After almost a year and a few months of the first detected positive case in the state, Meghalaya at the moment is reeling under the strain of the virus. The second wave has hit us hard and the people concerned are doing their best to contain it.
From containment measures, vaccination drives, increased testing and contract tracing; the State is working day and night to ensure that you and I are safe guarded against this deadly disease.
But is that enough? Of course, it is not! The powers concerned are doing their level best to contain this deadly virus. However it is on you and me that the same can be done more effectively. Why do I say this? Because it’s only if we come to terms with the existence, the deadliness and seriousness of this situation that we can come out from it alive; scarred and beaten – But Alive.
We are yet to move back to normalcy. Sure, we have achieved a sense of normalcy if you consider – wearing masks, washing hands and standing at a distance as the new normal.
But no! We have yet to move back to those carefree days where we didn’t care which part of the country one flew in or which person another had met.
I’m pretty sure most of us would want to be able to give our loved one’s hugs and kisses as soon as they get off their flights and trains instead of spraying them with disinfectants and subjecting them to isolation. However, this seems farfetched at the moment.
So, what do we do? The State has launched campaign after campaign urging people to follow the necessary measures to curb and contain this deadly disease – Wash your Hands! Wear your Masks! Maintain at least one feet social distance! are among a few hoardings one can see everywhere. These measures, warnings if I may, were and are being repeatedly echoed throughout the entire city, state, nation but true to our nature we fail to listen, continuously.
At any given time of day, one would find people wearing their masks on their chins, hanging by a single side by either the left or right ear and for those who are brazen enough won’t even have a semblance of a mask anywhere in the vicinity of their faces.
True to hand washing as well, we complain that there is not enough water and soap for the same even when ample quantities of both were distributed and provided everywhere. Hand sanitisers? That is a luxury item to us, we say (which holds some amount of truth for a few).
But when we speak about social distancing, well to hell with it is what we all say! “We can’t hear the person talking since he’s wearing a mask and he’s too far away from me.” “We are a people who need a community to survive, if we sit too far away from each other, how will we talk to one another?”
We have our own reasons to doubt, we have our own arguments to speak out when asked to follow the protocols. Yet here we are, a year and a few months later, reeling from the strain and the impact this “non-existent deadly” virus has caused us.
We have lost friends, family and to those who have not been directly affected by the loss of a loved one, have lost their freedom to move freely – translated to losing livelihoods.
Containment measures, lockdowns, quarantines – are some of the few words we keep on hearing on the news and every nook and corner of every office gossip, contain some form of an amalgamation of these words.
Thousands and thousands of people are losing their lives daily in our country to this virus; and we are lucky enough that the state is not reporting thousands of deaths daily.
We are still protected by the Lord our Maker. But isn’t it also that “God helps those who help themselves?” Then, why are we still flouting protocols? Why are we so adamant of disobeying and not adhering to guidelines issued?
A year ago, we as a State prayed for a cure, for something we can look forward to. But as a certain meme being circulated all around social media blatantly states; we the people are hesitant to partake of this offering.
Yes! I am talking about the vaccine which the State and all concerned are pushing for. Vaccination drives started with the elderly and then now more recently to those above 18 years old; yet the turnout has been bleak.
Sure, we have seen a surge of the young (read 18–44-year-olds) trying to register for the vaccine on the portal but there are countless others who are still hesitant to take the shot- even when this shot is the only one that matters.
Now, the question is why? Why the hesitancy? Why the unwillingness? To be bland and blunt, maybe, maybe just because quite a few of us have taken too many courses in a university so famous that most of us stand by it to the very end.
We are subjected to content too much to count on a daily basis, masking themselves as news, videos, memes and the like propagating what the media has termed as “Fake News”. And we with a simple mind, no, even with a logical mindset take in this “so called news” with a pinch of salt and believe, if not the entire truth, but a bit of what we feel is the truth and then we justify ourselves with the same.
The truth of the matter is, we have become complacent and we now stand on high horses equipped with this so-called knowledge to fight whatever we refuse to accept, what we feel doesn’t sit with our own ideologies.
“This is propaganda propagated by a new world order” (scoffs, I mean really?) The actual truth and the actual facts are out there, countless medical doctors and medical journals have proven that the vaccine is effective, that the only way out of this crud is vaccination. But do we listen to them? The answer is no, we don’t.
The fact of the matter is we only listen to the 3–8-minute videos which quote these scientific studies out of context. These then lead us to formulate other theories and perceptions thus deterring us again from the right course of action.
True, vaccines are not 100 per cent full-proof, we can still get the virus, we can still get tested positive, but the true nature of the vaccine is to prevent us from deteriorating when we do get the virus and to give us a fighting chance.
But why should we listen to science and facts when other videos provide more relevant content suited to your likes and hearts?
I mean the whole point of this write up is just for a few more likes and hearts, right? No one would bother listening to another person behind a keyboard.
“We are all tired we all want to return to normalcy”, “We’ve planned that trip for almost a year now”, “My wedding was supposed to be grand!”, “I just want to party again with my friends!”.
Sure, we all do, but then nobody wants to follow protocols which will eventually help us return to a sense of normalcy. I mean, we all want to express our own views, our own thoughts and we want to live. No! We need to survive and come back to normalcy. But – “To hell with those figures of deaths and positives every day. My kith and kin won’t be affected and are not on the list”. “Oxygen Numbers? Why would I need oxygen? I won’t even be able to afford a hospital bed: so let me be, let me live my own life.”
But that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s not just your own life, it’s the lives of the entire State, and it’s the lives of your family and friends, it’s everyone’s lives we are responsible for. If it wasn’t, experts wouldn’t have bothered shouting “BREAK THE CHAIN!” Because if we don’t, there won’t be any return of semblance of normalcy anytime soon. So, please stay safe, stay home, and get vaccinated. We will come out of this together. But then again, why listen right?