Illustration by Soham Sen |ThePrint
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In the coronavirus season, we are daring to pick on two widely accepted truisms. The first, that tomorrow never comes. And the second, famously attributed to economist John Maynard Keynes and brought back to us by Dr Manmohan Singh in the course of the Parliament debate on demonetisation: In the long run, we are all dead.

The mood is so despondent that optimism carries the risk of being called insensitive. The nastiest virus in two generations is travelling the world, needing no passport or visa, and travelling on other people’s tickets.

Since the virus is ‘novel’, no one, king or commoner, is immune to it. It treats all human beings fairly, and hasn’t spared even the famous and the powerful. Check out Prince Charles, Boris Johnson, Sophie Trudeau, Tom Hanks, global star-chef of Indian origin Floyd Cardoz, and so on.

If it was something just hitting the rich and powerful, the majority could’ve even treated it with schadenfreude. That, sadly, is not the case. Because it is coming for all of us. In various countries, epidemiologists say between 50 to 80 per cent people will ultimately get infected with this, until we find a vaccine, develop ‘herd immunity’, or both.

But these percentages are irrelevant. It is now another flu that will stay on our buffet of deadly viruses, and we will learn to deal with it. A very vast majority of us will catch it at some point, about 8 out of 10 won’t feel much worse than a common cold’s nuisance, if at all, but some will die.

A very, very vast majority, at least about 98 per cent of those infected, if not more, under any circumstances, will live through it. So that underpins our argument with the first of those supposed truisms: Tomorrow never comes.

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Let us say, instead, tomorrow always comes.

Indeed, tomorrow never comes if you are lazy, fatalist or defeatist: ‘Aaj kare so kal kar, kal kare so parson (leave what needs to be done today for tomorrow, and what must be done tomorrow for the day after), is a familiar old Hindi taunt for the procrastinator. But, tomorrow will come. So, you better figure out what you’ll do meanwhile.


Also read:Faced with COVID-19, India chose to protect lives, not livelihoods. And that’s a good thing


Keynes now. Sure as hell, in the long run, we are all dead. But two questions arise. What do we do with the time we’ve got meanwhile? Just wait to be dead eventually? Most living beings are never known to live like that, looking forward to death. Most do their damnedest to make their lives longer. Even a wretched virus, which is only about half-way a living being, biologically.

Second question then: Who decides how long — or short — is that ‘long run’?

There are many scenarios about how many of us Indians may be affected or killed by the virus. Epidemiology is in vogue right now. There are as many estimates, therefore, as real epidemiologists, pop-epidemiologists, and economists or snake-oil traders pretending to be epidemiologists.

At one extreme, someone predicts millions of us will die, and maybe half a billion will get infected by July. At the other, we are told no such thing can happen, the virus will pass us by, our hot weather will vaporise it, and what does the little fellow know about the formidable South Asian immune systems. It is tempting to say the usual: That the truth must lie somewhere in between the two. But it doesn’t.

Because, this presumes we, the 1.36 billion people of India, will do nothing to influence our own collective and individual fates. No people submit themselves to the tyranny of statisticians, with fancy projections presuming variables like human and state intervention as constant.

I am of the generation that has seen three full-fledged wars (including one humiliating defeat, 1962, and a great victory, 1971), famines, the Green Revolution, ration queues, ‘red’ American wheat that my mother complained about endlessly for being too hard to be rolled into rotis, small pox outbreaks, four insurgencies rise and fade in the Northeast, terrorism in Punjab, the chronic challenge of Kashmir, Babri Masjid, decades of ‘Hindu Rate of growth’ and economic reform, 16-year waiting lists for Bajaj scooters and Hero becoming the world’s largest maker of two-wheelers, a ‘voucher’ for an LPG connection from my local MP (Krishan Kant, later Vice-President of India) in Chandigarh from his quota as a wedding gift, and an India where almost 10 crore connections are given out free. Footnote: I didn’t even get that connection as my MP had exceeded his quota.


