Covid free after 26 months A brief look back
After 26 months, since March 24, 2020, Manipur is Covid free, with the last three infected persons reportedly having recovered. This however should not mean that this is the time to relax for the virus is still active across the country with neighbouring Mizoram still having 200 active cases, that is till May 18. There is no definitive prognosis on whether the world will see the fourth wave of the pandemic but it never hurts for everyone to play it safe and this is a line that should not be forgotten in a hurry. The virus did take a heavy toll on the people. Exams were cancelled and so were classes, both regular and coaching classes and everything turned upside down. For the past one week or so the State has been returning zero figures of new infection and no deaths for a longer period of time. However this is not the real picture of the toll taken by the virus. The figure should tell by itself and here one may need to go beyond the cold statistics to really understand how the pandemic affected the lives of everyone. The death toll due to the virus stands at 2120 and altogether 1,37,216 people were infected by the virus in 26 months or so. Manipur also witnessed days of lockdown, displacing many from their economic pursuit and while some may have been able to resume their economic activities, there must be many others whose only source of livelihood have been snapped. How the economically displaced persons are coping with their lives as well as those who have managed to get back on their feet are stories yet to be told to the world and Manipur in particular. Maybe research students may chip in with their bit and share their findings with the people. Maybe it is too early, but it would help if anyone can sit back and look back to the days of lockdown, to the days when the hospitals and patients literally gasped for breath and how the Government and those who were better off literally went out of their way to help fellow beings. If at all the story of the pandemic is to be told, say 20 or 30 years down the line, then hopefully it would be about the goodness of mankind, how some people went out of their way to help the less fortunate.
If at all there is one important lesson to be learnt from the pandemic (not that it is over), then it is about how the humaneness of men and women can come to the fore at times of crises. This is also the time to reflect and learn from the way in which the people as a whole responded to the situation when the first Covid case was reported in March 2020. Reacted would be a better term, for it was not in response to the reality but in reaction to the report of the first case of Covid, when leikai and leirak vigilantes emerged from nowhere and resorted to road blocks and started discriminating those who were believed to have come into close contact with an infected person. That this vigilantism helped no one is there for all to see and this came out in all its ugliness when the second wave struck Manipur in all its ferocity and accounted for most of the 2120 deaths recorded so far. For the moment, Manipur is Covid free and while everyone can breathe more easily now, this does not mean that vigil should be relaxed at the entry points of the State. Manipur is free of the virus, but remember the past is enough indication that the virus here is tricky and it can be deadly too.