To say that we are back to 2020 in 2021 is telling of a lack of understanding of where we are in 2021. In 10 days, India has raced from over 1 lakh to over 2 lakh daily cases. And then no number tells you the entire story. One part of the story that this number does not tell is that this is not the complete number. Because of a burden on testing labs, reports are getting delayed by as long as a week. Also, India is touted to be the second-worst Covid-hit country after the US, which is the first-worst hit. The US took 20 days to climb from 1 lakh daily cases to 2 lakh daily cases. India, let us say this again, has done it in 10 days flat. So who you give the Number 1 spot is for you to decide.
Because of a burden on testing labs, reports are getting delayed by as long as a week. (Photo: Reuters)
The Delhi government today decided to impose a lockdown over the weekend with over 17,000 cases reported yesterday. The government hasn't called it lockdown because people have no love for lockdowns. But malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums will remain closed on the weekend. Cinema halls will open to 30 per cent capacity. How will you enter the cinema hall without entering the mall? CM Arvind Kejriwal did not answer. Our guess is Kejriwal doesn’t think anyone will be to cinema halls amid the apocalypse. So the need to answer the question doesn’t arise.
But there is a more important question being asked. What is driving the surge? The desi virus. The virus is still Chinese, but the one spreading rapidly in India could be its desi variant. The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recently reported a “new double mutant variant” of the coronavirus.
Classified as ‘B.1.617’, the variant has now been found in eight countries, with 70 per cent of samples containing mutations believed to have originated from India. Experts have called the new “new double mutant strain” a desi (Indian) variant.
The Desi Girl is now half-videshi but desi is still desi but what is desi? The Word Of The Day. Desi comes from Sanskrit word desh. Desh has come to mean country but driving from disha (direction), Oxford dictionary defines desh as “local or belonging to a particular place”. Coronavirus is a desi virus for China but the variant is desi for India. Desi, however, is a very Indian word. Words have no borders and the same, sadly, hold true for the virus.
You see there are multiple explanations to why the second wave, which is the fourth wave in Delhi, is bigger. Let’s time travel to 1918 to find one of the many explanations. Let’s say we land in Switzerland in 1918. In July-August 1918, Switzerland was particularly hit hard by the Spanish Flu. That was the first wave of the disease. The government moved quickly, strongly and centrally. Gatherings were restricted, markets were shut and schools were closed.
Nurses take part in a demonstration at the Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station in Washington, DC, during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. (Photo: via Reuters)
Come September and all restrictions were lifted. And then in October, came the second wave. The economic implications of the first wave had not petered out. The government shied away from reimposing the stringent restrictions and new cases raced. The central administration left the decision to impose restrictions on individual municipalities, which hesitated too. So the second wave turned into a tsunami and lasted longer, stretching to 1919.
Yes, what Switzerland saw in 1918-1919, India is seeing in 2020-2021. We are additionally seeing election rallies. We are also seeing Kumbh Mela and Ramzan gatherings. We are also seeing people queued outside crematoriums. To a question about the rising Covid death toll, Madhya Pradesh minister Premsingh Patel said no one can stop deaths due to Covid-19 because people get old and they have to die.
How can you ensure while you age, you don’t really get old? Ikigai could hold the answer. The Japanese concept is all about how to live life long and well. If you want to learn more about it, we recommend Ikigai by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles.
Since we are talking about Japan, let us also tell you that Tokyo Olympics might be cancelled if Covid cases spike. The information has come just 99 days before the pandemic-postponed Games open on July 23. The remarks have come from members of the Japanese ruling party.
Cancel all your parties. Be your own government and impose a lockdown on yourself. Main markets in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow have voluntarily shut down to curb Covid transmission.
Don’t move out if your life doesn’t depend on it.
Stay in. Stay safe.
Now get the all-new DailyOh in your mailbox. Click here to subscribe.