Nonsensical rush for fuel : The mentality sucks
The mentality sucks. It makes no sense but the people exhibiting this mentality are perfect ladies and gentlemen-the well heeled men and women who would rather be caught dead than to let anyone see them wear shoes that do not match their socks! Look at the irony. Lockdown yet to be announced, at least till the time this commentary is being penned down in the evening of July 23, but already serpentine queues were seen at all the petrol outlets in Imphal. A clear reflection that to the many well heeled, well dressed ladies and gentlemen lockdown does not necessarily mean they need to stay within the confines of their homes. This should explain why they felt the compulsive need to fill up their vehicles, anticipating another period of lockdown. The only hitch here is, lockdown means, all, except those on essential services, have to stay indoors to flatten the curve and take the fight to the virus that causes COVID-19. Either the people themselves are not at all serious about neutralising the virus or else they have a lopsided understanding of what lockdown entails. This is wrong. So from merry making inside a quarantine centre, to picking a fight with cops and health workers again inside a quarantine centre to frolicking and having fun in huge groups at a picnic spot to now people making a beeline for the petrol pumps anticipating a lockdown, never mind the fact that during the lockdown they are not supposed to move out from their homes, the mentality of the people says it all. For emergency purposes, is another line that may be dismissed as a lame excuse for any vehicle owner will vouch that their vehicle has a minimum quantity of fuel to just move around Imphal, especially during emergency.
During times of crisis and if one takes the current global pandemic as a crisis, this is one such time that the character of the people has come to the fore. The serpentine queues in front of the petrol pumps should be seen beyond the understanding of panic buying, for this is also a reflection of a deep rooted selfish nature. My vehicle needs to be filled to the brim since petrol pumps will not be opened, is the line of thought that becomes palpable, never mind the fact that during the lockdown, no one is expected to move out. It is also important for the well heeled, behind the wheel ladies and gentlemen to come to the point that the primary objective of lockdown at this juncture is to flatten the curve and dissuade people from gathering. However the understanding of social or physical distancing, which is the primary objective of the lockdown restrictions, is always rubbished and banished to the far end of one’s consciousness while queuing up for fuel. How many people did follow the call for social distancing while running or speeding to the petrol pump to get their vehicles filled ? Coronavirus is not a joke and lockdown should be understood. It means, don’t move out. And to think that it is in anticipation of another spell of lockdown that people thronged the petrol pumps and nothing can get more farcically comical than this. Some people sure come close to the understanding of buffoons.