Rohan Khaunte 03rd Sep 2021
The world has been cooped up for too long to be comfortable anymore and yet there is no comforting letdown in the pandemic status. The benefits of Lockdowns are being questioned the world over on the very plausible premise that Government can only formulate lockdowns, it is for the citizens to ensure its inviolability and success rate. Since public responsibility has become contestable in view of the economic constraints, it is perhaps time for us to think of Unlocking sensibly.
Governments should start considering local parameters for inducing unlocks with increased awareness amongst the public. There is need for inculcating a law enforced mechanism for COVID appropriate behaviour in public places. Masking & Social Distancing should become a part of our public etiquette by law and by virtue.
While every unlocking phase is followed by a surge in virulence, it is time we attributed the increase in cases to the decrease in vigilant following of COVID protocols in the unlocked scenario. Each citizen needs to understand that a successful unlock is directly dependent upon his/her continuous practice of Masking, Sanitisation and Social Distancing. On the other hand, Governments need to prioritise to bring maximum population under vaccination coverage.
Arguments that the benefits of locking down fail to justify the physical, psychological and economic impacts of lockdown need to be taken seriously by Governments. It is time to devise alternative strategies to curtail the pandemic. Citizens on the other hand should take responsibility for the failure or reduction in benefits of lockdowns because it is our reluctance to stringently follow COVID protocols that is contributing to failure of lockdowns.
The clamour for lockdowns during a surge in COVID cases is not totally unfound because only Governments can enforce such emergency restrictions. We need to appreciate the fact that lockdowns have been effective but it’s the combined failure of complacent Government machinery and citizenry’s failed responsibility during unlocking periods that leads to the need of repeated lockdowns.
Governments seem to be shrinking off from their commitment to provide a normal life to the citizens and find political comfort in merely extending lockdowns without ensuring the stringent implementation of lockdown restrictions. In Goa, it is pitiful to see that with every extension of lockdown period, the enforcement of COVID protocols become lax or even nonexistent at times.
Such complacency on part of our Governments will naturally enthuse our citizens to assume a sense of false bravado in the pandemic and thus increase the tendency to violate COVID norms.
Neither Governments nor the citizens should try to find false comfort in the current limbo because the world as we know cannot progress without movement. Hence, the onus is just as much on the citizens as it is on Government to sensibly unlock our lives.