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When the vaccine diplomacy fails!

India, a country with huge populace, diverse culture, thriving cities, dusty roads, remote villages, undisciplined citizens and polluting leaders, is surely qualified to be in the list of seven wonders of the World. This huge span of land accommodating one-sixth of the population of the Whole world is much complex to anyone’s imagination who is living in other part of the World.

When the pandemic had erupted in China, no one had expected the same to be this worse and gripping. But slowly when it broke through the walls of China and speeded like storm to the rest of the World, we had anticipated that something big is cooking up. With no vaccines or reliable medicines in place and without even proper number of beds and facilities, India, the country of masses, the land of billionaires and brats, had managed to swim through the mess created by Covid and somehow managed to keep afloat. The Government machinery and healthcare systems stood alert and acted in synchronised manner and there by kept the alert antenna up among the common man. The Governments had stepped on to the shoes of saviours , implemented lockdown, devised containment zones, pumped money, devised policies and schemes, offered concessions and free money etc to all and needy.

Businesses suffered, economies collapsed, markets crashed, jobs lost and many had got cremated even without giving a chance to their beloved to say bid-adieu.

Finally, after few months of conscious and continuous efforts, vaccines were invented, the Corona virus pretended as if it lost its biting teeth and we heard sighs of reliefs from all walks of life and everyone started behaving as if there is no pandemic. The masks which once covered one's mouth got lowered to chin and neck, the protocols became rituals, Covid centers had lost its significance and became irrelevant. Government, which had allocated Rs. 35000 Crores for vaccinations, instead of ensuring required numbers for its own citizens, became apostles of diplomacy and gifted the vaccines to neighbours to get some brownie points. Reporting of new cases reduced and we had forgotten the presence of corona and massively hurt its ego!.

Then came the Election mela, Kumbh mela and much other melas, where precaution had given back seats and ego had occupied the driver seats. We became allergic to lockdowns and masks. Covid tests became rituals as convenience factor got priority. Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Opposition leaders, all their allies and faithful followers went on to the streets, conducted mammoth rallies and greeted each other and happily passed on the batons blessed with infections. States like Goa had opened its beautiful beaches to lure the tourists just to make them sick and celebrated apostles of Corona war had turned themselves into ambassadors of Covid by walking down to the polling booth, with Covid, accompanied by spouse, in celebrated manner!.

Cases spiralled up, vaccines became scarce, oxygen level reduced, beds got filled, doctors and nurses got tired and panic barometer meter had aroused again to its highs as we miserably failed to plan for the much predictable second wave. Curfews and containment zones were reintroduced, travel got restricted and common man again started tasting the mud. Yes, we are now back to square one. We have not learned anything from our experience and failed to plan in farsighted manner. We gave importance to diplomacy than to our duties and we sacrificed our dignity to satisfy their egos. Those who learn from own mistakes are called wisemen, those who are learning from others mistakes are called intelligent and those who are not even learning from others mistakes are called “fools”. Are we simply fools?

Bijoy P Pulipra

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