Also read: A study, 3 drugs — latest from scientists on coronavirus and how to deal with it


My generation has seen both, an India where going overseas meant filling a dozen forms for your $20 quota, or where as a journalist travelling overseas to cover the big wars of the day, you had to line up at Reserve Bank of India for a permit that would let you draw $165 a day for all expenses, to now when any Indian can freely send up to $250,000 overseas through regular banking channels. If there is one thing we can say with certainty about our chaotic country, it’s that it is always changing. It never freezes. It isn’t North Korea. No insult to that country; just that we are not that disciplined.

Let’s talk about disease and epidemics. Our parents saw plague outbreaks; by our time it had been conquered, never mind that minor commotion of 1994 in Surat. My generation would carry two or three sizeable scars on an arm or on the hip from small pox vaccinations. That scourge was eradicated in 1980. Indians born then on, or up to 40 years of age already, do not know what that scar is.

My generation, and I personally, survived measles, mumps, at least three spells of typhoid, and god knows what else in small towns which mostly had only one ‘MBBS’ doctor, in the overcrowded, ramshackle civil hospital. He diagnosed your fevers, set your broken bones, stitched your wound from a dog-bite, diagnosed the dreadfully painful rash on your mother’s arm as Herpes Zoster (shingles). In 1968.

Talking of shingles, you have to be old enough to have endured chicken pox first. Because the shingles virus comes riding it, sits in your body for decades, and raises its awful head whenever your immunity is lower, or as you grow older. Chances are no Indian under about 30 years of age today, will ever get shingles. Because they ducked chicken pox, thanks to a vaccine popping up and being added to our universal programme.

War-gaming is a sexy pursuit. Sexier still if you can project more people dying; the end of the world. And so convenient when those dying aren’t your own. I hear and read that on global media. An almost regretful incredulity and questions like: So how come India has such low numbers (Richard Quest, CNN, last week)?

Read the history of war-gaming and you will know why most of these geniuses go wrong. Because they overlook what the ‘other’ side will be doing. That ‘other’ side is we, the people of India, our democracy, free media, civil society and our noise. You may or may not like Narendra Modi, but even Modi’s India isn’t Mao’s China where tens of millions would die of hunger and disease and simply ploughed into the ground as manure. This India will bring you in real time the sight of casual labourers walking back home hundreds of miles away, break your heart, and make any government do something about it.

The short answer, therefore, is that while in the long run we will all be dead, we will not be waiting, but doing something meanwhile to stretch that ‘run’. Just that we need to make use of today to build ourselves a better tomorrow. Maybe closing some other dubious and fixable health issues where we sadly top the world: Tuberculosis, blindness, uterine cancer, even rabies.

Because, remember, tomorrow always comes.


Also readJournalism in the time of corona: This is the biggest story of our lives


 

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89 Comments Share Your Views

89 COMMENTS

  1. “Modi’s India isn’t Mao’s China where tens of millions would die of hunger and disease and simply ploughed into the ground as manure. This India will bring you in real time the sight of casual labourers walking back home hundreds of miles away, break your heart, and make any government do something about it.”

    Modi’s India would just deprive its citizens of livelihood so they can freely die and then be sold to some conglomerates as fertilizer?

  2. The Americans who are not simply waiting to get infected or be killed are preparing for millions of cases and lakhs of deaths for their own country. Better prepare than pretend tomorrow will never come.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/fauci-us-will-see-millions-of-cases-100000-coronavirus-deaths-2020-3

    https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/29/823517467/fauci-estimates-that-100-000-to-200-000-americans-could-die-from-the-coronavirus

    Meanwhile, with our preparation consisting of Tulsi, Ginger, Pepper, Cow Urine and Dung, Unani and Homeopathy’s Arsenic treatment advising govt, we need not worry says our dear editor who says, don’t worry, I am 30 years older than you, I know best, even though I have no idea what epidemiological models are or what pandemics really are (because I heard about an epidemic or two and got vaccinated – that’s enough), but I can cite Keynes in this somehow, and I read a cold war war-gaming book, so I must know what I am talking about.

