Days, months and over a year have passed as mankind kept fighting relentlessly to overcome and contain the global pandemic that has taken away precious human lives and become the leading headline in daily news bulletins. The new viral strain/variant continues to mutate and infect almost everyone from all walks of life with more aggressive symptoms and high fatality rate if exposed or infected.
The World Health Organisation, along with governments across the globe, is consistently working to find the cure. A heartfelt gratitude to the scientific fraternity for being able to come up with a vaccine in a short span of time after passing human trials and posing no or mild side effect on humans following the jab.
India has emerged as a country with most numbers of cases. The second wave is sweeping through every nook and corner of the land despite restrictions and lockdown in most of the states. However, the highly contagious virus accelerates the momentum killing thousands every day and infecting even more. Every hospital or care centre is filled with critical patients relying on life support.
Meghalaya is also facing the crisis with increasing number of cases and fatality daily. The state government is giving its best in overcoming and containing the infections. Almost all strategic actions have been executed. But the virus is proving reckless.
The question is who should we blame. Is it the government that continuously reminds its citizens to strictly follow the guidelines? Or is it us, the public, who at times let our guard down? Well, in my view, it is our frivolous attitude that has caused us our life and the life of others.
The government has notified about the vaccination programme for all residents from the age of 18 years and above at every health centre near us. However, we fail to get ourselves registered and get the shot as recommended. Some opine that it’s of no use as the infection can still penetrate our immunity system and others say they are scared of the side effects. In market places as seen in news, we do not follow the guidelines, we do not wear face masks at all times when we are outside, we do not avoid physical contact and we even commute in groups. How do we expect ourselves to be free of the virus?
As a veteran citizen, I simply cannot sit and watch what is happening around us. I have been vaccinated. I felt almost no side effect. However, the vaccine builds my inner confidence and enhances my resistance to the virus. I appeal to all my beloved citizens of the state to get inoculated.
But that does not mean that you will flout protocols. Wear mask and maintain 6-foot distance from each other. Let us teach and learn from each other by following government guidelines at all times and in all places. We are the solution to the infection. We can break the chain of infection if we all stay united in fighting the virus.
Do remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves”. Let us help ourselves first and then we can help others. I feel it’s true to say, “God prevents those who prevent themselves”. Let us prevent ourselves because that is the only way we can protect our families, neighbours, society and the country. The worst case is, the infection does not come with a cure. It’s all on us.
(The author is from Panaliar, Jowai)