Indifference to the fast spread of the virus Need more than fines

Covid is not a joke. It infects, spreads fast and kills. Yet this simple, one line statement just refuses to sink into the heads of many and this is amply demonstrated by the number of SOP violators rounded up by the police daily and the amount of money collected as fines. It is also clear that the fines imposed are not acting as deterrents, else how does one explain the blatant refusal of some people to stick to the Covid appropriate behaviour. Something has to give. Since fines do not seem to have had the desired impact on quite a number of people, why don’t the Government come out with more stringent steps, such as letting those who step out without a face masks and refuse to stick to the call to maintain social distancing, cool their heels behind bars for some time ? This is a thought that comes to mind, for it is more than clear that there are some who simply refuse to learn and refuse to acknowledge that their conduct in public could endanger others. It is with a reason why The Sangai Express has been zealously highlighting the daily spread of the disease, both at the National and State level and apart from keeping the readers informed, another big reason is to keep the people on their toes. People also need to look beyond the statistics and come to the point that if care is not taken, then they very well could end up as one of the numbers that make up the total statistics. A lull during the cold of the Winter and now with the onset of the warmer days, the virus is back at its most active prompting some sharp wits to come up with the cartoon, which shows the virus being proclaimed as ‘Dead’ in February only to be greeted with the virus alive and shouting with glee ‘April Fool’ in the month of April to a person who steps outside his house !
As The Sangai Express has been repeatedly pointing out, the lull never meant that the virus has been reined in and now with second wave surging through other parts of the country on a larger scale than before, it will not be long before it comes knocking at the doors of Manipur.  And who knows the knocking phase may already be over and the virus may have returned via the numerous flights that land here daily as well as by road via Mao Gate and Jiribam. A look at the figure should say how fast the virus has been spreading. On April 5, India recorded over 1 lakh new cases with 1,03,558. This ‘highest surge on a single day’ line was re-written on April 7 with 1,15,736 new cases only to be beaten by the April 8 tally of 1,26,789. One can only hope that this is not related to the second surge witnessed in other parts of the country, but after days of recording increase in single digit mark, Manipur recorded a spike of 16 new cases with one more death on April 8. These figures should speak for itself but as is wont with the people, the figures do not seem to have cut any ice with their sensibilities and as stated earlier this is best exemplified by the number of people pulled up daily as well as in the fines imposed on the SOP violators. Maybe the fine itself is not enough deterrent.