    Don’t bother with Virologists and Epidemiologists. They are only “War-Gaming” because it is “sexy”. Except, this isn’t a war. The other side isn’t us. It is the virus. It does not know what war is. It does not know humans or their plans. It just multiplies using our cells (not vaata, pitta). A different virus infected 25% of the world 100 years ago. Killed more than a crore of Indians when we had a fraction of the population. This isn’t a guess. It is history. Learn it so you may not have to repeat it. May have to read a bit further than Keynes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic

  3. Shekhar – you are great Modi basher. In your zeal sometimes you willingly cross the line on the wrong side. Here’s an advice – to first hand experience the healthcare system go and hug few Chinese and Italians and then when needed get your treatment.

  4. Loved the article. Of course.

    Also, I guess no one mentioned it, so I will give it a shout out – the illustration by Soham Sen is amazing.

    I suppose in these tough times, we should appreciate every beautiful thing.

      • Neither will your whichever God save you.
        Prayers have no effect on the virus.
        Only social distancing will.
        Listen to science and don’t be daft.

  5. Article review:- Understating the good work done, Undermining Modi’s lnitiatives. Making the inhabitants of the best and greatest nation in the world feel bad.
    No you wont suceed and we will win the war with Corona (The greatest war won).

    • ‘Making the inhabitants of the best and greatest nation in the world feel bad.’
      I bet you are living in the US !
      What are Modi’s initiatives ? There was no plan for the low income workers.

  6. It is very rare to find readers praising articles on ThePrint. But on todays article by SG some of the readers have showered praise on SG . SG is a senior journalist. I think He has achieved what he set out to achieve in his life. May be he must be still aiming far high. But I would like to add some thing which he may like or like not. He is a veteran journalists .He has seen India rising from decades of sixties when India and Indian spirit was shackled by the governing parties of the period due to ideologies of Fabian socialism , mis interpretation of secularism, conversion of nascent Constitutionally created institutions to institutions subservient to family interests. But India kept on crawling and Indians born after 1970 When they started voting in 90 s ,, rejected the snail pace of development {last time Congress party got Majority was 1984, three and half decade ago } All this is history , I need not repeat it. But my. Advise , not advise but urge to SG and all senior journalists of India is to rise above party politics. Write for India, not for parties. Parties can hire advertising consultants. Parties can hire election consultants. When you write for any party, you are not only disliked by opponents of the party you preach for or non-attached readers. You are also disliked by the your pro-party readers and your other brother journalists having allegiance to same party .They are justified in thinking you , you are graduating as a bigger sycophant { chamcha } – a jargon which every one hates to be called .AT YOUR RIPE AGE WRITE FOR NATION. WRITE FOR ITS PEOPLE. WRITE FOR TRUTH. Say, HELL WITH PARTY POLITICS. INDIA COMES FIRST.

  7. Shekhar Gupta is rhe journalist during who’s life and times India lost its institutional safeguards to the point of total and complete collapse today.

    Shekhar is most useful as a unuseful journalist. But he isn’t that anymore. He is toxic today not because he means to be, but because is unbelievable un-meaningful.

    PS: if you see an article beginning with nostalgia, ending with meaninglessness and trash in between, it would invariably be Gupta.

    • ‘PS: if you see an article beginning with nostalgia, ending with meaninglessness and trash in between, it would invariably be Gupta.’
      That is what I feel : what is he is saying ?’
      I know what is SG’s problem. He is a Sanghi who wants to maintain a foot in the liberal camp; or he is a liberal who has a soft corner for Sanghi ideology. In his efforts to wear both hats, he obfuscates.

  8. Sounds like an optimist peddler under the tree. Shekhar declutters everything to find nothing. Half of his journalism is based on the weak explanation of critical inquires to the public. The civil society “the other”: the Indian media, has come out to be one of the dangerous aspect of the country in the recent years. China sure is a authoritarian regime. But Indian democracy has always been ran by incapable bureaucrats and police who can’t think beyond thrashing lathhis and offcourse the racists attacks to their own citizens of northeastern states.

