Why the second Covid wave strikes no fear

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BENGALURU: It’s here, folks! The dreaded second wave of Covid-19 has arrived, and like a well-made Hollywood sequel, seems to be more fearsome than its predecessor. As states grapple with the implications, the second wave has witnessed larger number of infections at a much faster rate. Surprisingly, the junta doesn’t seem to be too affected. We seem to have convinced ourselves that the worst is over. Much like a film, the sequel doesn’t seem to have caused much interest among the general public. Take a look at advertisements, for example.

Everything from detergents to air conditioners have simply changed their positioning, and claim to kill germs that cause deadly diseases. If you’re travelling by an airline and are cursed with the middle seat, you are offered an entire PPE kit, resembling a bomb squad specialist. It’s a different matter that the seats are so close to each other, you can hear your neighbour’s thoughts!

Last year, political parties had united in urging people to stay indoors. But this year, they seem to have thrown caution to the wind too. With elections in strategically important states like Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, we have witnessed chief ministers and the prime minister address large rallies of people. These rallies were attended by multitudes, as if to ask – what is a second wave in front of a Modi or Mamata wave?

It’s a curious phenomenon – this lack of fear of the virus. As a responsible journalist, I tried to study the reasons behind this. And I have a few theories. It could be because we have witnessed a number of high-profile people who tested positive, but have resumed their work without much fanfare.

Union home minister Amit Shah tested positive, and has since returned to duty. Our vice president Venkaiah Naidu also tested positive last year, and is back to fulfil his duties. Film stars have also tested positive. Aamir Khan – whose films ask pertinent questions to the public, has tested positive along with his 3 Idiots co-star Madhavan. Akshay Kumar – who leads an extremely healthy lifestyle and has no real flaws (except perhaps, for a Canadian passport) has tested positive as well. But perhaps the final straw that broke the virus’ back was the news that Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar tested positive as well.

Such was the confidence of the Indian public that they thronged to stadiums to witness a tournament featuring senior cricketers (many of them in the vulnerable age for contracting the virus). Along with Sachin, his teammates S Badrinath and Yusuf Pathan have also tested positive. The tournament and its organisers are now being looked at as ‘super-spreaders’. But the surprising factor is that Sachin’s Covid result was not even front-page news. It was mentioned along with regular news of celebrities partying at Maldives.

But here’s the one big flaw that people don’t seem to understand. The people mentioned above are superstars in their own right. They have access to hospitals and the best healthcare. Which is not necessarily true for you and me.

As someone who celebrates his birthday in April, it’s a nostalgic feeling for me – not getting to celebrate my birthday with friends and family. However, it’s a luxury I’ll gladly accept this year. To think that we used to blow on candles and feed each other cake with our own hands! So please stay home, dear reader. It’s time for us to all become superheroes again. Just remember that Batman never leaves home without his mask!

Source/ Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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