Tackling the pandemic - GulfToday

Tackling the pandemic


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

After the coronavirus struck Pakistan, we observed a shift in the behaviour of the society, moving from patterns of individualised frenzy to a more collective one. Typically, one traverses the double roads to the sector centres to find that even the miserly are fully equipped with the proper health cautions, and an inflow of only concerned adults stockpiling their carts with necessary rations – a display of community caution.

At surface level, the pandemic is being regulated with myriad masks and gloves dancing around like fireflies in the vast night sky of the city’s empty roads. But the sight comprehends even if the mind doesn’t, and you begin to observe that nothing has changed, the priorities remain the same.

Despite passing the 30,000 landmark in the number of cases, beggars continue to disregard the six feet rule and capitalise on the situation. The young population, coining themselves as ‘desi millennials’, are exercising a normal routine and roaming the city as could be carriers, oblivious to the damage they may cause on their cycling trips to Faisal Mosque.

Alas, the shopkeepers are stakeholders that cannot be blamed. These people are merely floating above the poverty line, and now for the first time, thousands or perhaps millions of this tier of society will plummet into poverty as business will remain stagnant in the coming month. Perhaps then the embedded human characteristic, the collective consciousness or hive mind behaviour, as some like to call it, will start to develop. In that scenario we expect to see rations trickle down from the upper class, who will begin to take responsibility, to those who cannot. The six feet rule being increasingly practised, possibly people will start taking precautions to protect others. And the Quaid’s banner of unity becomes relevant once again. For when calamity strikes, people become one.

Raamiz Khan Niazi — Islamabad

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