Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
In just one year and three months, Covid-19 has spread to all corners of the world and has infected more than 11 crore persons with more than 26 lakh fatalities. India has more than 1 crore persons infected, with 1,58,000 fatalities. Arunachal has 16,780 infections, with 56 deaths and only four active cases as on date.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created panic throughout the world with many countries locked down for months, rendering millions of persons jobless and leading to massive recession in the economy.
With the best scientific minds of the world working in the best laboratories, 4-5 Covid-19 vaccines were recently launched, including two made in India vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin. It’s almost two months post launch of the vaccines and more than 33.5 crore persons have been vaccinated, with more than 7.5 crore persons fully vaccinated. In India, more than 2.61 crore persons have been vaccinated. Arunachal has completed about 45,000 vaccinations. The pace of vaccination is being expedited and soon vaccines are likely to be available in open markets. Presently, free vaccinations are being given to persons above 60 years age and persons between 45 and 59 years with comorbidities.
With Covid-19 cases falling in many parts of the world, including India, the world is witnessing an economic revival. Train/bus/taxi services have almost resumed to normal levels. Domestic flights have also increased. There is a revival in the tourism, hotel and restaurant business also. Even cinemas, theatres and games are being resumed. Many industries and factories have resumed production. However, it may take another few months or years to reach normal levels.
However, there has been a resurgence in Covid cases in Europe, America and other countries, with many countries going for second lockdowns. Different strains of the virus have also been reported from various countries. In India also, the last few days have witnessed a resurgence of cases in many states, including Assam. A few states and areas are enforcing second periods of lockdowns. It appears that India may be also heading towards a second phase of Covid infections along with associated lockdowns.
In Arunachal, Covid-19 cases have fallen sharply. With only a trickle of positive cases being reported, many towns and villages are neglecting Covid precautions. Only a few persons wear masks and celebrations like weddings, birthday parties, picnics are increasing daily. Even handshakes and physical intimacy are returning. Most schools and colleges have also resumed regular classes.
However, till the Covid vaccination covers majority of the population, leading to herd immunity, Covid-19 precautions should be followed. It is medically known that viruses mutate to more virulent and dangerous strains. Therefore, we should not let our guard down and follow Covid precautions like wearing masks in public, maintaining physical distance, washing hands regularly and avoiding large gatherings. Till herd immunity is developed, humans have to learn to live with Covid. Go, Corona, go! (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)