Vaccine and low count of infection Time to look ahead

The vaccine has arrived today (January 13). The infection count has been low in the last couple of days, coming down from as high as 200 plus to below the 50 mark count and no deaths in the last three days. Not that the number of positive cases detected on a single day ever touched the four figure mark or that the number of deaths was abnormally high, but it is good to see that the infection rate seems to be on the wane. Moreover the first set of vaccine, Covishield has already arrived and the Government has worked out who would receive the first shot of the vaccine. After almost a year of uncertainty and a long period of lockdown, this is certainly a positive development. The Government must be working on this, but as yet there is no indication that the three Ima Keithels which have been closed down days before the Nationwide lockdown was enforced in the latter part of March in 2020 will be opened anytime in the coming days. Tough to say how the Government has been studying this particular point, but anyone can imagine the condition of the families which largely depend on the earning from the women who ply their goods in the said three Ima Keithels. Apart from the historical importance of this place-one just have to back to the intense anti-CAB days when Ima Keithel became the rallying point for the indigenous folks of the land to gather and ventilate their thoughts and stand-the importance of this place cannot be simply ignored and it is at times like this that the Government is expected to verbalise its thoughts on what it intends to do in the coming days, with the situation having seemingly improved coupled with the arrival of the vaccine.
What however is of paramount importance is for the people and the Government not to let their guards down with the seemingly improved situation and the arrival of the vaccine. Remember what many experts have said. Despite the arrival of the vaccine, everyone will have to  abide by the new normal and this means that all should continue to wear face masks in public places, maintain social distancing, avoid crowded places and maintain personal hygiene best exemplified by the call to wash one’s hand frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol based sanitiser. Along with giving due thoughts to the plight of the womenfolk who sold their wares at the three Ima Keithels, the Government also need to focus on when schools can start re-opening, subject to maintaining the laid down SOPs. Chairman of the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur Dr L Mahendra Singh has already talked about how the Government would seek the opinion and stand of Principals of both Government and private schools on when to conduct the Class XII examinations and this is where it becomes important for the Government to study when schools may  also re-open. Like the rest of the world, Manipur has experienced what a global pandemic is and along with adapting to the new normal, the people and the Government will have to look forward to the coming days. This is what is life, if one may add.