Editorial | Pandemic, Panic, and Prevention

Care is above cure. It can’t be as true as it is right now when we are faced with this covid-19 threat. A pandemic that threatens humans all across the globe. In this case there is an extra bit to be remembered, and kept in mind, and sight, every second we spend these days. This extra bit is that there is no cure to this disease, so we are left with just one thing – care.  Though the government and the people have woken up to the crisis, but it looks that we are not observing precautions with the kind of urgency, and gravity, as we should be doing. Let’s remind ourselves that if China could flatten the curve in Wuhan it was only by observing precautions. And all precautions are about physical distancing. The usual and routine human interactions need to be suspended for some time. If the government has taken certain decisions, people need to cooperate. At the same time, our officials need not think in terms of usual governance. It is an emergency that if not taken care of will bring down the edifice of the governance, brick by brick. It can storm the foundations of the system that the governments have put in place. So we need to think about this situation as total emergency. It is not meant to create panic, but to remind that we are faced with a real threat. What compounds the problem for us is the weak healthcare system, and a very thin economy of an average household. 

The traditional wisdom is that a stitch in time saves nine, but in this case half a stitch in time can save ninety. So without creating any panic we must stay indoors, ensure least possible interaction, follow health guidelines, and pray to God that this pandemic spares us from the wrath it can otherwise unleash. This is also time to take care of those who are in need, and whose economy is badly hit. For the government also, this is time to think of welfare measures, and ensure that economic engagement in private sector doesn’t take a hit. It is also time for the government to make sure that essentials are made available, and among the needy it is distributed as a welfare measure. This is the responsibility of a state, and  no favour to people in need.