    Covid-19 brought all the scary aspects of India that people have buried under the carpet. Wake up from your comfortable delusions. In times of nation wide quarantines, don’t quarantine yourself from the reality.

  9. Democracy and our ability to make a noise can alert and compel those in power to see and act. However India has not built institutional capability over the years and we still depend on the competence and hanker after the largesse of individual leaders. We will not be waiting, we will do something – the question is that will it be enough in the face of the present adversity ?

    We can be optimistic but lets not be stupid.

  10. The subtitle reads: There are many scary scenarios about how badly we Indians may be affected or how many killed by Covid-19. But they presume we will do nothing to influence our fates.

    I want to know where the author read that this assumption was taken. Please list the forecasts individually and list the assumptions in each. I don’t actually think the author actually read any real scientific literature, just news. All forecasts assume that the countries will do their best and give different ranges given different measures. Curfew is good if we can actually get people to understand transmission. Our population does not. How many preventable deaths do you think we have from Rabies in India vs. US or Europe? That is because Indian public does not understand disease transmission. Indians will take a homeo pill and think they are immunized because the Homeopath lied to them. They will then break quarantine and distancing rules. This is not like simple polio drops. This requires people to disrupt their lives significantly.

      • I don’t feed the trolls, and definitely not the one with diddly-squat cerebral functioning.
        Modi’s India is from the title of the article, which your one-dimensional brain obviously couldn’t pick up.

  11. The comparison is not between Modi and Mao, its between Modi and Xi.

    Print, if you can’t get an epidemiologist to write for you, don’t hand over the column to an editor who has no science background whatsoever. I am old, so I know is a silly argument. The epidemiologists who make predictions also know all this disease history and then some.

    This is almost as bad as NDTV interviewing Jaggi Vasudev on COVID-19 and Art of Living people to explain Solar Eclipses. Don’t give media time to people who don’t have a clue.

    The only thing in India’s favor is we have a young population, which this virus spares. That is not because we are tough with disease resistance, it is ironically because our life expectancy is poor compared to Italy etc.

    And our numbers are low only because we are not bothering to even test enough people. They were testing 6,764 tests per million people. How about you let us know how many we test. We can’t test, because we can’t afford Rs. 5000 per test. This isn’t some imaginary homeo sugar pill medicine to promote when you can’t deliver healthcare. These things cost money to produce even when government mass manufactures them for no profit.

    Only by not documenting poor people’s deaths will we keep our numbers low.

    • I missed posting the numbers in the last post.
      6,764 tests per million people is South Korea. Ours is 6 per million. Pathetic.
      We are doing 1000x less tests than a properly run country that does not think Cow Urine cures cancer.
      Domestic production of tests will cut costs to a third over imported tests we have to use now.
      We still will lag behind by at least 100x. So our numbers will appear low while reality is different.

      • Japan, the UK and several other countries tested as much as India, according to the logic. There can’t be a mass testing unless there is a community transmission and it will create panic for no reasons. Besides, you should know that the prediction Shekhar Gupta is talking about is so biased and vague that even John Hopkins University has distanced itself saying that there logos etc were used without consent. So much for your scientific knowledge and the knowledge of the guy from the US who was doing politics over the situation.

        • Politics has consequences.

          When Modi and Trump think they know better than scientists and experts, it has consequences.

          When Trump chooses to reduce funding for CDC and NIH, it has consequences for preparedness.

          When Modi plays politics over health and promotes Homeopathy, Yoga and Ayurveda, instead of strengthening public health programs and government hospitals with the limited health budget, it has consequences.

          This party has unleashed a massive pseudoscience propaganda machine that makes even so-called educated people repeat prana, ancient wisdom nonsense and talk anti-science like unschooled people.

          Good luck with your holy powers of Yoga, Prana, Vata, Pitta nonsense and homeopathic dilutions when our dear parents get Corona. It will be the respirator availability that saves lives and public’s ability to understand instructions on basic awareness of microbiology. We filled their brains with cow dung, with a failed educational system and anti-science propaganda. Meanwhile government is issuing advisories with Tulsi and Homeopathy when it should be telling them to not use pseudoscience and think they are protected. We have to thrash people like cattle on the street because they are too uneducated to understand social distancing.

