Cannot risk being complacent about coronavirus

Monday Musing

[ Junroi Mamai ]

The prevailing coronavirus pandemic has put several restrictions on the lives of all of us and prepared us to accept the new normal in order to fight the global pandemic. New measures like social and physical distancing, wearing of mask, hand washing, etc, have become the new normal as we cope with the pandemic’s impact.

However, there are many who prefer to not adhere to these preventive measures despite the continuous rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and its related deaths in the country.

India recently crossed its Covid-19 peak in September and till now reported 8,462,080 confirmed cases, while a total of 1,25,562 people have died.

As per the World Health Organization, Covid-19 cases in our country presently stand at over an alarming 5,50,000. In our state, around 15,389 cases have been recorded till now, with 1,559 of them being active cases. Till now, a total of 45 people have died in the state as the Covid-19-related death rate continues to steadily increase. Within the first week of this month, eight Covid-19-related deaths have been reported in the state. The figures here clearly show that the rate of infection has not come down as many of us now wrongly believe it to have.

Many of us in our state nowadays rarely follow measures like social/physical distancing or wearing a mask, but have adopted a more careless attitude. Only a few of us nowadays can be seen wearing a mask whenever we go outside. There are crowds of people who do not wear masks, and shopkeepers have also let go of the few measures which they had earlier adopted, and many of the shops are crowded with customers. None of them are seen wearing a mask or gloves.

While it is possible that many of us may have a strong immune system to fight the coronavirus, we cannot undermine the fact that it could be fatal for those among us, like children, the aged, or people with weakened immune system due to comorbidity. Precaution is, therefore, necessary.

Also, some of us believe in the concept of herd immunity and think that immunity against the virus will gradually develop with the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, and recently there was news regarding the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine in India sometime in February next year.

As per the latest reports, the government of India is finalizing the vaccine delivery procedure, including identifying the priority groups that will be administered the vaccine first and at no cost.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had earlier asked states to identify groups of priority beneficiaries. The government aims to vaccinate a total of 30 crore priority beneficiaries in the initial phase. Those who will be given the first dose of the vaccine will include around one crore healthcare professionals, two crore frontline workers, 26 crore people aged above 50, and one crore special category people who suffer from comorbidities.

This indeed is good news which has made many hopeful, but will this be the end of the problem? Researchers and experts have stated that the vaccine cannot guarantee a cent percent cure and they do not know that the vaccine can be effective in providing long-term immunity.

They have stated that they need to determine whether one shot is enough or boosters are required, or if the vaccine will work well enough in older people with aged immune systems? The experts have also clearly stated that life will not go back to normal even after a Covid-19 vaccine, and that precautionary measures should be taken at all times.