The grueling reality of Covid-19 in India
I'm sitting in my room waiting for this dreaded pandemic to end. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is here to stay for a while. So while I'm in my room, I'm reflecting on the things that have transpired since last year. March 14th, 2020 was the date I left my college in Noida and returned to my hometown. I thought normalcy would come back after a couple of weeks & I would return to our college to spend the remaining semester with my friends. If only I would have known that would be the last time I'm chilling out with them. I haven't seen their faces since then. On March 22nd, our Prime Minister declared the so-called “Janata Lockdown” to contain the Coronavirus. And just like that, everything changed in an instant. It's like snapping the finger. Every shop, educational institution, and recreational areas were closed. People weren't allowed to leave their homes. And then the migrant worker crisis happened. The migrant workers who wanted nothing but to go back to their homes because they lost their jobs were stopped in the state borders by the police. It became apparent to me that this “lockdown” was falling apart. The lack of governmental action only brought more pain to the workers and a PR disaster to the government.
As 2020 was about to end, the entire nation saw the farmers fighting against the pro-corporation laws. Before passing the policies, the farm produce was bought by the government at a fixed rate. These laws could give more monopoly to the corporations which in turn will exploit it against the farmers. And governmental apathy made farmers disillusioned towards any reform which is why they're protesting against the government. It was January of 2021 when the protest was at its apex with foreign and Indian celebrities expressing their solidarity towards the farmers. Albeit the internet was too toxic about it. And the saddest is even if the protests are going on, the internet has forgotten about it. As if everyone stopped caring about it in just a few days.
Fast forward to June of 2021. We've experienced the worst outbreak of Covid-19 since its inception in January 2020. In 2020, I didn't even know the different waves of a pandemic except for the Influenza Plague that happened a century ago. This year, I've learned the difference between the First and the Second wave. The Covid-19 cases that mounted up last year, don't hold a candle to what has happened this year. All of a sudden the cases mounted up at a faster rate. What's worse was the rising death rates. We saw it in the news. We never saw many funeral pyres at the same time. And there was disturbing news about the dead bodies found in the River Ganges. In just one day, our country saw 400,000 people infected by the virus. That's how things got so bad.
I have to admit by the time the first wave of Covid cases started to decline, we let our guard down. And when the second wave became serious, we were busy with our festivals like the Kumbh Mela, Holi, etc. In the meantime, state elections were going on despite repeated warnings. This is why we paid the price for it. To add more salt into injury, the lack of medical supplies like the oxygen cylinders and hospital beds resulted in more deaths. The whole debacle was not only our fault. It was a profound blunder the government had committed. Their lack of action was a slap in the face to the Indian people.
It is an unfortunate truth that India's democracy is in danger. These cracks have already been shown in this pandemic. People cannot ignore it forever. This pandemic already proved our inability to listen, long enough. The government needs to get its act together and start acting to improve this situation. The Second wave of Covid-19 is declining but the risk of the Third wave still exists. If they don't prepare themselves soon enough, they'll just be a laughing stock in the eyes of the world and humiliation for ours. The Indian people's trust in the government is going downhill and they need to do everything in their power to regain our trust.