karo yaa karo naa

no, it’s not a kjo movie. to do or not to do. a hindi take on the legendary dilemma from the bard of avon’s famous tragedy seemed an apt opening for a personal rant on Our pandemic and how we handled it.

i write as we see the surge of an ambitious new virus recede, having taken in its wake those it claimed as it’s own. the once ubiquitous visual of the spiky evil virus has morphed, as delta turned into omicron: the spikes aren’t as sharp, the little sphere seems chubbier, with larger eyes, venomous no longer. the white squares and circles in shop fronts, and queues and atm cabins have all but disappeared. left behind is a mass of people who were happy doing things for the sake of doing them, running around like headless chicken. i doubt if we truly altered the course of this viral pandemic with all our fulminations. gratuitous is the word that comes to mind

what did i learn? the ‘karo’s first. social distancing is the only measure to slow down spread. appropriate (N95) masking when interacting closely with others helped. vaccinations helped to bring down deaths and severe illness, but did not prevent infection. vit d probably helped too, antibody cocktails did, steroids in certain cases too. that’s about it.

and the ‘karo naa’s… sanitisers was the stupidest thing ever; fires in icus shot up because of sanitiser overuse, caused burn injuries in a number of people, ironically killed some who were fighting the virus, some people drank sanitiser intentionally or unintentionally and suffered. and all this for an infection which was largely airborne. hot water gargles was another exercise in futility, just caused a 5 fold rise in burns in children. antibody rich plasma turned out to be superfluous, as did drugs like chloroquine, ivermectin, favipiravir, tocilizumab, even remdesivir. overzealous use of steroids caused a raging increase in mucormycosis, a very recalcitrant fungal infection in which people lost chunks of their faces, and in some cases, their lives. the sole benefit of cloth masks was to make a lot of us look less ugly and more beguiling, besides, of course, providing employment opportunities to the people making them.  

are we going to learn and improve from our experiences? sure, we will. but we won’t stop being a bunch of inefficient beings, who, by default, will react emotionally, but still make it. rather like ants mindlessly dragging a large crumb, each tugging in a divergent direction, supremely convinced of its own exactitude, yet all together managing to reach their nest. more ranting in part 2…

read the part 2 of blog here