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COVID-19: A personal encounter

Nandkumar M Kamat I have been teaching virology for the past 27 years. So from December 2019, I had been monitoring the new outbreak in China. In December, when this new SARS like coronavirus emerged, I told the students that it was different from other coronaviruses. Earlier in the same class we had discussed Ebola outbreak in Africa. On January …

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When the other virus attacks

Karan Thapar They say a crisis can bring out the best in us. Alas, it can also do the opposite. I can think of a couple of areas where, sadly, that’s proven true. If things get better – and I hope they will – we’ll soon forget how horrid we can be. But, today, that’s precisely what I want to …

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The compassion factor

MANEKA SANJAY GANDHI Savitri Devi, born Maximiani Portas in 1905 of Greek-English parents, wrote a very thought provoking and profound book called ‘Impeachment of Man’ in 1945 on different religions and their “compassion factor”. She spent 30 years in India undertaking a systematic study of the world’s great religions. She spoke seven languages and supported herself by teaching and translation …

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Virus and the village

From poverty to poor health care, from mass reverse migration to fake news, rural areas are facing multiple crises at once as the infection spreads across the country Snigdha Poonam Most people aren’t leaving their homes in Abu Sayeed Ahmed’s Khairabari village in Assam’s Barpeta district. “They are following the official guidelines – washing their hands, sanitising their homes, sewing …

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Visually impaired fear days after lockdown

For a section of citizens, social distancing and physical distancing has come as a curse. These people depend a lot on others when they are out of the streets Joydeep Thakur Rahul Gambhir, a 31-year-old banker from Mumbai, is worried about the day when the COVID-19 lockdown will be lifted and he will have to join office again. His office …

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We the people of Komkan

TENSING RODRIGUES Perhaps it is time now to recapitulate all that we have learned about the answer to the question: Who are we? We still do not have a definite answer; perhaps we shall never have. Not at least till we have genotyped the large variations in the people of Komkan. But through our long search for our roots, we …

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How politics will change post the pandemic

CHANAKYA Political parties are formed when a group of people with common interests and common ideological beliefs come together. They seek to expand by reaching out to other citizens, by articulating these beliefs and bringing them under a common umbrella. This is mostly done through door-to-door campaigning; through events which see the participation of a large number of people; through …

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One nation, one ration card

The Supreme Court (SC) asked the Union government to examine the feasibility of implementing the “one nation one ration card” (ONORC) scheme during the national lockdown. The scheme, which allows beneficiaries to access food grains that they are entitled to under the National Food Security Act, 2013, from any fair-price shop in the country, was announced last June. The SC’s …

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Stray animals and the inhumane

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi When people were restricted to their homes on March 24, I thought that it would be an opportunity for everyone to discover the best of themselves : they would read books, cultivate pot plants, play cards with the family, laugh a lot, breathe the better air, play with their children and animals, feed the homeless (animals and …

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In dealing with COVID-19, the crisis of leadership

SHASHI SHEKHAR We are in the midst of a calamity that the world has rarely seen before. Given the helplessness of ordinary people in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we can only ask if those in authority are doing enough to deal with the crisis, and if they are capable of dealing with it. Disasters such as the coronavirus …

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