Snap out of denial mode

Haryana is going through a dismal phase as coronavirus ravages the state, penetrating into the hinterland. It is now among the top states that account for the highest Covid-19 fatalities and active cases in the country. Sadly, despite people dropping dead like flies in almost every neighbourhood, many rural folk are yet to wake up to the reality of the havoc the contagion is wreaking. The war-like efforts on to combat the disease stand negated if the villagers remain in denial. The village elders need to impress upon their folks the importance of following the scientific way — Covid-appropriate protocol — to rein in the pandemic. Seeking prompt medical aid in case of symptoms is essential to saving lives.

It is unfortunate that numerous villages, and even towns, in the state are, instead, putting their faith in havan to ward off the virus and cleanse the air. It holds little water and would boomerang with a super-spread of the disease, much like the Kumbh Mela mahants’ belief that the pathogen would be washed down the Ganga.

The Tribune has highlighted the sorry plight of Mahendragarh and Rohtak villages. This mulish attitude, steeped in irrationality, is also perhaps the main contributor to Haryana’s other bleak statistic: the state has reported the highest wastage of Covid vaccine.

However, giving hope in this gloomy scenario is Barwa village of Bhiwani that stands out as an oasis. Its exemplary response to the Covid outbreak has put paid to the justification of people having had to resort to havan in view of the acute shortage of healthcare facilities. Jolted by death and disease, and with little help coming by from the authorities, Barwa villagers recently formed a ‘Corona Sahayata Samiti’ to assist those down with Covid symptoms. It enlisted four medical practitioners to monitor the ill patients. Though a modest effort, it does bring about awareness. It also sets the ball rolling for the requisite paraphernalia, including moving the authorities to provide aid to the needy and send vaccines. Such self-help groups at the village level can shape an effective and coordinated way of dealing with the dire situation.

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