Cheering the unsung but real heroes: Hats off to the men in white

Cheering the unsung heroes, though ironically they are the real heroes and heroines in the ongoing fight against coronavirus which has already claimed over 13 thousand lives across the world. This was the message behind the Janata Curfew urged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 22, a Sunday. Social distancing. This was another message rung out on Janata Curfew and that is for all to stay indoors and and not socialise or mix around with others, all with the objective of breaking the infection chain, in fact so far the most contagious virus that one knows. There were detractors no doubt, with some calling for more effective mechanisms, provide better facilities, make up for the shortfall of ventilators, ensure more hospital beds to treat the sick, instead of locking down the country for 14 hours, that is from 7 am till 9 pm and top it off with clanging of utensils and clapping. The manner in which this was carried out in some parts of the country, reducing it to some sort of a jamboree gave credence to this line of thought for it defeated the very call of social distancing. Another way of looking at this would be to take the widely held belief that the virus lives for 12 hours on most of the surfaces and breaking the infection chain with a 14 hour lock down would go a long way in addressing the issue at hand. Whatever the case may be, it stands that humanity has a fight on its hand. As noted earlier here, the virus has already claimed over 13 thousand lives and this is the time for mankind to shed their differences, pool in their thoughts and resources and see how to put up a united fight against the rampaging virus. It is in line with the Janata Curfew call of the Prime Minister that the State Government has decided to close inter-State entry points for passenger buses at Jiribam, Mao, Jessami, Tipaimukh and Sinzawl with effect from March 23 indefinitely.
Apart from this, another decision adopted was to limit gatherings, read religious family functions, at 30. All first time decisions, but needed to deal with the novel coronavirus for a novel virus will definitely need some novel approach. Shopping malls, restaurants, public eating joints, conference halls, theatres showing both dramas and cinemas, tourist spots to be closed. It is against these restrictions that one should understand the service rendered by doctors, nurses and health workers and it is to acknowledge their service to humanity that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the Janata Curfew and urged the citizens to encourage all those working in hospitals, airports and in other essential services to clap and ring bells at 5 pm of March 22. Lest one forgets, there is also the media which has been rendering its service and bringing the much needed information to the people and it is in line with this that the Editors’ Guild, Manipur and the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union jointly adopted a number of resolutions to safeguard reporters who are out there visiting different places and collecting information for dissemination to the public. This is what the public should also acknowledge. Doctors are there to save lives in the face of COVID-19 while journalists are out there to keep the people informed of the reality. And when one talks about keeping the people informed, one should also not forget the immense role of the distributors, called hawkers in the local parlance, to distribute the day’s papers to the subscribers. In short it is the unity of the different roles played by different professions that is needed to defeat the virus which has already claimed more than 13 thousand lives so far.