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The new variant strain of corona virus was first reported from south of England. Soon it was seen in many other parts of the world. Prior to this, a second wave of COVID was already predicted and was in progress. Together, the two factors have increased the severity and spread of COVID. US, UK and parts of Europe are seriously hit. News from several other countries is also not looking good.
Pakistan is also seeing a surge in COVID cases. The public reaction is, however, that of unconcern generally.
This is the season for weddings and everyday hundreds of marriages are being consummated. On an average, most Pakistani wedding related functions are spread over 4-7 days. Each function has a gathering, but the two main functions may involve 200 – 500 guests. The weddings have become more and more elaborate rather than being simple. COVID has not at all dampened the spirits of families and guests arranging and attending weddings.
Winter is also considered as season for eating, overeating and eating out. As we go out, we see most restaurants with fully occupied seats set outside under canopies and if needed heaters. The social activity is in full swing with social distancing totally forgotten.
Tourist places are fully busy and buzzing with families, adults and children. Hill stations are a particular attraction due to snowfall. Hotels at these places are very busy.
Masks are usually worn half-heartedly and are removed on the slightest pretext. Women refuse to wear masks at weddings and parties and other such functions. Their argument is simple; mask is not compatible with make-up. Argument sustained. Men don’t want to wear masks because they want to look good and recognizable in the presence of women.
Pakistan appears to among those countries who do not care two hoots about COVID, although COVID is real.
Few people whom I know closely had had episodes of COVID in recent times. The effects like breathing issues, weakness and easy fatigue are real and fairly long lasting. Those who got COVID suffered substantially. Personally, I am still safe by Allah’s Grand Grace. This certainly does not mean that those who got COVID had any less Grand Grace of Allah. It is only a matter of time I reckon.
It is time we get more serious about COVID. That we take necessary precautions, that we control as much as may be required, that we do not fall into the trap of once-in-a-life-time-event story and make functions limited and safe, that we cancel all such gatherings which could be done, that we stop whatever needs to be stopped.
Staying home for fourteen day is a tall order. For a daily wager, it is killing. For an executive working in an office, it is half a month of work loss. For a small businessman, it is ruining the business. For the exporter, it is loss of precious foreign income. For the importer, it is escalation in cost. Everyone loses in COVID, with the exception of medical laboratories. The more known, recognized and preferred labs have raked up billions (yes, not millions). They are already flushed with cash and their fortune continues.
Let us give our best and do what is necessary to do for stopping the spread of second wave and second variant of COVID and corona virus respectively.