Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Quality of game plan will determine fate of Manipur's battle against COVID-19

Defeating COVID-19 Will Require Insightful Coach, Versatile Captain and a People Determined to Win

The mutated variants of Covid-19 with new symptoms have been still infecting 40,198 people in India on the 31st August, 2021, causing stress and agony with little hope of immediate intervention. The daily surge of positive cases in Manipur during the month of August 2021  was 15,535  and the average rate of infection was about 12% while the rate in the first six days of July 2021 was 14.3%, the highest being 17% on 6th July. This is in comparison to 2.11% infection rate in India overall. Manipur’s infection rate peaked at 19.1% on 8th July, 2021.

We know that millions of people have lost their lives worldwide. Besides the loss of livelihoods the pandemic also left deep psychological impacts victims and healthcare workers also have been subjected to social stigma. Victims of the virus are being made to feel guilty so unfairly. The patients worry about their immediate treatment and healthcare facility, and serious patients are to remain in the isolation beds waiting for their time as if their stress and agony are the results of their previous deeds.

If we study the severity of the disease and the human efforts to control it, it appears that human beings are fighting tooth and nail with the virus. The intensity of the seriousness of the disease had appeared to rapidly reduce towards the end of the first wave. But, suddenly with the beginning of the second wave the intensity of spreading and seriousness of the disease increased. Perhaps, there is a big struggle between Covid-19 and human life. If we determine to overtake the tough fight where the virus is attacking human being, we know that we have to follow the Covid-19 appropriate behaviours strictly. The SOPs are to be followed as if this were our daily routines without any diktats or orders. When SOPs is added to the daily routine then it will create a gap between the chains of spreading the virus. It implies the involvement of the whole population is vital. However, the ability to adapt and follow SOPs our natural behaviour was always predicted would not be easy, as there are a number of factors involved, in particular socio-economic.

The struggle between Covid-19 and humans can be studies as if this were a crucial match of a tournament. In this match the Covid19 with new mutations is attacking us taking advantage of human negligence and ignorance. If the human team is not well prepared with fool-proof strategies fortified by rigorous preparations, there will be every chance for the virus to spot the weak areas of the human team. Our team members are scientists, researchers, healthcare workers, administrative machinery, and people in general among others. The best defence as well as offence of the general people in this game are observance of SOPs and vaccination. It is certain that the human team is sure to win the game if we follow the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour while awaiting appropriate medicine, vaccine and healthcare system to become widely available.

It is urgent that the human team would require the best available players who would be led by competent professional coach, manager and team captain. Our team would have a very systematic counter attack which would break through the weak spots of the virus, and defeat it to win the match. The team manager would have to manage the fighting with all relevant knowledge and skills, while the team captain has to have his own set of professional knowledge and skills if victory has to be assured. The match is so crucial, and on it rest as important a result as life and death.

We know that lockdowns or curfews are short term measures which cannot remain forever. It has also been found that despite lockdowns and curfews, SOPs and vaccination, as well as enormous healthcare measures, there is still a considerable number of daily positive cases. It necessitates to see whether the norms of lockdown or curfew and SOPs etc. are strictly followed among the people.

From the above experience a question arises whether fighting the virus is like a war. The present situation of struggling against the virus can also seen from another approach as a crucial match between Covid-19 and human life. In such a match the players who know all the rules and regulations of the game with superb skill and stamina can participate. When the situation is being analysed the Government machinery is mostly playing in defence position while the forward positions are taken by the people. In the present match the players in the forward line appear rather weak and are unable to score any break-through goals. With the increase in the attack of the virus in the second wave, government have also stepped up to defend against the attack by augmenting infrastructure, men and materials. If the increased attack of the virus is allowed weakly challenged, it shall take the lead making it difficult for humans to come on top of the match. Therefore, the strategy of the human being should be to reduce the infection positivity graph to usher in normal life as soon as possible. The forward line of the human life team should be made versatile enough to attack the virus so that virus team could not cross the centre line, and if possible restrict them to the their own penalty area forever. But the question is, how long can we fight and play with human sufferings mounting, and loss of life remain unabated. In Manipur the players of human team may be in need of capable professionals who would like to make their team strong enough and command it to handle the situation with a sense of sincere responsibility and sacrifice.

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