It’s time we all walk the Covid talk!

With more than 1,00,000 new cases being added every day, we can no longer deny that we are in the throes of the second wave of Covid that is threatening to engulf us and throw everything off gear, yet again. However, this time around, it is we the people who need to accept responsibility for this blame fair and square. You may now ask, why? 

I’ll counter that with, why not? Honestly speaking, the responsibility for preventing the infections from growing any further is ours. We are the citizens of this country, and it is we who need to take the onus of curbing the infection from spreading. Why should the government be held responsible for everything that goes wrong? As responsible citizens, we must follow the mandated precautions that we are all extremely well aware of – we must mask up, we must maintain social distancing, we must avoid crowded places, and keep sanitizing our hands if we are out. Every day I observe people on social media putting up posts where they have thrown caution to the winds…making videos of “pawri’s”. Large social gatherings where barely anyone is masked up, people happily posing in large groups with nary a care for social distancing. If the daily rising numbers isn’t a clarion call for us to wake and read the very scary writing on the wall, it’s going to be a very fast journey downhill.   

Those eligible amongst us must take the vaccine and encourage others too. If you have house help, drivers, office staff who are eligible, I’d urge you to nudge them into taking the vaccine as we owe it to them, their wellbeing, and our own by extension. There are many myths and rumours doing the rounds. As educated responsible people, help dispel these. It’s all very easy for people to be careless and then when infected, question the government’s actions and pass sweeping judgements.  

Grow up, everyone. The Government is doing its job, and we must do ours. If you go out anywhere, you will observe that there are crowds milling every market and people without masks sitting in large groups. It’s time we play our own role in helping curb this spread. The government is doing what it can, the people need to meet them halfway. They have ensured there are enough Covid facilities and that they are all maintained and prepped to handle the growing numbers of cases. They are facilitating camps in neighbourhoods and housing societies, they are doing whatever they can in their capacity to spread awareness. 

If we don’t do our bit, the only recourse the government has is to impose a curfew or a lockdown, the impact of which we already witnessed in the first round. Lockdowns adversely impact businesses, which in turn impact livelihoods and individuals. The statistics say it all – in 2020, according to a study by Pew, Covid shrunk India’s middle class by 32million and pushed 75 million into poverty. The sooner people become aware of the grave snowballing impact lockdowns have on businesses, individuals, and the economy, the sooner we will be able to curb this growing number of Covid cases. Businesses, leaders, individuals – everyone must play their role in order to ensure the wellbeing of their employees – in their homes, in offices, in factories and wherever needed. There are many more consequences that the nation will suffer. Moody’s has already downgraded India’s growth to 5.3% in 2020, which is the lowest in over a decade. GDP losses are rising and the equity markets faltering. The loss of lives, livelihood and businesses should we not curb the growth of the wave will be nothing short of catastrophic. 

So it’s time that we, as responsible citizens, as senior industry leaders walk the talk. Inspire, nudge, and push everyone – colleagues, customers, friends, extended families – around us to go take the vaccine as soon as they become eligible. We need to be the flagbearers to lead by example, wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and be vocal, very vocal about all of these. In doing so, we will probably be saving many lives, and many livelihoods too!   



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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