Embracing the new Normal

Embracing the new Normal

Written By: / Editorial / Tuesday, 05 May 2020 18:34

The biggest travesty of humans is arguably its delusions of invincibility. If anyone still has any lingering doubts about this unfortunate fact, one doesn’t have to look no further than the public places across the country right now. Just a little over a month ago, the world withdrew into its shell as the Covid-19 pandemic started wreaking havoc and the most brilliant minds and all the technologies failed to bring out a definite cure. The much-talked about vaccine or cure is still eluding the scientists, researchers and laboratories. There has been growing instances of re-infection which poses a very grave risk in itself, and while even the most advanced and developed nations are grappling with the unfortunate fact of their helplessness against the ravages of a virus, our country has been fairly successful in containing the transmission of the disease to a manageable level as of now. Manipur has had it easy so far as only two infected persons have successfully been treated and cured, and no new case of infection of Covid-19 has been reported so far. And with the gradual lifting of the crippling lockdown imposed by the central government in the wake of the initial spread of Covid-19 a little over one and half months back, it is clearly evident that while we have started shedding the panic and fear we experienced at the outset, we have failed to learn our lessons, and that it is human nature to resist change if it is beyond our comfort zone. And despite the obvious fact that the new regulations regarding the social interactions, personal hygiene and resource utilization is the future, we still try and reclaim our old habits. We have failed to learn to embrace the new future in all aspects of our lives- social, personal, professional or financial. It would do well for the general public to be reminded about the Spanish Flu of 1918, considered the most severe pandemic in history which lasted for two years, in three waves with 500 million people infected and 50 million deaths. Most of the fatalities happened in the second and third waves. The people felt bad about the quarantine and social distancing measured imposed at that time and rejoiced when these restrictions were lifted after the first wave, and the rest is the unfortunate history we should not forget. It would be our greatest folly if we forget this present crisis also.   
 It would also be pertinent to mention, and perhaps, share the lessons learnt from ‘Event 201’- a high-level simulation exercise conducted on October 18, 2019 for pandemic preparedness weeks before the Covid-19 outbreak in China, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with John Hopkins Centre for Health Security and the World Economic Forum (WEF). The exercise revealed that governments, businesses and public health leaders were all woefully unprepared. Indeed, the new pandemic has revealed the need to devote resources for prevention of future pandemics as well as develop new models of implementation of shutdowns and other emergency measures that does not disrupt or excessively impact economies. Any and every policy should complement nature and not compete with it. Let us leave a better world than the one we inherit. We owe this to our children.

About the Author

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. An International level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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