BREAKING NEWS INTO PIECES
All this Corona getting too much. Hand it over to the RWA
A high viral load of coronavirus kills. The corona information overload is debilitating to our sanity. To complicate things, some of that information is viral.
- Total Shares
Shastron mein likha hai par maine WhatsApp par padha
~ Inspector Hathi Ram Chaudhary, Outer Jamna Paar Police Station, Delhi - Pataal Lok
A high viral load of coronavirus kills. The corona information overload is debilitating to our sanity. To complicate things, some of that information is viral. Corona, corona, corona, you can’t escape the virus no matter where you are, which has mostly been home. Most stories that you come across, like this piece, is about coronavirus. TV news is full of corona, the debates corona and entertainment TV is soggy serial repeats worse than corona. Don’t you wish we could talk about things other than corona? Well, if you do, then shame on you, you tone-deaf whatever, ok boomer. People are dying and you want to talk about Pink Floyd? You can’t talk about George Floyd either because he died in Minnesota while people are dying here. Get your head out of the US and see what is happening around you for god's sake!
It’s a classic Catch-22. That’s where the government comes in. It wants you to not panic about the disease because if you keep thinking about something, the universe might conspire to deliver it to you. Don’t remember whether that line is from the book Secret or a Shah Rukh Khan film but you get the point. You have to divert your mind, deflect your attention to things other than corona. You got to shut out the world and embrace tone-deafness. Just keep corona out of our conversations.
Corona, corona, corona, you can’t escape the virus no matter where you are, which has mostly been home. (Photo: Reuters)
WATCH YOUR EXTINCTION
So, the Prime Minister addressed the Confederation of Indian Industries or CII on how to get our growth back. There is no I in We but there are two in CII, why they love attention, especially from where it matters. The CII people were actually very enthusiastic about getting their growth back if the government announced more moratoriums and cheap liquidity to lubricate industry-politics intercourse. Because we cannot let the economy die when people are dying. This is the one true extinction period we are witnessing. We are lucky to see the extinction with our own eyes. This is not one asteroid hit and jhatka boom, all the dinosaurs are gone. Instead, this is halal. As the slow culling progresses, sitting on top of the food chain, the new dinosaurs, us, have ample time to discuss ways to trigger demand that will trigger supply. That’s the beauty of our species. We can discuss anything that’s not staring in our face with DISCUSS ME pasted on its face.
PAASHBAALISH FOR KOLKATA
We discuss trust issues. Like what the temple trust found at the temple site underneath the makeshift temple made after demolishing a mosque built after demolishing a temple. We can go back centuries Before Corona but let's come back to After Corona. The government also announced the renaming of the Kolkata Port Trust. It will now be known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust. I am all for renaming roads and buildings and some port in Bengal getting a famous Bengali surname is only fitting. Some naysayers are questioning the timing because, let us be honest, even Dr Mookerjee wouldn’t really want any time and energy spent on repainting signboards when hospitals are in disarray and need immediate attention. Since Mamata Banerjee has advised people to make coronavirus our sleeping partner and use it as a paashbaalish (a cylindrical pillow to rest your limbs on), we obviously don’t need hospitals. We need old port trusts from the Calcutta era and give it a Bengali name a la Kolkata to make it feel at home like bongs do at Chittaranjan Park in Delhi.
DELHI HAS BEDS...
Delhi has enough beds, according to the government, in case this coronavirus became a crisis, which it will not be allowed to become if the number of cases is kept low. The scientific way to do that is to not test asymptomatic cases. Roughly, 80 per cent of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. Only 20 per cent are symptomatic and requiring immediate hospitalisation and this could overwhelm the healthcare facilities. To stop that from happening and keep beds empty for an emergency situation, the government has issued guidelines and put up red tape to prevent the beds from occupation. A Delhi woman live-tweeted her dad's arrival outside a designated corona hospital and his death outside the hospital. This way, Delhi will continue to have enough hospital beds.
The Delhi government also opened salons so that people could get a haircut after two months of a lockdown. The state cannot support so many people sitting and doing nothing. The constitution guarantees equality to all citizens. You got to earn your living like the migrants who get MGNREGA back in their villages. So far, so good. When all you hear is morbidity and comorbidity, why would you want to risk a visit to the salon? To have a Hrithik cut when you are being tubed in a corona ward? Now we hear restaurants will open so that people can have Chinese as authentic as served in Wuhan and play Russian roulette. When we had fewer cases, we observed a decent lockdown and now that we are in Stage 3, we want to open up to take the spotlight away from corona. Of course, social distancing guidelines will be followed in a country that has an endemic enmity to guidelines. We drive over the guidelines on the road even if the road is empty. Read any sign that says No Spitting if you can because it has been painted over in paan spit, the peak of guideline-following gents.
ALSO, PLAN B
If the government’s plans to distract us fails, we have our own Plan B. Plan Bullcrap. This involves vomiting the venom we accumulate in our hearts from social media on social media. We can’t go to religious and political gatherings to get radicalised, so during the lockdown, we have been scouring the internet for videos that confirm our biases and pander to our basest tribal instincts. Top that with two months of WhatsApp forwards, we are bubbling over with emojis and own facts.
An elephant died in Kerala. It had no religion. But we managed to find religion, poured it into a jar of politics, and put it in our social mixer and grinder. We juiced it out for two days and discovered that there are three kinds of people on social media. First, those who find bad news, any negative news, from Kerala and peddle it with "Oh my god, Kerala is gone to the dogs, beef-eating commie, Christo-Islamist conspiracies, and Malappuram." Second, those who find data and good news and peddle it with "Oh my god’s own country, Kerala is the best, where is UNESCO, see HDI and 100 per cent literacy, Sanskrit songs playing on communal harmonium, I love you like anything." The third kind is not important at all and also they are not really many. These fools think Kerala is a state of India in the south that fares really well on social indicators, is really green and has nice beaches and people. Of course, it has problems it needs to work on but if you look at it as a whole, it’s a pretty happy place. These people don’t even get into an argument with the first two kinds. Because the first kinds are not kind.
IF NOT, THERE'S RWA
Coming back to coronavirus, the only way to manage the crisis is to hand it over to an RWA. The Resident Welfare Associations have been in news for their exceptional law-making abilities that would shame any majoritarian government on the Earth. The enforcement can give an inferiority complex to North Korea, except that these guys are elected. What’s with being elected? Why do so many elected things turn out to be masters of our fate and dictators of our destiny? Inspector Hathi Ram Chaudhary would love that line, it's deep enough to be from the shastras but you read it on WhatsApp!