Editorial | Focus on behavioural changes

Eid is coming, and it is expected that there will be enhanced movement of people, despite restrictions. This enhanced movement, at a time when we are struggling with checking the spread of covid infection, is bound to create more problems.  Though the recent spike, that still refuses to come down, has infused a degree of fear among the masses, but forgetting and callousness are age old habits of any collective. And habit has its own force. The challenge for the government, at this moment, would be to ensure that there is no further spike in the positive cases, while at the same it is not seen as coercive at a time when people celebrate a joyous occasion. How to maintain a balance here is really very hard. Whatever restrictive measure government finds feasible, and effective, can be taken up for discussion, and those found extremely crucial would also be implemented. But that is not the end of it. We have been repeatedly underlining two things. One, sensitise people on all the matters related to covid, and ensure behavioural changes are seen on the ground.

Two, take the civil society along. If government is seen doing everything on its own, without any regard for people’s participation, there is bound to be less reception among the people. And unless people wilfully cooperate, no amount of government force can implement policies effectively.  We again press for these two points. At an occasion like Eid, it is extremely important that people observe caution, and follow the guidelines that are now known to all. Physical distancing, wearing a mask, and sanitising you hands – all this doesn’t cost much. But if, God forbid, you are hit by this disease all joy in the family will fade into a prolonged sorrow. A change in looking at things, and then internalising it, is the only defence we have right now against this disease. Unless it becomes our habit that we wear a mask, sanitise hands, and don’t mix up nothing is going to save us from the catastrophe that is in store for us.