Understanding the restrictionsThe onus on all
The important question is not when, but how ? And one thing that is for sure at this moment is, the lockdown/curfew will be lifted gradually and not go as a whole. The spiralling figure should reflect the reality that is Manipur right now and expecting or wanting the Government to lift the lockdown or restrictions in one go would amount to throwing the doors wide open to let the virus party around here and infect more at will. Till June 11, this was the date set when the restrictions or lockdown was extended on May 28 and now that the set date has come, everyone would be waiting to see how the Government proceeds. Partial easing of the restrictions may be in line, but here it is important for all not to forget that this step has been necessitated by the need to put some essential economic activities back on track and does not mean throwing the doors open for all to party and go back to the pre-Covid days. A look at some of the neighbouring States should underline this point. In Nagaland, the Rio Government there has decided to extend the lockdown till June 18, despite the fact that the cumulative number of infected cases is way below that of Manipur with just about 24 thousand. Same is the case with Meghalaya and though no final decision has been taken, reports coming in from the neighbouring State say that the lockdown is unlikely to end on June 14, the date to which the lockdown was last extended. In Assam, the Biswa Sarma Government has already ruled that the restrictions or lockdown will continue till June 16 and while the total number of infected and deaths is way above that of Manipur, its positivity rate as on June 11, 2021 was at a relatively healthy 3.07 percent in contrast to the 8.1 positivity rate here on June 10. Mizoram too has decided to extend the lockdown till June 14. Just examples cited from the neighbouring States and their decisions can certainly have some influence on how the State Government decides on its future course of action.
Whatever the Government decides, it is time for the people to ask themselves, ‘Why should it need the Government to come out with an order curtailing the movement of the people ?’ The virus is serious, it means business and a look at the number of deaths and infections should be more than enough pointer for the people to voluntarily stay put at home and not mix around exposing themselves to the danger of being infected. Why can’t people understand the call for a new normal ? And this call is not something too tall to follow. Come to think about it, there is nothing that hard to wash one’s hands regularly with soap and water or with a hand sanitiser, maintain social distancing of at least two metres and avoid crowded places. Even if more activities are allowed or the restrictions eased for some activities, realise that this has been done to let people resume their economic activities, and is not a license to anyone to throw caution to the wind and socialise like there is no tomorrow. Be responsible is the call of the hour and in sticking to the safety measures or SOPs laid down by the Government, one is not only keeping oneself safe from infection but also not endangering others. Not such a tough call to follow and what is needed here is just the ability to look beyond one’s narrow, self centred convenience. The war on the virus will have to be fought and the Government alone cannot do it and everyone need to contribute their mite towards flattening the curve. The restrictions imposed is for the good of all and all should acknowledge this.