Corona, Corona all the way Prime news for over 1 year
Ever since the virus landed in Manipur, it has been the prime news in all the major newspapers published from Imphal and why not ? Even when the virus was at a lull, before the second wave descended on the people and the land, coronavirus continued to occupy prime spot in all the daily newspapers published from Imphal. If it was not about the number of infected and the number of deaths recorded in the previous 24 hours, then it was about the curfew or restrictions or containment imposition, in which the virus is again central to it all. And it has been like this ever since the first case was reported in the State on March 24, 2020. In fact it has been COVID-19 or coronavirus all the way through, so much so that even people or rather readers must have felt fed up of the news related to the virus ! Suddenly other equally important issues such as the ongoing peace talks between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and the pending solution, the state of education, the current issues surrounding availability of fertilisers etc have all been relegated to the background. Even the Class X and Class XII examinations which used to be announced with much fanfare were all reduced to footnotes this year. It is now more than obvious that it will take time for the transmission chain to be broken and with talks of a third wave looming large, anything can happen in the coming days and this is why the call for everyone to continue to stick to the Covid Appropriate Behaviour continues to remain indispensable. The new normal, this is what the international community has been talking for long and the new normal should be understood in the context of sticking to the behaviour that is appropriate at such a time. Remember Manipur has already notched up more than 1000 deaths and over one lakh infection and if these figures cannot convince the people to continue to stick to Covid Appropriate Behaviour, one wonders what else would be needed.
So for over one year it has been Covid, Covid and more Covid, and the only time that the prime spot was snatched away from the virus was when the five athletes from Manipur put in sterling performances at the Tokyo Olympics with two out of the five returning with medals. It was a pleasant and welcome break for the people and the newspaper houses. For once the virus was pushed away from the prime spot by the five athletes and this is continuing, with the Chief Minister himself announcing that 18 posts have been created at the Youth Affairs and Sports Department for Olympians of Manipur. This will obviously be a shot in the arm of the many sportspersons in the State and perfectly complements the setting up of the National Sports University in Manipur. Now one hopes that all issues besieging the location of the NSU are sorted out amicably and this is where all contesting parties need to come to their sense that sticking to their stand stubbornly will only rob the sheen off the sports varsity.