This pandemic may not be remembered too long for the healthcare crises that it brought with it, but it would be remembered long enough for the destruction it unleashed on our economy.
We may forget the grief our dead left behind for us, as they died in terrible conditions, but the pain caused by the loss of livelihood will go a long way in shaping our future responses.
As the new mutant creates a fresh wave of panic, and we have patients in numbers testing positive, the fears of economic loss are again giving people sleepless nights. In such a situation it is very difficult to convince people that they should remain indoors.
It is very difficult to even think of a lockdown like situation. This is what makes the challenge, in the face of the rising cases of Omicron infections, extra-ordinary.
Government cannot simply ask people to shut the activities, as it did in the beginning. Even asking them to partially close down businesses, is a huge ask.
The devastation on economic front has been so huge that it can not endure any more disturbance. So the trick is in not letting the situation come to a pass where people are required to curtail their daily business activities.
To this end, the pandemic protocols – wearing mask, maintaining social distance, and ensuring hand hygiene – should be enforced. There should be no relaxation on that count, even in the periods when the count of cases is very low.
Second, the vaccination drive should pick up speed, and those left out earlier should be vaccinated. Beyond this, all efforts should go into re-energising markets, and lifting the economy up.
If the small and medium businesses that have received a terrible hit during these years are not revived, there is a danger that people might die of stress before the virus does anything to them.
In Kashmir we have many businesses that are on the verge of collapse, the government needs to extend some helping hand to them.
There are many schools that are on the brink of closure, someone in the government needs to think about that too.