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Covid conspiracies- pandemic or opportunity?

by Jeet Akoijam
0 comment 2 minutes read

Almost eight months into the outbreak of the pandemic which has radically changed the way the whole world functions, Covid-19 has come to mean different things to different sections of the population. While the general public still considers the present contagion as a scourge that still defies and challenges the most sophisticated technological and scientific advancements made to date and therefore one which carries with it a sense of derision and foreboding, not so much from the infection itself but rather from the accompanying sense of helplessness and uncertainty that still surrounds it. While the state authorities are churning out data and ratios on a daily basis to impress upon the improving situation in the state, there are contradicting reports from experienced medical practitioners in the state about the possibility of further spike in the number and rate of infection indicating that the worst is yet to come. On the other hand, the increasing number of daily fatalities succumbing to the infection along with reports of the resources at the disposal of the state to fight the pandemic stretching to its limit has the public in tenterhooks.
For the medical personnel and other frontline health workers, the present contagion is an avoidable tragedy for which they are forced to put their lives and the lives of their near ones on the line. The inability of the public to observe even the most basic and simple acts of keeping on masks at public places, maintaining two metres distance from others and frequent and proper washing of hands despite the obvious and unfortunate consequences for acting on the contrary still remain one of the biggest challenge in flattening the curve. Perhaps just one more instance of the infelicitous display of the defiant spirit. In effect, these frontline health workers are fighting a two-pronged enemy: the virus and the ignorance of the public.
For yet a section of unscrupulous elements, the present pandemic presents an opportunity to cash in on the misfortunes of others. Spurious and dirt-cheap products are being sold to the concerned public at exorbitant rates with little or no evident regulations in place by the state authorities. While the general public is forced to stay home due to the series of lockdowns, few others with connections and influence are busy bringing in tobacco products, betel leaves and such other unnecessary yet highly lucrative items for their personal profits while the people are scampering for meeting the daily requirements of essential commodities.
The most unfortunate display of indifference of the public sentiment is perhaps the increasing tempo of canvassing for the bye election being carried out at present with even national political figures joining in the political melee. Is this just another case of collective political dementia or a symptom of increasing desperation?

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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