Need for empathy, understanding and responsibility

‘Remember we are fighting the ailment, not the ailing’- an empathic reminder of how our response should be towards the returnees who are undergoing the mandatory quarantine period at various institutional and community centres across the state. Unfortunately, there has been increasing reports of mismanagement by the authorities running these centres as well as unwarranted actions by the inmates. There still are a lot of people who are evidently unaware of the purpose of such centres, and perhaps the level of awareness and sensitization amongst the public remains much to be improved. How would one otherwise explain the recent incidents of people in these quarantine centres venturing beyond the restricted area to meet their girlfriends and friends, of friends from the locality trying to sneak in things to the inmates not allowed within the centre as well as the inmates turning the centre into a place of revelry thereby putting themselves and others at risk of transmitting the virus? Given the present circumstances, it would not be an exaggeration to state that a lot of people who really matters have lost the plot, from those who are entrusted with organizing and arranging the centres to the returnees who are eagerly waiting for the moment when they can be with their family and friends in the safety of their homes. The single most important thing that can successfully stem the spread of the present contagion are understanding and empathy, and what should have been the easiest of prerequisites have turned out to be the most deficient traits.
It is such inexplicable thoughtlessness pervading the society that makes the act of a few worth mentioning, not to glorify the individuals but to try and make the significance of their actions known. After laying his profession on the line to help a returnee under quarantine to bade her last farewell to her departed father while observing the safety protocols to the letter, the SDO of Samulamlan under Saikot constituency of Churachandpur District has once again put humanity before everything else and made possible the transfer of a lady police employed with the CRPF outside Manipur who came back to the state on maternity leave and in her eight month of pregnancy from the institutional quarantine centre to the community quarantine centre much closer to her home so that she can avail of help and assistance, given the advanced stage of her pregnancy while following the prescribed protocols. Such acts of understanding and empathy has shown once again that given the unprecedented nature of the present crisis, what really matters is the ability to go beyond the call of duty to try and find ways to bring solace and relief to people in need.
People who are coming back should be treated with sympathy and understanding and should be made to feel comfortable given the fear and uncertainty with which they have to spend their mandatory period in these quarantine centres. The inmates should also understand the pressure under which the authorities are operating in order to run these centres and take it upon themselves to follow the prescribed protocols so that the dreaded epidemic can be eradicated from the state and beyond. The biggest impediment to the whole effort to contain the epidemic still remains the mindset of a few returnees who are either expecting to be treated as guests of the state or are behaving like detainees. Everyone of us should understand that we all have a stake in taking up the fight against the pandemic, and our actions will determine the safety or otherwise, not only for ourselves but also for those who are near and dear to us.

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