When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We have all heard this adage but as most of us know only lemons aren’t enough, we also require sugar and water — in the right proportion — besides a strainer and a mixing jar.
The fight against Covid-19 is like making lemonade and all that the central government has provided us with are lemons in the form of fake promises, misleading data and inadequate preparations even one whole year after the outbreak.
The past week has been nothing short of living hell for the country. The news of suffering patients from different parts of the nation is disheartening, discouraging, shocking and just downright crushing.
The past year taught us a very valuable lesson of self-care and regulation and simultaneously exposed the poor mitigation strategies of the government to contain the virus.
The visuals of migratory labourers going back home in the hope to reunite with their families, dead bodies on railway tracks and children being pulled on suitcases is still fresh.
There was no help from either the management and the state or central governments for these labourers back then. And that should have been a learning curve for both the government and the public.
The government should have prepared a plan to tackle such a situation in the future and the public should have also been prepared to be stranded, should such a situation arise once again.
Govt’s ‘sab changa si’ attitude worsened 2nd Covid wave
The second wave seemed under control just a few weeks earlier but now it has become a mammoth public health debacle. To quote a self-proclaimed journalist, “the sheer suddenness of the move, the unexpected nature of the move, the unpredictability of the move” have hit us hard.
But was this a sudden development?
I believe Covid-19 was lingering in the background ever since the first case was reported but we were made to believe in the government’s sab changa si (everything was alright) attitude and this led to elections in multiple states, a mahasnan on the banks of Ganges in Haridwar, political leaders trashing Covid protocols in public meetings, denial of data and a casual approach towards the lives of people.
The seriousness of the problem has come at a time when the public has suffered irreparable loss and sanity. The current scenario of panic and helplessness could have been avoided or at least handled much better if we had made this pandemic a priority and joined hands in combating it.
This is no doubt a total failure of the current government, and for this ‘janta maaf nahi karegi (The public will never forgive)’.
The shift towards the new normal isn’t normal at all. We believed that after being locked in for a relatively short time everything will stabilise in 21 days. It has now been a year and in 2021, the leaders are telling the same lies and situation is much worse.
Privileged people had a good time bonding during the lockdown, taking a break from their busy lives to sit and talk, needing comfort in times of distressing news. People with meals four times a day, a roof over our head, no worries about a salary cashing in every month or enough savings to last long enough had a relatively easier transition period but a majority did not.
Sometimes I think it’s good to have no data on the affected people as how many atrocities can we endure before we become numb?
India already suffers from unemployment and this pandemic is only pushing us down the hole. The working class is sitting at home taking salary cuts, which wasn’t much in the first place. People are turning to freelance work to make ends meet in hope of a better tomorrow and the mental impact is immeasurable. How often do we hear people going into depression and people finally coming clean about their mental health, which was once thought to be non-existent in India?
People were busy with their lives no matter how good or bad, and honestly we all want that back, nothing more and nothing less.
The current government has zero ambition and policies to lift us out of this. In fact, it seems sometimes that they don’t even care. They wish to push us into poverty and illiteracy and turn us into a nation that supplies cheap labour to the world.
This pandemic could have been handled much more vigilantly, as Miguel de Cervantes once said: “Preparation is half the battle won.”
But this government has failed us at every step of the way and continues to do so.
Writing this at 3 am in the night, I am afraid and angry at the government. I feel undeserving of the love and care of my family when there are people dying on the streets of our country.
Amit Singh Rana is a student of Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand