Lockdown: 5 The Covidiots
Lockdown: 5 The Covidiots
None of us relish the present state of our lives, but it is also true that as common people we can do little to contain the virus, as we are neither doctors or nurses or virologists or even social workers. What we can however do, and this is very important, is not to be a Covidiot.
The virus pandemic has given us new terms hitherto not in our lexicon. Lockdown is one. We rarely used the word before coronavirus, but today it is on everyone’s lips. Another phrase that has captured our imaginations is “ social distancing”. While we were aware of “WiFi hotspots” we now know what a virus “hotspot” is.
The most important word that the epidemic has given birth to is “Covidiot”, used to denote a person who recklessly breaks the rules laid down to contain the virus.
A Covidiot is not an illiterate person. He reads papers, watches TV news, and keeps track of the virus death toll. Yet, he feels that the virus is after all a kind of flu, like cough and cold and he is not afraid because he can never die of flu. The Covidiot can be found globally and we have seen even the mighty presidents of the USA and Brazil being affected by it.
I said that under the present conditions we, the common people, have a responsibility that is very significant and we have the power to defy and defeat the deadly virus. All this can be done by not being a Covidiot.
I came across an interesting story of a Covidiot. This lady, a married woman with children at home, kept arguing with her husband that the government of India was overreacting and that the virus was not deadly as it was being made to be.
This smart lady chose in her wisdom to defy the lockdown and explore the streets on her own. She wanted to see how the city looked when there was no one on the streets. She would make up some reason to venture out; either buying some vegetables, bread, or provisions, all of which she could have done in one visit a week or weeks. She insisted upon her frustrated husband that she needed to go out and inhale fresh air every day.
Her husband and her children cautioned her, pleaded with her, and asked her not to venture out, but she would not listen. The worried husband wanted badly to put some sense in her but found her intractable. She would refuse to even wear a mask or wash her hands.
The husband and the children discussed the matter and concluded that their mother was a grave threat, not only to the family but also to the complex where they lived. If she were to get infected, the whole society would be locked down and declared a “hotspot”. With all their efforts to restrain the lady failing, the husband felt he had no option but to report the matter to the police. He lodged an FIR against his wife claiming that she was a Covidiot who was a danger to the family and the country.
That evening, there was a knock on their door. The lady opened the door only to see two policemen glaring at her. They confirmed her name and address and told her that she would have to come with them to the police station as she had violated the law. She could be fined and put in jail, they said. When she found that it was her husband who had filed the complaint, she was shattered. How could he do this to her? All she had wanted was to have some harmless fun.
It is not important to know what happened to her. What is important is to realize that it is not a punishment imposed by the government to be locked in our houses. This is the only way to save us from the pandemic which, a century ago, had wiped out almost 5% of the world’s population! If only the lady had thought about the “COVID Warriors” who are out there, exposing their lives to great risk, yet working tirelessly to save lives, she would not have been a Covidiot.
Another interesting story about the innovative methods being used by the police in some places caught my attention. In Jaipur, it seems that one smart cop decided that Bollywood songs are a good way to explain the COVID threat to common citizens. It appears that he would go around in his jeep with a megaphone and sing this song:
Mat udiyo, tu dariyo, na kar manmani.
Ghar mein hi rahiyo, na kar nadani.”
A new version of this popular song has been recently released and it is believed that hearing the version is torturous to the ears and brain. The cop threatened Covidiots that they would be forced to listen to the new version of the song, headphones plugged, with the song playing in a loop for hours till they would cry to stop the music!
Stay home. Abide by the laws. Don’t be a Covidiot.