COVID-19: What forgetting social responsibilities cost

Reckless behavior can be fatal

Nitish Lal Shrestha

August 18, 2020

10 MIN READ

COVID-19: What forgetting social responsibilities cost
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 0
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

KATHMANDU: The increase of COVID-19 of late has triggered a large-scale mission of responsibility, and people have been called upon to act responsibly in a bid to slow down the spread of coronavirus as well as minimizing the damaging effects of the pandemic.

As responsible citizens, they have been urged not to panic, but also not be stupid! Meaning: To continue the old ways is, in a way, to endanger ourselves and others who are vulnerable.

While a significant number of people did follow the advice and stayed at home, people, who did not or disrespect the lockdown or the instruction, were tend to cause alarm.

This, certainly, has raised eyebrows as people’s reckless behavior has witnessed has drawn much ire.

A question arises: Why are some people dodging their responsibility in such a difficult time? And not following the instincts will put the family, friends, and society at risk.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us realize something that most of us had never imagined in our lifetimes — chaos, crisis and fear in the society.

Meanwhile, one of the most essential precautions ‘social distancing’ has been maintained only in a few places. “Even in places marked for social distancing, only 31.25 percent were found to have maintained physical distance. Similarly, soap, water and sanitizer were not available in 40 percent places,” Dr. Gyawali said.

Each day the cases are spiking all around the globe and so are its socio-economic impacts on people and their daily lives.

Nepal is no exception in the impact as the cases are increasing rapidly assaulting the society and the economy severely.

In tune with most of the countries of the world, the Nepal government enforced a nation-wide lockdown from March 24, 2020, till June 14, 2020, to combat COVID-19 after a 19-year-old girl tested positive for the coronavirus on March 23, 2020, for the first time in Nepal.

The lockdown was accepted, appreciated and followed properly by the people as the fear among people was very high during the said time.

Despite the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government, the number of cases of COVID-19 accelerated from 2 to 5,760 whereas after the end of the prolonged lockdown i.e. from June 15th till Sunday, the total cases of COVID-19 have hiked to 26,660.

It should be noted that the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted during the period of lockdown were approximately 5,000 whereas the number of tests has significantly increased to approximately 10,000 at present.

Who is to be blamed for the rapid transmission of COVID-19? 

The blame for the increase in COVID-19 cases during the lockdown goes to the government as the government failed to manage Nepali citizens stranded in the Nepal-India border.

Alongside this, the number of PCR tests conducted by the government was unsatisfactory; unfortunately, the situation now is no different.

Even though the government has been sealing places severely hit by COVID-19, it has not been accepted and followed by the locals nor do the authorities seem to be serious about its implementation.

However, along with the government, we general public are equally responsible for the spread of this virus.

The fear of transmission among the general public seems to have declined. Although people have been neglecting the safety measures to abide by, everyone blames the government for every wrong thing happening around the country but we often tend to forget what we can do to control and reduce such situations.

The same is happening right now in the case of COVID-19. Let us glance at reality-based research conducted by the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC).

A research report of the NHRC shows that public health standards and protocols are not effectively followed in the Kathmandu Valley.

For the research, a team of 39 health workers observed 4,502 people in the vegetable markets, banks and financial institutions, land revenue offices, public transport offices, temples and other public places for two days.

As soon as the lockdown ends the ratio of the spread of the virus will take a rise again. Apart from it, the lockdown results in the downfall of the economy of a country.

The research found that only 72.1 percent wore masks while 27.9 percent were seen without masks. Among those wearing masks, 15.8 percent wore cloth masks.

Interestingly enough, out of the 2,703 people wearing masks, only 72.66 percent wore masks properly. General Secretary at NHRC, Dr Pradip Gyawali said that the number of people wearing masks under the nose or chin, hanging the mask around the neck, hanging it on the hands or pressing the hard part of the mask in the shape of the nose was noticed to be in 27.34% cases.

Meanwhile, one of the most essential precautions ‘social distancing’ has been maintained only in a few places. “Even in places marked for social distancing, only 31.25 percent were found to have maintained physical distance. Similarly, soap, water and sanitizer were not available in 40 percent places,” Dr. Gyawali said.

Similarly, according to Gyawali, among the total 30 public vehicles, less than 50 percent were found to have complied with the protocol of seating arrangements.

The research finding shows how some of us still take the COVID-19 pandemic so lightly. We should not forget that over 6 million people around the globe are currently fighting with COVID-19 where over 700 thousand people have lost their life due to this pandemic.

Public trust and support to the official decisions of the government are equally important to fight against this virus. Major health protocols should be mandatorily followed by every citizen unlike in the past days.

The chains of transmission are created by the same people who are not cautious regarding the spread of COVID-19 and ignore taking precautions in the first hand.

Following all the precautions i.e. social distancing, washing hands frequently, putting on masks and lessening the crowd are very simple, yet people find it a burden which has actually resulted in the rapid transmission of COVID-19.

What can be done?

Few people take complete lockdown as the only solution whereas others do not. Them what is the ultimate solution?

The answer here is quite simple. Lockdown is one of the solutions to control the spread of COVID-19 but not the only solution. I repeat NOT.

Imposing a complete lockdown will definitely decrease the spread of COVID-19, however, just during the time of lockdown.

As soon as the lockdown ends the ratio of the spread of the virus will take a rise again. Apart from it, the lockdown results in the downfall of the economy of a country.

First and foremost, in order to effectively control the spread, the government requires emphasizing a strong action plan.

Secondly, the authorities must stand with the said plan and effectively implement it. Likewise, a sufficient amount of PCR tests and contact tracing should be the top priority of the government in order to trace and treat the patients.

Cooperation and coordination among government and public are crucial during such a time of the pandemic. Defeating COVID-19 from the country is challenging but not impossible.

Even the essence of proper management and allocation of hospitals treating the patients of COVID-19 can be sensed. The government has to collaborate with the private sector and utilize private health services for the effective treatment of the patients.

Likewise, although the cases here have not been critical, a sufficient amount of ventilators must be backed up by the government for potential future needs.

Similarly, public trust and support to the official decisions of the government are equally important to fight against this virus. Major health protocols should be mandatorily followed by every citizen unlike in the past days.

COVID-19 cannot be defeated with the sole effort of the government alone. We, the general public must work hand in hand with the government, follow decisions made by the government strictly, and most importantly be responsible.

Cooperation and coordination among government and public are crucial during such a time of the pandemic. Defeating COVID-19 from the country is challenging but not impossible.

If we all get together fighting for one same cause, the COVID-19 can surely be defeated. Hence, let us all not forget our social responsibilities, stay positive, and remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Just In