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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Ostracisation In Times Of COVID

THERE has been fear psychosis as regards the COVID-19 pandemic. If a COVID patient dies then all hell breaks loose on the family of the departed person. Can anybody envisage the psychological pain which the family goes through? There are consternations as to how the mortal remains of the COVID patient would be disposed of! Unlike in the case of other deaths, no neighbours, friends, colleagues or relatives can visit the family for offering condolences. Rather the grief-stricken family has to practically imprison itself within the walls of the house for two weeks, waiting with bated breath whether the dreaded virus has also infected them or not! The psychological devastation of the family caused by the inability to have the last glimpse is unimaginable. By shedding all norms of sensitivity and decency, the people get alarmed about their own safety in most glaring fashion possible. The family is ostracised and shunned. There has been ostracisation of a certain community as COVID cases emerged after a religious event was held in New Delhi. COVID patients, doctors, caregivers – and even vegetable vendors – are shunned as they are looked upon as virus carriers. But the ostracisation of the family members of a person who has died of the virus is unacceptable. Do they know that in these times of ‘unlocked’ India when the virus is exposing its deadliest fangs, any day any time anybody can be a highly vulnerable person? 

KAJAL CHATTERJEE, KOLKATA

On Airborne Spread Of Coronavirus 

IN a letter addressed to the World Health Organisation, 239 scientists from 32 nations have   warned that coronovirus is airborne. This is contrary to the current belief that the virus is not airborne and hence wearing a mask is relatively safe. An expert doctor explained on a TV channel that when we cough or sneeze, the aerosols containing the virus and other matter, are relatively larger and heavier and hence fall to the ground. However, when we talk or shout, the aerosols are smaller and lighter and are suspended in the air for a longer time. Hence it is always advisable to wear a mask when outdoors even in a relatively safe environment.

ROBERT CASTELLINO, MUMBAI

Goa Loses Gentleman Politician

IN the death of former health minister Dr Suresh Amonkar Goa has lost a gentleman politician. I will miss a dear friend of many decades. I recollect I first met Dr Amonkar in 1979 during the agitation for 50 per cent bus concession for students. He always was a very caring doctor; and even as a politician Dr  Amonkar led a very simple, modest and humble life. He belonged to a genre of politicians who cannot survive in today’s grubby political turf. A few of Dr Amonkar’s tribe of politicians are still around, and will be remembered for the good they have done for Goa. He was very modest and outspoken with an extremely  secular outlook; over the last few years Dr Amonkar had severed all ties with the BJP. May the soul of Dr Amonkar rest in eternal peace.

AIRES RODRIGUES, RIBANDAR

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