PACHU MENON, MARGAO
It is said that people with premonitions of an impending threat tend to behave irrationally. But as is evident in Goa, it is an acute awareness about the ravaging effects of the marauding coronavirus, which has brought the public back to its senses. Seen merely as the government’s formal response to the echoing demands for a shutdown in the wake of the spiralling rate of infections witnessed in the state, the weekend essay has, however, veered off course and manifested itself in a ‘phenomenon’ never before experienced. As a severe course of action, the imposition of any sort of lockdown was inviting opposition from various sectors for the harm it would cause them economically and otherwise. Besides, it was as if people were yet to get over the euphoria of the newfound freedom after the harshness of the first lockdown had severely restricted their fondness for ‘social interactions’. The second wave of COVID is certainly to be ascribed to this slovenly habit of the people for whom, so far, a mood for enjoyment and personal entertainment has preceded any consideration for their safety in the face of the virus scare. Amidst the relentless efforts to save the lives and livelihoods of its people, the government has been taking one faulty decision after the other which has led to this overawing situation. Very clearly, the COVID second wave is a result of negligence. But who exactly is to be blamed! At one stage it was the government, which stood out as the villain of the piece and was accused of watching on helplessly as the situation turned from one which could be controlled to an irremediable one in the state. But how gracious enough have the people been in admitting that their irrepressible manners have been equally responsible for the state being pushed to the brink of yet another catastrophe! Amid a scenario where the scarcity of hospital beds, vaccines, medicines and lifesaving oxygen has compounded the woes for an overburdened healthcare system, it is now for the public to strengthen the hands of the government by willing to stay home and avoid the risk of infection.