Hello 2022

Flights Of Fantasy

[ Monty Panging ]

Yet another new year dawns. The sun’s rays over Dong in Arunachal Pradesh ushered in another New Year, 2022. With the dawn of the new year, the world bid farewell to 2021, maybe one of the worst years of our times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, the Chinese originated Covid-19 pandemic affected the entire world, infecting more than 28 crore persons with more than 54 lakh fatalities. India has over 3.5 crore infections with 4.8 lakh fatalities. Arunachal has 55,339 cases till date with 280 fatalities. The Covid-19 pandemic created chaos in the world with prolonged lockdowns rendering millions of people jobless, leading to massive recession in the economies. The pandemic led to closure of schools and colleges for months without physical classes. Lifestyles and ways of living of millions of persons were turned upside down. Presently, many parts of the world are undergoing the third wave with the Omicron variant.

However, let us usher in the new year with positivity and hope. Vaccination against Covid-19 has picked up and India has surpassed 140 crore vaccination doses, achieving 62 percent people fully vaccinated. Arunachal has achieved over 14 lakh vaccinations with 50 percent of the population fully vaccinated. Vaccinations for 15-18 years old children are being launched from 3 January and booster doses for health workers and vulnerable population are also starting soon. There is hope of achieving herd immunity in a few months and we all could resume normal lives again.

Herd immunity from Covid-19 would also allow millions of students to resume physical classes in schools and colleges. Prolonged online classes are adversely affecting students, with many students not attending schools or colleges for years. Covid-free lives would also revive all industries and businesses, boosting the flagging economies. This would also lead to restarting interstate and international travel without restrictions, boosting the tourism and hospitality industries.

2022 is a special year. This year marks 75 years of Indian independence being celebrated as the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav throughout the nation. This year also marks 50 years of our state being named Arunachal Pradesh and being designated as a union territory.

There is also hope that the new year ushers in more development across all fields, peace and stability. Let us hope to achieve herd immunity from Covid-19 soon and also hope that the new year brings lesser natural disasters like floods, river erosions, landslides, storms, cyclones, etc.

Human enterprise cannot be defeated by a virus. Year 2022 brings hope to humankind to overcome fear and start living normal lives.

Wishing all readers a very happy New Year 2022. Let’s usher in the new year by paraphrasing Rabindranath Tagore:

‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls….’ (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)