It’s come to a stage where we are passing the entire buck for personal failures on the pandemic (checked myself in time — I was about to say ‘poor’ pandemic!). The pandemic has become a convenient excuse for our own failings and lapses — if things don’t work out on the professional/ personal front, blame the pandemic! Hello! Unless you have a better excuse than, “Guys… this virus, na? I didn’t feel like doing a thing! Just eating, drinking and sleeping for hours.” Ummmm… don’t expect sympathy. The thing is, nobody has been spared, so please stop whingeing, and get on with it. People died, babies were born and the cycle of life rolled on. As it will continue to. Besides, the pandemic isn’t done with us yet. Wake up! Vaccine or no vaccine, the virus isn’t about to vanish. Experts have cautioned us to deal with the havoc till end-2021 — minimum! So before you book your trip to Europe/ America/ Far East, arm yourself with information and then fly out. The scourge is here to stay!
But that does not mean you remain at the bottom of a pit. Hey, come on. Look outside yourselves. Hear the familiar cries of ‘Chhuri, kenchi dhaarwala’ to know that most people have reclaimed their lives. The pandemic has taken a huge toll. And the war is still on — if we go into denial mode and pretend things are hunky-dory, sorry, but the biggest bewakoofs will be us!
Last week’s news was all about the race for the jab. There will be stories galore of the ‘Jab We Met’ variety. I have still to get jabbed, but I am not about to join the jostling, desperate crowds at assorted walk-in centres. I watched the video of the melee at BKC and told myself to stay calm, remain patient, and wait for my turn. Yes, logging onto the CO-WIN site took an eternity. But now that I have managed to register, like millions of co-citizens, I will keep staring at my cell phone, waiting for the all-important bulawa.
Providing the vaccine to 1.3 billion citizens while adhering to all protocols, is a monumental feat. It’s as tough if not tougher than a military operation. In many ways, the tactical planning is as complex, and the ‘generals’ are doing their best to bravely lead from the front. If desperadoes show up at hospitals and other centres expecting a perfectly orderly experience — please — this is India, not Germany! Those videos that captured the chaos and confusion, tell their own story about us as a society. We don’t ‘get’ discipline, and think nothing of pushing even elderly folks aside to get ahead of the line ourselves. This is typical desi conduct — pandemic or no pandemic. Each time we watch a celebrity getting the jab, we feel jealous and resentful, assuming some ‘setting’ has taken place. Maybe, it really has! But that’s also India! Some are more equal than others — deal with it. And till your turn comes, stop gritting your teeth — stress and tension may kill you before the virus does.
Meanwhile, so distracted are we by getting the jab before anybody else, we have created our own competitions. Have you noticed how boastful we have become if we are the ‘chosen’ ones? Apart from posting images on social media platforms and crowing about ‘scoring’ a shot, people have taken to sending smarmy text messages to ‘friends’ expressing fake concern: “We were fortunate and blessed to get our first shot WITH A CERTIFICATE! Have you got yours yet?” Good on you, if you’ve taken yours. But please spare us the silly chest thumping like you have just conquered Everest without oxygen.
Covid this and Covid that — too much info! This brand of vax over that vax. Efficacy of this one over that one — full bakwas! Truth is, nobody knows for sure. Each body is different. You may react adversely to a particular shot while millions of others will have zero reaction — hota hai, bhai. Your body is your body. Almighty ka naam lo, and extend your arm. Because frankly, which other choice do we have? Pushing, shoving, arguing and shouting at vaccination centres only creates further chaos. Make co-operation your mantra — not just for your shot, but going forward and living with the virus in an intelligent manner.
Remember, co-existence is the name of the game — that’s how the human race has survived!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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