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2022 heralds Season of Doubt

16/01/2022 at 11:52 AM

If the year 2021 was a Season of Despair, the year 2022 has opened as a Season of Doubt. First, we were in doubt as to whether there will be a Third Wave. Now that doubt is over and we have reconciled ourselves to the fact that it has arrived. The next question is “How long is it going to last?” Some say it will be short-lived and will recede as fast as it has surged. Others maintain a studied silence. What happens if one gets fever? Some doctors say that one should lose no time in starting antibiotics. Others advise that one should wait till the matters get worse, and antibiotics are no answer. Will the third wave overwhelm the medical system? The South Africans say No. But the WHO says it should not be taken lightly.

The Governments are also assailed by doubt. Should they close down offices? Should they close down educational institutions? Should they enforce lockdowns and curfews? Their directives betray conflicting instructions. Schools and colleges are closed but offices are open. Schools and colleges are expected to carry on the show on-line, but the offices- Government and private – are expected to work off-line although they can also work on-line.  Social gatherings are curtailed but elections go on. The Police enforces wearing of masks, with limited success though. But shops and markets continue to be overcrowded, under the very nose of the police.

People are equally confused. Should they wear masks, maintain the necessary distance from one another and continuously sanitise their hands, as the Governments are repeatedly appealing? Or should they brave it and allow the pandemic to take its own course? The confusion is world-wide. People in India have willingly accepted vaccination as the panacea. People in the United States are not so sure, and some of them suspect that the vaccine will cause unknown and untold harm in the long run.

Fear and bravado, data and conjecture, news and personal views have filled the mental space and stirred up a cocktail of emotions which fuzzes our thinking. It is a classic case of blind men trying to make out the elephant, and in this case, the elephant is invisible.

So, where do we go from here? The short answer is, “God alone knows.” But when it comes to our life and livelihood, we cannot leave it to Him alone. We have to grope our way forward through the fog with God’s name on our lips. In the prevailing atmosphere of doubt, there is agreement on one point. That ultimately it is your own immunity which will carry you through the surge. But it is easier said than done. We do not have any definite information about how much immunity each one of us has accumulated in our life time. It is like an invisible balance in an unknown Bank. In such a scenario, we have to fall back on our common sense and conventional wisdom. We should eat right. We should do the right amount of exercise. We should adopt the right life style. But, as the saying goes, all good things of life are either illegal or immoral or bad for health. So, the choice is yours.

Yours truly.

BK PatnaikFormer Chief Secretary of Odisha

DISCLAIMER:  This is the personal views of the author. It has nothing to do with prameyanews.com.

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