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Lockdown must go, life must go on

Lockdown must go, life must go on

India should work towards gradual exit of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, which was announced to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Quite apart from the fact this would help revive the economy and provide the real succor to the poorest sections, we should also do that because World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is against “lifting restrictions too quickly.”

<a href="https://indianarrative.com/health/india-did-better-by-not-trusting-who-615.html">As we mentioned earlier</a> quoting a government official, “India has managed to keep the coronavirus cases and the death toll low primarily because it refused to accept the China-dictated version that the World Health Organization had been peddling till January.”

There is no point heeding to Tedros' advice, for his incompetence and slavishness to Chinese interests are clear as day.

“I know that some countries are already planning the transition out of stay-at-home restrictions. WHO wants to see restrictions lifted as much as anyone,” he told a virtual press conference in Geneva yesterday. “At the same time, lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence. The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly. WHO is working with affected countries on strategies for gradually and safely easing restrictions.”

One cannot be called a conspiracy theorist for doubting Tedros’ sincerity and integrity, for a prolonged lockdown would indirectly benefit China as it may be able to export more goods to India in the event of depressed domestic production and the destruction of manufacturing units in the foreseeable future.

Besides, we should also look around and see if the lockdown is actually a reality. It may be in the middle class and affluent colonies, but India is much bigger than tidy, orderly localities; far more people live in slums and densely populated urban villages and unauthorized clusters—the habitats where social distancing is practically impossible.

The lockdown is an attempt at impossibility. That we still are doing better against COVID-19 is because of the measures the Narendra Modi government took right in the beginning, as we pointed out in the above-mentioned article.

While the benefits of the lockdown are questionable, its baneful impact on the economy and more so on the unorganized labor is unquestioned. It has to be removed, gradually and cautiously, but a beginning has to be made.

We must accept disease as a fact of life. There are innumerable ailments, infections, etc.; we live with them. Tuberculosis, for instance, killed about 4.5 lakh people in 2019 in our country, according to government data. But life goes on; it has gone on for centuries, even when substantial portions of populations perished. Life went on, making it possible for the economies to grow, science to flower, and medicine to evolve. This is the reason far fewer people die of various diseases in the 21st than they did in, say, the 14th century.

We overcome disease by fighting it, not by escaping from it and imprisoning ourselves in our homes. Yes, we have to take precautions; even the poorest and the illiterate are doing that; we have to stay safe, but not necessarily at home.

Life must go on..