A year has passed which shows us both lockdown and unlock but Corona is still there and making its entry in the form of a second wave. India saw its first Janta Curfew on March 22, 2020, where maximum people of the country tried to stay in the house to avoid Corona. It was imposed to stop Corona from spreading itself throughout the country. There is a queer behaviour of human beings. More he spends time with any dangerous thing he becomes careless to that thing. The cautions which we took in starting phases of lockdown lost in the later phases of lockdown and after lockdown, we celebrated the unachieved victory! Then what we got is the great blow from Corona through its second wave.
One more mistake we made was celebrating festivals without any precautions. Some people believed god will save them if they will celebrate festivals. What is this? God help those who work themselves likewise god cares for them who takes care. Festivals can be celebrated by following COVID-19 norms. Experts cautioned that the risk of the spread of Corona is high during festivals. Why? People believe that celebrating the festival is mandatory for them and that also by not following guidelines. Festivals are for spreading happiness, peace and prosperity but what people spread is Corona.
The phases of lockdowns started in March and ended on 31st May then began the unlock phase till November 30. Festivals which were celebrated during this time were important and significant like Diwali, Durga Pooja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid, etc.
ABUSE OF COVID-19 NORMS
The Union Home department kept on issuing guidelines to be followed to stop Corona. Our Prime Minister kept on saying “Do gaj duri Mask hai jaruri.” How people treated mask? They keep mask to show to policemen to save penalty like a helmet. They make a fashion to hang mask as a necklace. People were told to quarantine him/her if they noticed any Corona symptoms or have been to any infected area. Some were forced to move outside the home for livelihood like migrants and some were forced to move outside because they feel good to violate these norms.
These norms look trivial but these trivial norms become a bulwark in the crowd areas or indoor gatherings. Festivals like Diwali, Jagannath Rath Yatra, Ganesh Chaturthi involves mass gatherings where the chances of spread of Corona is very high. The active Corona cases as of February 17, 2021, were 1, 36,549 which now increased to 5, 52,566. On March 1, there were only 1, 68,627 cases. Again, how it increased? The reason is only the lax behaviour of people. In this week only there was ‘Holi’ and people were seen not following norms. The cases may spike to new high numbers due to this lax attitude of people.
RESPONSIBILITY IS ON INDIVIDUAL
This is the main problem of Indians. IT’S NOT OUR DUTY; it’s the duty of government. To collect the garbage from streets and roadside is the duty of the government, to stop the spread of Corona is the duty of the government. People will blame the government without looking towards themselves for the spread of Corona. People do not want lockdown or curfew and at the same time also do not want to follow these TRIVIAL norms. Government cannot put police or Corona warriors on the person. The government is using technology like drones and at the same time, this pandemic is a novel crisis after the independence and can have some loopholes in planning. It’s our at least duty to follow these guidelines.
Jagannath Rath Yatra is such an example. The government imposed a 41-hr shutdown in the entire Puri district, 50 platoons of armed police personnel were deployed and only negative tested people were granted entry into the temple. Devotees were not allowed to gather on the grand road. What else the government can do? This brings the risk of spread to very low.
The responsibility is on the individual to end this very low risk. Otherwise, this very low risk will not take time to target lakhs of people. Government-imposed restrictions during festivals like Durga Pooja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid, etc. to stop the people from the throng on religious places.
It is good to quote the words of ParmodSawant, the chief minister of Goa when the Corona cases spiked in the state on Ganesh Chaturthi. “The Opposition has made it a habit to make it an issue out of anything. What is true is true. People have not followed social distancing rules. That is not God’s fault. I have not blamed God,” Sawant said.
After Diwali and BhaiyaDooj celebrations, there was a 30% hike in the cases of COVID-19. People did not follow the precautions up to the mark. During that time, “Caution fatigue” was in the news on which the experts show their concerns about it. It is the same as what I mentioned in the fourth line of the first paragraph.
WHY TO CELEBRATEFESTIVALS
Prohibit festivals to stop Corona! This is not the way how can you stop Corona. The Corona can be stopped even while celebrating festivals but the thing to take care of is the NORMS. There should not be any laxity towards these norms. As earlier mentioned, festivals are for spreading happiness and prosperity and a source of enjoyment. When the festivals will be restricted then there is no any other source which can give such zeal, enjoyment, inspiration and many other things. People already faced loneliness, depression during the lockdown.
Recently in the previous month, MahaShivratri and Holi were celebrated. People themselves know how many guidelines they followed during this second wave of COVID-19. Corona is a highly contagious virus and there are high chances of its reemergence. People have to make it their responsibility to follow these guidelines and to end Corona. Festivals are such necessary events where people throng in large numbers and as a result, increase the risk of the spread of Corona. Again, Corona has raised its head and started spreading its arms in the country it will be better to follow norms everywhere and every time whether there is a festival or travelling by bus.