      • Hi VS

        I agree with you completely on the low level of testing in India. It’s a scandal.
        Yet there are those who continue to think that the State is working ‘behind the scenes’ to make everything OK and refuse to see whats is in front of them.
        We need to restrain our tribal loyalties and hold those in-charge accountable. Else we’re cruising into a death-trap.

  12. I am a great admirer of Shekhar Gupta – his writings, panel discussions, blessed as he is with a sharp mind, intellect and dissecting prowess like a surgeon’s knife in a political debate/ scenario.
    Sadly, I am disappointed with this long meandering article, reminiscence of a life lived through ups and downs, but presumably comfortable.
    The article is something like take it as you want – positive, refreshingly different, intellectual, drawing room chat, whatever but devoid of reality. At the end what we learn is we have survived more difficult times, time and again, and will this time too. There is nothing novel in it. The world has survived since millennium, disasters, natural calamities, man-made two world wars, mass starvation deaths in Africa, persecution of the whole populace through apartheid, prolonged civil wars – a long unending list.
    I have survived smallpox, typhoid, drowning in the Ganga, serious motorcycle accident and life-threatening two communal riots.
    So what?
    Corona virus is a different story altogether. Shekhar Gupta has glossed over and made light of a grave situation that our nation is facing by citing quotes and personal anecdotes. Nothing relevant, realistic related to Covid 19!
    Even the illustration depicting a mahout at a safe distance riding an elephant that is butting against a trillions times magnified Corona virus is ludicrous. What does it convey ?
    Now comment on comments.
    Most are superficial, just laudatory from blind fans and admirers. Best comment is V T Badari Narayan’s one-liner.

    • One of Mr. Gupta’s least useful articles. It is a string of anecdotal assertions, bereft of reasoning, somewhat nationalistic, and vacuous. Name dropping Maynard Keynes and then taking on tangents betrays a clear lack of understanding of the great economist’s words. In the past, articles in The Print appearing in his name have been better. Perhaps Assistants were in Lockdown?

      • With your limited IQ, you completely miss the point.

        Let us accept for the moment that a lockdown is required (though there are many reasons to be doubtful about it -many countries are doing fine without lockdown) to protect privileged people like you, was it not necessary to inform people in advance so that they could leave for their villages?

        I don’t think that you care.

  13. What is the point of this article? I don’t understand why is he so sure that tomorrow will come? How is he suggesting that we will fight corona and not let crores of people simply die because of corona.
    Tomorrow will come for sure,but not for everyone.
    What is the purpose of this article. Sounds like the answer you give in an interview when you absolutely don’t know anything about the answer and you try to english your way out of it😂

  14. Problems need to be addressed head on, there should be no sugar coating.

    Aside from make feel good rah rah, there was no probity or meaningful conclusion. Disappointing to say the least.

  15. Shekharji has given a lot of sweet chocolates that people wanted. So he’s getting nice comments. Is it to compensate for the (nasty) article Shivam wrote that got the maximum number of comments in the history of The Print?

    While it is good to feel proud of the progress India has made from Around The World in Eight Dollar (who remembers that Raj Kapoor film?) days, S hekhar contributes nothing to understanding the current problem: did India really need this lockdown? Was it humane to give people 4 hours of notice to get to their homes? Will it really solve the CoV problem? How many people will die because of the lockdown? The economy?

    These are serious questions that require serious analysis. Not just an article that makes you feel good.

  16. Finally, an unbiased article grounded in reality, as an Indian knows it. Such articles are the need of the hour. I am sick and tired of those doomsday predicting articles mostly written by people who just think their statistics are bound to manifest in India just because it happened so in Italy, Spain or USA.
    We have frugal testing kits, ventilators and other diagnostic devices designed in record time by our own great Indian minds. Imagine a 7500 rupee ventilator. We might not get out unscathed but we will try with all our might and ride through this.

