Still making waves in the the year 2021 Continuation of 2020

COVID-19-Fifty, sixty, seventy or even one hundred years down the line and if 2020 is ever remembered it will be for coronavirus, the lockdowns, the deaths and the crippling blow that the virus has dealt to the world economy. India will also remember the year for the hundreds of kilometres that migrant workers had to walk to reach home from the city where they worked following the lockdown, which deprived them of their means of livelihood. In Manipur, 2020 will also be remembered for the special trains that brought back thousands of people from different parts of the country, the shutting down of Ima Keithels even before the Nationwide lockdown was effected, the schools and colleges that were forced to shut, the school van drivers who were left jobless for months etc. For the daily newspapers published from Imphal, the case was not different, as 2020 was all about the global pandemic and with the second wave on, it has again returned to grab prime spot on page 1. The worrying part is, what defined 2020 is likely to stretch into 2021 if one goes by the rising number of positive cases across the country. With 53,476 cases recorded on March 25, India saw the highest daily spike in 133 days and this is definitely worrying. Second wave, this is what it is all about and despite the arrival of two vaccines, the prime responsibility of keeping the virus at bay is definitely the behaviour and conduct of the people and there can be no two ways over this. It was just some days back that Manipur saw the return of the daily spike in two digits and the three days which saw the spike in single digit could just be a blip on the radar and things could well be back to the double digit spike.
This is the second day on the trot that The Sangai Express is commenting on the second wave of COVID-19 and there are reasons for it. Despite the rapid rise in positive cases in different parts of the country, everything seems to be rosy here with many people having forgotten that the time still calls for Covid appropriate behaviour. It is disappointing that even after a year of the global pandemic many are still to come around to the idea of the new normal. Not uncommon to see many moving around without face masks not to talk about maintaining social distancing and to avoid large crowd. This is where huge doubts arise on how many are religiously following the call to wash one’s hands frequently with soap and water or with a hand sanitiser. This is a reminder that there are many who still refuse to stick to the appropriate behaviour as mandated by the reality of the global pandemic, and this is all that more important given that Yaoshang festival is drawing near. On the part of the Government it has already gone ahead and announced a ban on Thabal Chongba and Shumang Leela. This is what is expected of the Government, but the more important question is whether the people have really understood the spirit behind the decision of the Government to ban two important aspects of Yaoshang. And this spirit should not be understood only through the prism of Thabal Chongba and Shumang Leela. Just how much is the call to maintain social distancing being adhered to during the pre-Yaoshang shopping trip to the market ?