Man proposes, but God disposes! As far as Covid-19 is concerned, there was a sense of lull prevailing all over the country. However, who knew that almighty had different propositions in His mind? Instead of being controlled in the summer as anticipated earlier on, coronavirus is now threatening to engulf much of our space with greater horrors of danger. The news of shortage of ICUs and fast depletion of general corona beds in many places of the country bodes really ominous at this stage.
After a year of great tragedies in terms of loss of valuable sons and daughters of the land as well as irreparable loss of money and vocations, people had sort of respite for a couple of months and life came back to almost normalcy. People were starting to heave a sigh of relief. People, who had lost earnings, were trying to recover some way or the other. The government was thinking seriously of opening educational institutions that had remained closed for more than a year. In fact, remaining out of touch with the students is like a curse for the teachers and vice versa.Unfortunately and sadly for millions of teachers and students of the country, this far-flung gap is to be prolonged! In addition to serious financial problems of thousands of students, the psychological impact of remaining aloof from the alma mater is very frustrating and debilitating. Online education is a great means to reach out to the students. However, it cannot be a permanent alternative to interactive learning possible in physical ambience. Thus, online education is increasingly losing its attraction among the students.
Yes, things have changed quite dramatically with the increase of corona detections, complexities and deaths in the recent weeks. The concomitant awe-inspiring development is that existence of dangerous corona strains of South Africa and UK have also been found in the country. What is more dreadful is that PCR machines available in Bangladesh may not be able to detect the new and dangerous strains of coronavirus. In fact, as per global media reports, even updated machines in the West are not being able to pinpoint the new strains.
To make the situation more complicated, new symptoms of corona are cropping up and making things really difficult for the physicians to decipher the whims of this deadly virus. The physicians are the ones to whom we look up for essential aid and intervention. And, pathetically for the country, a large number of physicians including very senior and experienced ones have died due to corona infections. In fact, most of them were infected while giving succour to the corona patients.
One thing, however, remains constant and that is the bare necessity for wearing masks and maintaining hygiene, especially sanitisation. Though I am not an authority to give special orientations about coronavirus, a year of experience with the mysterious virus has taught people like me, without medical knowledge, a lot. Though kind of non-appliance has grown among vast sections of people, it can be safely said that simple mechanisms of washing hands in regular intervals, wearing masks in crowds and some other regular means can help us stay away of this small monster.
To be candid, a sense of desperation has grown in a section of people. They are having the notion that corona is gone! Another group of people have developed the wrong idea that they are already immune from the virus thanks to their strong immune system. That’s why they have ignored the safety measures in a great measure. This very tricky virus seems to have grabbed this opportune moment of people’s carelessness and callousness. It seems that the virus is playing a nasty game with humankind and coming out smarter day in and out.
The vaccine came with a great relief and people took vaccine with great earnestness and it boosted the confidence level in the citizens. Though vaccination cannot guarantee cent percent immunity against such a deadly virus, there was a wide expectation that coronavirus infections would come down after administration of the vaccine. However, things seem not to have proceeded that way. The vaccine cannot be blamed for this. Maybe, new and changing pattern of this virus has given rise to a different and difficult scenario.Moreover, only the first dose of the corona vaccine has been administered so far and a great majority of people are still out of its ambit due to age restriction and other limitations. However, in comparison to many advanced countries of the world, the vaccine recipient rate in Bangladesh is a lot more healthy. Bangladesh government’s early move to purchase vaccine paid off brilliantly in terms of good rate of vaccine intake in Bangladesh. Hopefully, things will change for the better after administration of the second dose of the vaccine.
There was another hope linked with the vaccine that it would reduce hospitalisation, deaths and severities. In many places of the world, such eventualities happened. There is, however, another side of the story as well. However we term it, things happening round the tiny virus make one thing pretty clear as well as increasingly prominent that this virus is not going to leave the world scene shortly. Unfortunately, WHO’s predictions about its being long-standing, or rather, perennial seems to be setting in permanently.
As things stand now, no foolproof medicine or mechanism is likely to get the better of this miniature creature. Its devastation is unlikely to wither away soon. Even the ministers and high officials are now highly wary of the frenzied comeback of coronavirus. Though I may sound ascientific to many, science perhaps does not have the immediate and ultimate answer to the virus as of now. There is, thus, no alternative to being extra cautious and maintaining complete hygiene protocols.
At the same time, we sorely and passionately need to look upward for divine blessings. With the things becoming so shaky and uncertain following the recent surge of corona, it transpires that only the Almighty can extend many of our lives. This virus has already established it as a giant killer in terms of killing well-off and aged people. The latest trend of infecting even younger people and killing off people with unforeseen speed has again set off the alarm bell alarmingly. Only the omnipotent can stop the looming havoc of corona for which we keep our fingers crossed.
The writer is a Professor, Department of Public Administration and
Chancellor’s Nominee Syndicate
Member, University of Chittagong.
E-mail: [email protected]