  17. I am seeing some positive improvements in the reporting from ThePrint. However, at least one thing Shekhar Gupta should do now is to rein in jernos, authors and writers associated with ThePrint to stop painting dooms day scenarios. Dissociating from jernos, authors and writers running political agendas using ThePrint is the need of the hour for ThePrint to play a positive role in building new India.

    • What is the ‘new India’ for which you want the Print to play a positive role ?

      The new India as of 2014 is the one of mob rule, lynchings, riots, gang rapes, intimidating gunmen, police brutality, concentration camps for minorities, and enrichment of the Gujarati mafia.

      Are these alright for you ? You want The Print and all of us to agree with you – otherwise we have to face the consequences.

  18. Dear Author,
    Did governments back in the day promote AYUSH pseudoscience?
    Did they insist on funding research on panchagavya, against scientific recommendations?
    Did pseudoscientists run amok in the Indian science conferences then too? Did they give talks on Ancient Vimanas?

    Thanks,
    Someone who is young enough to have missed the small pox vaccine scars.

  19. My god thank you for this, this was so necessary. I’m hating all these articles saying India is going to have 24 crore deaths by April. It’s so annoying to see that people assume everyone’s going to sit back and let the country die. Also do they not look at statistics??? I mean.
    Anyway, thank you this was very reassuring to read.

    • People are not sitting back in Italy either.
      Yet, they are losing a thousand a day for a population the size of an average State in India.
      Reassurances mean nothing when they are coming from a person with no expertise on the topic.
      12-17 million people died in the Spanish Flu. The author was not alive then to have experience that he claims he has. He does not even mention it.
      It is better to be sure than sorry.

  20. Salute to you for the article with very positive views. India can do wonders when something is taken as a mission. A glaring example is Kumbh Mela, where more than 100 million participate without a single incident of violence or food poisoning or pandemic. A Need of the time is to supportm the government irrespective of liking or disliking the persons in power. Instead of predicting a gloomy future, concrete steps should be suggested to prevent scarring the people and creating panic.

  21. In 1977, anyone going abroad were allowed seven dollars per person and even for that so many forms have to be filled plus some bribes under the table to RBI staff.

  22. Well articulated Mr. Shekhar. We really need to be realistic both while making highly optimistic and pessimistic observations particularly about a society. I am sure that the European countries, the US and off course India will be coming out stronger after the crisis is over. Who knows this would be the tipping point for a more ‘people’ powerful China as well (Currently the State of China is powerful not the people there).

    Request Mr. Shekhar Gupta to list down some of the authors/ blogs that he reads.

  23. A great article which is balanced and correctly describes the pictures. Sadly there are many Indians both in India and outside who are crybabies hell bent on defaming the current regime by doing the cheap propaganda about India. They should learn from you the ethos of being a journalist.

  24. An excellent article, with a proper perspective. Indians will win over the virus, even if we pay a price as we are already doing, with so many deaths. At the same time the doomsday scenario being painted by several armchair experts (often Indians sitting abroad) will not come true.
    Thank you.
    A suggestion , please put your colleagur Shivam Vij in quarantine
    Asha

    • Love your last line and agree with it. We have some cynical readers like Shri ashok JI (with small ‘a’) whose wise comments will never be seen on these articles. These types are perhaps sulking right now.

      • ashokji is probably the most level headed commentator in this forum. You can’t have a great society with yes men alone. Nindak rakhiyo niyare. Critics are always invaluable . Even the critics of lockdown or for that matter, the present dispensation.

    • Both Shekhar and Shivam are seeking good for Indians. they just have different opinions , and different ways of expressing it.

      One needn’t have to be wrong for the the other to be right!

    • Both Shekhar and Shivam are seeking good for Indians. they just have different opinions , and different ways of expressing it.

      One needn’t have to be wrong for the other to be right!

  25. Thank you for this very positive article in our country’s fight against the virus. Have followed your writing for a long time. And do keep writing such stories.

