LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (23/11/2020)

0
24

Face Shield With Mask Needed

The partial reopening of schools on Saturday after nearly six months due to the pandemic, evoked a mixed response from students of Classes X and XII. Classes resumed with schools following the SOPs wherein, temperature of every student, teacher and other staff was checked. Wearing of the mask was mandatory and proper distancing of six feet among students was maintained. However it must be said that wearing the mask continuously for long hours can have an adverse effect on one’s health. While wearing the mask continuously the person tends to inhale the same impure air that is exhaled. This can deprive the body and especially the brain of the much needed oxygen. Reduced oxygen supply to the brain for a long period of time could mean that the brain becomes less receptive and alert which reduces the grasping capacity of the student. A better option for the student would be to wear a face shield while in school. The face shield will allow the students to breathe normally and thus the brain will get the normal supply of oxygen. To protect against the virus and at the same time breathe in normally, probably the best option would be to wear a face shield along with the face mask which covers only the mouth leaving the nose open for breathing.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

Coal Detrimental To Health

I was taken aback on Saturday when I read that Goa’s Director General of Police, Mukesh Kumar Meena had stated that the Railway double tracking and National Highway expansion are projects of national interest and that back in his State people support such endeavours. And typical of the style of police force, he warned demonstrators against these projects. Firstly, the DGP is fully aware of the controversy in these projects not alone because coal is detrimental to people’s health but also because these projects will destroy thousands of trees, and partly our forests and the wildlife sanctuary. Secondly, he exceeds his brief when he comments on these, as this issue is none of his business. He should look into issues prejudicial to Goa, which is within his jurisdiction like drugs, prostitution, mismanagement of traffic etc. He ought to direct his subordinates to fine people moving without masks everywhere and even in Panaji and violating social distance norms near casinos and the parking problems in that area. Is the DGP so insensitive that he doesn’t realise that people are genuinely concerned about Goa being used as a corridor for coal by road, rail and water damaging our beaches, disturbing our villages and affecting the health of our people and that too with no benefit to Goa? While he says he doesn’t wish to comment, he still does adding that the Govt studies all these projects and goes ahead only if everything is in order. Does the DGP ignore that railway authorities have been unable to show proper papers in Sao Jose de Areal and will meet with panchayat authorities? Mr DGP, Goa is the most literate State after Kerala and Goans know too well what is good and what is not for them and do not need unsolicited advices from people who are unable to understand what are people’s woes and concerns.

JOSE MARIA MIRANDA, PANAJI

India’s Increasing Tensions With COVID-19

Beset by problems, India is passing through difficult times! The news about the nation’s COVID-19 caseload breaching the 90-lakh mark amid looming threats of a ‘second wave’ of infections sweeping the country is as dismaying as the bad air quality and pollution in the national capital which has become a serious cause of concern. China and India are facing increasing tensions along their Himalayan border. As Beijing makes territorial ingress near Doklam, Sino-Indian relations are at its ebb. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Indian economy is in complete shambles. Besides insurgencies on its soil which have been posing major security threats to the nation, frequent incursions and daring attacks by terrorists from across the border continue unabated. Yet, amidst all these tensions, it comes as a big surprise that perceived threats to the existence of Hindu dharma from the minority communities have compelled five of the states ruled by the BJP to pass a law based on a Hindutva conspiracy theory aimed at preventing inter-faith marriage. Without dwelling much on the politics that has gone into the envisaging of such laws, it can only be said that unity is the only mantra that can bring people of various communities together to understand the enormity of the impossible situation that we are in today and forge a kinship that will help the country surmount the hardships. By playing the communal card, aren’t these state governments ensuring that the apparent camaraderie existing between various communities is being upset! If one is to go by BJP’s Goa desk in-charge and party’s national general secretary C T Ravi’s announcement that a ban on ‘love jihad’ and cattle slaughter would soon be a reality in Karnataka, then Goa’s supply of beef is likely to be affected in the near future as most supplies of beef to Goa come from Belagavi and North Karnataka region. Such laws will always have their own repercussions. The country has much more to worry about maintaining communal harmony in the region.

PACHU MENON, MARGAO