An unprecedented rise in Covid-19 cases in Srinagar. Experts say it’s just a tip of the iceberg. Unlock Srinagar during the prime season of marriages and freaking-out is proving precarious. Strangely people here treated Covid-19 Unlock as any usual relaxation in restrictions/ curfew. Masses thronged hill stations, attended marriage ceremonies and other social events routinely. All Covid-19 prevention guidelines and SOPs were run roughshod. No social distancing and the use of masks was observed. Hence, the unnecessary travel and social gatherings are turning out as viral hotspots.
The positive cases reported on a daily basis are mostly symptomatic patients or travellers. Most of the asymptomatic people remain undiagnosed and are freely mixing up with other uninfected people. Surprisingly, some people do not only conceal about themselves or their family members being contracted by the virus but even hold routine funerals of the deceased diagnosed or suspected to have expired due to Covid-19.
Agreed, Covid-19 has a good recovery rate. However, it does not mean that we have to be complacent about its virulence, complications and mortality. It would be unfair on our part if we think that it doesn’t matter a big deal if we contract this virus. Maybe most of the infected won’t get symptomatic but they are turning potential spreaders and are responsible for the death of someone somewhere whom they don’t even know. Mortality cases apart, even the symptomatic patients who recover, most of them don’t maintain oxygen saturation on room air and need oxygen inhalation at home after getting discharged from the hospital. Doctors opine that Covid-19 can cause lasting damage to the lungs and those who recover may be at risk for long-term health issues. In fact, recent studies suggest that younger people are at higher risk of long term complications of Covid-19 disease called “Post-Covid Fibrosis of Lung”. Being susceptible to certain other respiratory infectious diseases; predisposing to any malignancy; the need for a lung transplant—experts state that continuing complications of recovered patients are still unclear.
Coronavirus is too tiny. But it’s too dangerous to be misjudged. Just one gram of this virus has the potential of infecting twenty lakh people! The virus has come up as a mirror to mankind. It’s preposterous, as of now, to think of “fighting it”. We instead need the vision to comprehend the penalty from this miniature virus and that would perhaps save mankind from getting devastated by it.
The Covid-19 is not just a pandemic; it is turning out as a history-altering affair. It has given rise to new world order. It is imperative for us to understand and adapt ourselves to Post-Covid Life. There is a call for solemnising marriages with austerity. Small gatherings and strict social distancing need to be observed. Additionally, the least possible time should be spent at social gatherings. Mask should now be an obligatory part of our dress code when we venture outside the home. Public transport should be used as per SOPs.
There is a dire need to be painstaking towards ourselves and our society. If we aren’t, we are then heading for bigger catastrophe. If Covid-19 cases continue to scale with a rapid upward trend, hundreds getting infected in a day, people here should be ready for worst times to come. More so, when testing guidelines have already been modified and no active contact tracing is being done now. Besides, we usually witness swell in respiratory diseases during autumn and winter seasons. So in coming months, overlapping of symptoms due to Covid-19 infection and other non-covid respiratory infections would be another challenge for healthcare workers. Further imposing potential Covid-19 threat to doctors, distinguishing between the two would leave non-covid respiratory diseases undiagnosed, which otherwise could be treated easily.
Bottomline: People in Srinagar are alienated. Very true. They are annoyed with the system for reasons political and beyond. Displaying their discontent in distinctive ways, even the participation of Srinagararians in ‘elections’ has always been zilch. This irrefutable sentiment perhaps adds to their propensity of going against the administration by defying the Covid-19 preventive guidelines. Of course, it has been observed that Covid-19 virus has been used as a political tool in many conflict zones around the globe, but we need to take Covid-19 as a pandemic and follow the advisories framed and implemented globally, falling in line with WHO recommendations. As such, preventative Covid-19 policies need not be equated with political policies. These preventive policies are aimed for our safety and not designed for our suffering.