Scripting a situation for super spreaderThronging the market

The festival of light coupled with the aroma that is sure to waft out of the delicious food that will be prepared for the coming Ningol Chakkouba festival seem to have dulled the wit and senses of the people so much so that if enough care is not taken now, they may as well lose the aroma of the delicious goodies that will be laid out. This is the hard fact. The truth is, the festival of light and the fragrance of food that will be cooked will not dull the senses of the virus which is out there still infecting and killing on a daily basis. This is the harsh reality and one wonders why the people should be so foolhardy to throw all caution to the wind and behave as if everything is hunky dory. Couple this with the fact that there are still some hill districts where the vaccination rate of the first dose of the vaccine is still well below the 30 percent mark and there is every reason to be worried about. Take care or else, the two said festivities could well turn out to be super spreaders which may take an ominous turn to become the Waterloo of the people in the fight against the pandemic. This is all that more so since the talk doing the round points to the fact that the Delta variant of the coronavirus has mutated and the world is yet to fully understand how the new mutants (mutated not to take just one form but more than one) behave and are expected to behave in the coming days. Will it prove to be as much devastating as the Delta variant which created havoc across the country in the second wave ? And can Manipur really afford another wave of the virus ? These are questions which everyone should be asking themselves even as they step out of the house, rub shoulders with total strangers on the streets of Imphal to buy something from the market, forgetting the call to maintain social distancing.
Diwali and Ningol Chakkouba come only once a year, this is true, but remember a global pandemic comes only once in a century and this is a point which should not be forgotten at all cost. Remember schools are still closed, with students having to rely on distance learning. Remember no doctor would attend on a sick person, until and unless the patient can give a negative Covid certificate on being admitted to a hospital or a clinic. This is the reality and the funny part is, while more than half the population are still reluctant to receive the vaccine shot no one seems ready to stick to protocol and ready to add to the ever growing crowd at the commercial centres and market places of Imphal. All roads at Imphal were choc-a-bloc with traffic on November 3, thanks to the ever growing number of shoppers out on the street. The situation will only get worse as Ningol Chakkouba gets nearer and one is left wondering whether all those days of lockdowns and strict regulations on gathering of people have come to naught. If the festivals have to be celebrated, do it, but do it with a sense of responsibility. Makes absolutely no sense to turn the roads and streets of Imphal into a free for all zone just for the sake of two festivals which come every year. The bottomline is, the virus is still out there and it kills as everyone knows.