May 6, 2020 : Yet another day of drama
Recipe for a disaster
Yet another day of drama. Another day of loose talks that would put to shame rumour mongers of different types and colours and of the lowest order. Even as the day started progressing, talks started doing the round that at least two people from Paona bazar had been detected with coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. Later the address changed to Thangmeiband and in no time a number of people, seemingly concerned, started asking who, where, how many, confirmed or not etc on social media sites such as Facebook and Whatsapp. The more concerned and those who had contacts with people working in the media called up and inquired about the veracity of the talk which had gone viral. Calls from places such as Ukhrul were received here at Imphal seeking to know the veracity of the talks that spread like wildfire. To the credit of the Government, it acted fast and hauled up one person who was instrumental in scripting the talk that went viral. What added a more sinister twist to the ‘positive people at Thangmeiband’ talk was the fact that at least 20 people of the said locality had returned from Guwahati by bus on May 5 and are presently kept at a quarantine centre opened at Mantripukhri. A repeat of the wild stories that did the round when Manipur had the first COVID-19 case in the person of a young girl, who again is from Thangmeiband. The sick mindset of certain elements is clearly visible here and today it is more than clear that COVID-19 will have to be fought on many fronts, including particularly the outrageously wild talks scripted by some loose tongues which seem to have its own version of demented minds.
What added to the confusion of the people was the decision of the State Government to suddenly intensify the lockdown, despite the decision to ease the restrictions following the categorisation of Manipur as a Green Zone. That the decision to intensify the lockdown did not have anything to do with the ‘positive people at Thangmeiband’ loose talks understandably failed to register in the consciousness of the people and this went a long way in feeding the misplaced notion that some people have been found positive at Thangmeiband area. The Sangai Express had already reported that the State Government had taken serious note of the manner in which people threw caution to the wind during the two days that the lockdown was eased by not observing social/physical distancing and reducing the exercise of easing the restrictions to a sort of a jamboree on the roads of Imphal and it was to bring the people back in line that the lockdown was intensified. Here again it is the irresponsible behaviour of the people which is responsible for the intensified lockdown. A clear indication that the prime reason for the more than 40 days lockdown had flown over the head of majority of the people. Obvious that no one is ready to accept the point that restrictions have been imposed to protect the people themselves and this is perhaps one of the tragedies that have emerged from the present uncertain days. Coronavirus on the one hand and an irresponsible people on the other and here is a potent recipe to script a disaster and the people of Manipur seem intent on whipping out the perfect recipe for a disaster.