line of duty by the very people they were trying to serve. Some of them have been doing their duty in most dangerous situations and having an uncooperative patient or going on a search and retrieve operation for corona positive patients in more sketchier and dangerous part of the town makes their job riskier beyond comprehension. Governments and general public are already feeling the economic costs of lockdown and we will be forced to reopen economic activity in less affected areas under the looming threat of virus and that is when we enter more dangerous waters. Public mobility will bring in new wave of cases and we will see our hospitals being flooded with thousands of people in need of urgent medical help at the same time. How do you think an inefficient health system that is already reeling under the weight of current cases will respond to such a situation? We do not have enough testing kits, let alone ventilators, to know the full extent of the contagion.
Consider another situation, as lockdown opens up, we will see an increase in the wave of crimes, looting and burglary. Lockdowns makes crime difficult because of more police presence and alertness of law enforcement agencies and as these agencies will have their plates full with easing of lockdown, they’d be faced with some very stark choices. Who do you think the authorities will go after, a thief who stole a car or a corona positive patient who ran from a hospital?
I am no fan of WHO chief Tedros Adhanom, but I agree with the guy on one thing, the worst is ahead of us. If we do not follow the recommended Covid-19 guidelines, we can find ourselves in Italy, Spain or US like situation in matter of weeks. Let us develop a sense of appreciation towards those who are standing between us and this disease.