  26. One of the better and more realistic write ups. Most observers have been left scratching their heads why far richer countries with excellent healthcare systems and hygiene and cleanliness standards have ended up with more Covid-19 cases as compared to relatively poorer nations. This literally seems to be an affliction of the rich and well off. The result being morbid predictions for countries that are not badly affected, a scenario which may never arrive. Maybe after all the meek will inherit the earth.

  27. In the long run we individually might be dead, but the society lives on.

    That’s why tanking the economy is not a good idea, specially because there is a strong force forcing us to be a state dominated economy again. That is a 50 year disaster. Already AI is getting praised forgetting 5000 cr losses every year, think of how many health centres could have been built.

  28. Jernos writing for ThePrint should learn from Shekhar Gupta and stop painting dooms day scenarios. While India is moving ahead to face the modern day challenges, Modi haters are stuck in the mud of their own making. Librandus must stop demeaning India. ThePrint must stop giving space to jernos with anti Modi agenda.

  29. A good reminiscences of old Indian days that we have seen! However, it looks like Shekhar left the article incomplete as he did not deliberate much on how we are now going to deal with corona after 21 days of lock down. Certainly a run of 21 days is not a long run and we need to figure out how to deal with this nuisance. It looks more probable that government will gradually allow younger lot (above 15 and below 60 years of age) to resume movement with restrictions like having proper mask, gloves, fully covered dress and maintaining distancing etc. Meanwhile, we will have enough testing kits and other medical equipment to handle needs of patients going to be hospitalized. ICMR may come out with a self medication protocol with specific OTC medicines as prophylactic and generally, cost of medicines, testing and ventilators etc will go down. Essentially, children and old will be protected and the rest will be allowed to get hit and develop immunity. Other than this, any further long term lock down, will be practically useless as people will start revolting and it will lead to chaos. We will have to live with this nuisance and protect the most vulnerable ones. After all, we live with filth, pollution and unhealthy conditions along with usual list of known diseases like TB, pneumonia etc; so we will add one more to the list. So from blanket lock down to directed lock down is the way to go. Death will come whenever it has to!

  30. That’s really great. In this time when people have become so gloomy and all over the news, it is going on that how a country like India will survive, yours article just made my day, Tomorrow always comes!!!!

  31. It’s important for people to be positive and optimistic. Especially at these times. This article does it in Spades. Thank you Shekar ji.

  32. Wonderfully optimistic article. You have excelled yourself, in reposing confidence in India’s capacity to reinvent itself. Big thanks to you in these gloomy days. May your tribe increase!

  33. 1 small correction – herpes zoster can still affect a person vaccinated against varicella zoster.
    Mr Gupta is still a delight to read even if it is a waffling piece like this one.
    If you do it right sir, your magazine can become “The Atlantic” of Indian media.

  34. You are one of the saner voices in the media. If memory severs me right , you were once sitting on the row behind me in India sentre in London , way back in 90 or 91. Election times, I follow you on NDTV. You have a lovely turn of phrase . More than that it is the credibility that you bring with your words that sets you apart from everyone else. I am from Ooty and Mrs Das is known to my family. And there are links from the links as well.
    One question though. Why are we not testing more or more to the point why are we not showing the urgency to get the equipment for the medical community to do their job more efficiently?

  35. Shekar Ji, Very interesting article that mirrors my travels of my life, I was thinking to pen. Keep writing. God bless you
    Hardev Ashk

  36. An excellent article. Optimism displayed in the article is commendable. We Indians always have a tendency to indulge in excessive self-criticism and in self-defeating comparison with societies of developed western countries. Much of such criticism and comparison is not unjustified in its essence, but pessimism associated with such a negative mindset is. If I look back at my own life-span, I am amazed how things have changed and how we Indians have adapted to to changing scenarios, disruptions and consequent challenges. This is the time not for self-deprecation but to fight, despite all our inadequacies, for survival. Life is all about, as Darwin said, survival of the fittest. The corona crisis is our fitness test. Let us fight it out.

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