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The Pandemic Times

Yes! We all are aware of the current situation in our country. The crises and the pessimism brought by the novel corona virus still persists and is growing with each day passing.
But! what to do? Where to go? Is there a cure? What is the government doing? Are they taking necessary steps?

Whether lockdown should have continued or Unlock 1 was a better option? These all are the common questions which arise in each of our minds as soon as we wake up in the morning and it stays with us like forever. How can we fight something we can't see, whose effect can be noticed only after a fortnight and who is silently attacking us daily in different ways which we are yet to discover! And most importantly are we fit enough to fight it?

The answer is Yes! We can! We all go through many conflicts and we fight it every day, be it the conflict for survival at our workplace, the conflict we fight to prove our worth, or the conflict we go through within ourselves! So yes! we can fight this too! But the question is how?

When the virus first entered India with countable number of infected people, everyone started taking precautions, be it keeping a hand sanitizer, wearing face masks, frequent washing of hands or our personal hygiene. We took every possible measure to keep the virus away even when the threat was minimum. Soon after, a nationwide lockdown was imposed to restrict further transmission of the virus. It was a big measure taken to combat the virus. Law and order were on peak.

Everything was well taken care of and most importantly we all were united and obeyed the rules. Studies showed that a maximum of 14 daysí time was enough to break the chain of the virus transmission, and so the government imposed an initial lockdown of 21 days, which meant, it was good enough time to end or at least reduce the game of transmission. With varied results of the lockdown, it was further extended in different phases to bring an end to the virus.

While on one hand the lockdown helped in curbing the spread, on the other hand, it had its side effects too! While many offices incorporated 'Work from Home', many were seen laying off their employees. Many employees and workers were seen roaming helpless. There were many who were away from their villages, earning their bread and butter in the city, and they were seen wage less, helpless and homeless too! It was this time of the year when the economy was taking a turn for the worse.

When some of us were sitting peacefully at our places enjoying with our family, some were left stranded, waiting each day to see their families and loved ones and struggling for survival. It was this time of the lockdown where there was no movement, no cross borders, no work, no business, and it bought a sudden halt in all our lives. All the important sectors for our countryís survival, be it transport, finance, aviation, banking, etc were brought to a standstill.

How to maintain the balance now? This was a big question that prevailed throughout! Just give it a thought... will you impose lockdown throughout the nation and help those who are safe at their places or ease some restrictions so that economy can be stabilized and the poor does not die of hunger, and the migrants can once again be with their family? Yes! It was a hard decision to make.

While many of us count on our big corporates, businesses, and professions for our finances, the poor survives on his daily wages, the shopkeepers on their shops, and the vendors on their daily earn. It's a harsh reality that the poor who might not die due to the virus would die due to hunger.

So almost after a long lockdown period of three months, relaxations were granted, and a few necessity stores were allowed to open, and all this was done in the wake that people now know the criticality of the situation and will step out only if necessary. But! But! But! As soon a little bit of relaxation was given (e.g. opening of liquor shops) people being people, stepped outside as if there was nothing to fear about! As if social distancing was a myth and there was no pandemic! How strange is it that on one hand we were staying indoors to stay safe and on the other we were stepping out as if we did a favour on the govt staying indoors during the lockdown! hahaha!

And here comes the best part! We people are masters when it comes to playing the blame game. Afterall whose fault is it? The government, in its detailed order while uplifting the lockdown, gave exclusive guidelines on how to step outside taking all the precautions and maintaining social distancing. But who cares? The empty streets saw humongous footfall and the social distancing norms were highly violated. Relaxations were made so that the needy can earn their daily bread and butter, and not because the virus was taking a downturn!

Now who is to be blamed? Is it only the government's duty to control its people? Or is it each oneís duty to obey the rules? If high penalty is imposed, we say the government is harsh! If no penalty is imposed, we say government is useless! What are we really doing?

Can't we the people of India simply obey the rules made for our betterment, stay indoors as much as possible, and step out only if itís a necessity? When our workplace has been shifted to our homes, can we not stay indoors and protect ourselves? Don't we the people of India owe a sense of responsibility to our nation? And forget about what we are giving to others, can't we just take good care of ourselves, while the nation is trying to come up with a vaccine or medical treatment to end the virus!

Can't we be responsible enough to contribute to the doctors who have no personal relation with us but still fight for us daily, risking their own lives! Can't we just maintain social distancing while we are in a public place and take extra hygienic steps to protect no one's but our own valuable lives? 

Yes, we can do it, only if we want to! Simply by being responsible we can save ourselves! Its not too hard, but only if we want to!

It's not too late...we can still work on our behaviours and we can still work this whole situation together as one! And the ask is not that huge...we just need to be more aware and cautious of our actions.

We all can fight this pandemic together as one but only if we want to!
Views are personal only.

Written By : dvocate Nidhi Samanotra
(Practicing Advocate at Delhi High Court)

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