To induce me to have an early night, my mother would often resort to a spook, who the children invariably used to get frightened at the very thought of it. I was no exception to it. I was often told to close both of the eyes or else a ghost would pop up and take me away from the cosiness of her lap. What would happen to the cockles of her heart was her emotional appeal to me?
Perhaps, it was only the best possible technique available for her to lead me to be in a state of sleep and wake up with an early ray of the sun. Alternatively, she would have told me to play as much as possible to the extent of being tired and falling asleep naturally and without inducement. However, the process she adopted was okay on that time as it did not have so much of side effects.
Akin to what I experienced as a child then is a case today wherein the government suddenly with data of cases less than 500 firstly appealed and later ordered us to follow public curfew and remain indoors on 21st March 2020 to combat the virus.
Furthermore, it directed the countrymen to stay home following the lockdown for a 21- Day Lockdown for the entire country, stating that it was the only way to break the chain of infection or else the spook of coronavirus originating from Wuhan of China would come so close to us that we would fall into the death trap via contagion and against which the government was armless.
Hence, the safest way of keeping the virus at bay has been self-isolation, most preferably at home. The lockdown as announced to be effective till April 14, 2020, was, however, extended many times on the trot without any relief.
The coronavirus would never enter any house if the members of the family stood isolated yet united and supported the government during the national health crisis. Such was the appeal! Furthermore, as explained and highlighted, the roads, rails, flights, factories, educational institutions, offices, barring media houses and the likes were the easy target of the Covid-19, which is too small to be seen with naked human eyes. Hence, they all were shut down for months.
Educational institutions are still under lockdown notwithstanding the fact that places of gathering like cinema halls are open. However, a few of collective measures were taken. Two of them were first to clap the bug away and secondly beat the plates and the likes to produce the sounds loud enough to send a strong message of our unity to the coronavirus that invaded the country on the sly.
Demonstrating the complete docility as I did before my mom, the countrymen obeyed the orders, instructions or guidelines issued by the government which often revised its own code of instructions as to when to wear a face mask and when not to. Hardly were any citizens, irrespective of their social or intellectual status, who protested or defied such medical code of conduct imposed in the country.
Under the terror and horror of the novel Covid-19 being hyped, hundreds of people gave preference to ending their life instead of combating it. A good number of people faced a heart attack. Thousands of people died for want of medical facilities. The doctors at many places were reported to be scared to see the patients and to be following the proverb, ‘life is better than gold.’
Prayer to God happened to be the ultimate remedial solution, absent allopathic medicines. The slogan “Let the year pass off” was the mantra of the rule. How long can a child sleep? The slots of two or three weeks were fixed and extended. Every fortnight, people began to get glued to the TV with a hope of hearing something good like lockdown being lifted.
However, with the Covid-19 cases in lacs, the lockdown in the face of economic crisis began to peter out and message of unlocking the movements of countrymen phase-wise began to take place. The nomenclature of ‘Unlock’ was given something like 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4; etc as there were matches where the opposite team was none to score anything.
So what happened then? Millions of people lost their jobs. Businesses were shut down. Those allowed to run registered dismally low. Migrants began to foot- march to their native places for hundreds of kilometres. Many died on the roads. Some of those in health sectors, however, minted money. Hoarding of essentials began to take place. Online business and marketing received a shot in the arm. Overall, the economy of individuals, as well as the country, saw an unprecedented setback.
Bihar is the only state where Assembly Election is being held during the lockdown where schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions are still closed following the directives of the never-seen- such a lockdown. However, the beleaguered people are huddling up at public places to have a glimpse of and hear their great political leaders, who will legislate new law on how to live their life.
The bulletins of the coronavirus cases are not reportedly being made public now, probably to allay their fear psychosis and exorcise the ghosts of the pandemic coronavirus. Thus, people seem to be confident of contracting no coronavirus around. This is evident from their presence in rallies, regardless of which parties call for and hold one.