Tuesday, May 19, 2020



We are into the second day of  4th blockdown and into the 56 th day of continuous lockdown since the last week of March. The onset of  dreaded Corona pandemic has made us revisit words like quarantine ,  lockdown , social(sic)  physical distancing.
Coming to the etymology of the word ' quarantine' , it is derived from the Italian word 'quarantena' meaning 'forty days' , the period required to keep the passengers on board coming from the plague infected places, on  the ship itself to save others from getting infected. Prior to this the period was thirty days and was called ' trentino' at present day Croatia, when an epidemic broke out in the 14th century.
We shall  complete 68 days of lockdown on 31st of May with little respite.
There are news of scientists working day and night on developing a vaccine to cure Covid 19. Hit and trial are going side by side to cure people testing positive. While there is daily increase in number of people getting infected , there is also the positive and encouraging  increasing percentage of persons getting cured and being discharged from hospitals. There are some attempts to resume economic activity albeit limited &  restricted, understandably so. Medical, paramedical staff, Police and staff looking after cleaning and mopping are working day and night and deserve all praise. The NGOs, other organizations, and some Individuals are acting as good Samaritans to help needy people with cooked food and  other necessary items.The Government at the Centre and in the States are well aware of their own limitations in tiding over and dealing with the crisis. This is not the time for power play and one-upmanship . Help should be asked for and accepted from every quarter that is offering or is prepared to offer the same , without ascribing motives and designs. Humanitarian aspect should  take precedence over all other considerations. The Media is busy at its usual game of deifying and demonizing  though also doing some good work in patches. We need to think and act positive in these critical times. Corona is there to stay with no remedy in sight so far !

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