Virus Affects All

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Need for the rich and poor alike to take strictest possible precautions

THE coronavirus pandemic has proved to be a scourge to all nations and not left any section of the society untouched. Among its victims are royals, politicians, businessmen, celebrities from the entertainment world, sportsmen, doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers, government employees, factory and farm workers and municipal workers. Nearly 1.80 crore people have contracted the disease across the globe and 6.90 lakh have died. More than 1 crore people around the world have defeated the virus, indicating that proper management of the virus can help people recover from the disease. Even as the world continues to grapple with the spread of the virus, more than 160 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being developed in different countries. Nations have not been able to contain the virus even though nine months have elapsed since the virus first surfaced in China and spread across the globe. The world is eagerly waiting for an antidote against the virus.

Among the famous and influential persons who have been affected by coronavirus are Prince Charles of the UK, Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian President and Jeanine Andez, the President of Bolivia. The Indian leaders who have contracted the virus are Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain (who has since recovered) and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram. Top Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities Tom Hanks and his actress wife, Rita Wilson, Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, have also been affected by the virus. Spanish princess Maria Teresa was the first royal to have died of coronavirus. Uttar Pradesh Technical Education Minister Kamal Rani Varun also died of coronavirus. The pandemic has also claimed the lives of top celebrities like Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award-winning playwright, Chef Floyd Cardoz and composer Wajid Khan, among others. It is evident that the virus does not distinguish between nations, classes and genders.

That virus has also afflicted the high and mighty is an indication that no one can escape its wrath if proper precautions are not taken. That men and women from top classes have been affected by the virus is proof of the fact that the precautionary measures were compromised by them at one point or the other during the conduct of their official or private business. It was first said that people who had travelled abroad had spread the virus, which meant that it came first to the better-off sections, who passed it on the lower sections. However, the cases of infection among people in high places suggest that they might have contracted the disease from persons who might be asymptomatic. In view of the gravity of the virus a shield was thrown around the royals, politicians and other members of the elite, but despite all the preventive measures the virus managed to sneak through the shield and affect many of them.

It is surprising to note that some of the top politicians who have been affected by the virus have chosen to get themselves treated at private hospitals. That is bound to make common people wonder whether the treatment at the government hospitals where patients from other sections of society are treated was inferior. These politicians should have led by example and got themselves admitted to government hospitals to prove that they too have faith in public healthcare infrastructure and doctors and nurses.

In view of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases it is necessary that all sections of society in India and the rest of the world should strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and the health authorities to protect themselves from contracting the virus. With unlocking, care should not be thrown to the winds. That a large number of people have been able to defeat the virus is an indication that if proper care is taken patients could survive the onslaught of the virus. However, as the possibility of passing on the virus to others – especially to those with comorbid conditions for whom it might prove fatal – is high, both the rich and the poor must take strict precautions to avoid infection.