Developing economies have been adversely affected by the Covid19 pandemic. In the context of Nepal, Government of Nepal has taken lockdown as the only effective measure to tackle this very pandemic. It has been over 5 months of a crippling psychological affliction for citizens in the country. But, the government has not been able to accept the “New Normal”.
Government activities have more or less alienated the citizens during this critical situation with more cases of alleged corruption. I strongly believe that it is high time that we seek some solution with the collective effort of government and citizens.
The role of government
The government should now eye towards making the necessary arrangements for the re-opening of the nation with necessary precautions. The government’s position for the days to come is still amorphous and it is not the same for the people living under the poverty line. We cannot deny the fact that we may see deaths out of famine in the underprivileged areas of the country. Saving a life from COVID may be easier for some rather than saving life from hunger.
Citizens after months of Lockdown are forced to anguish with their eyes closed. The distressing scenario is not limited to the fear of Covid19 but, to other situations of financial crisis and starvation. People with superabundant resources and financial stability may advocate for a continued lockdown but, is it the same for people living in destitution?
No country in the world has a long-distance travel ban this long ( for over 5 months). The disheartening picture of financial struggle can be found everywhere these days and is no longer something cryptic. All the physical, mental and emotional sufferings have culminated to this point.
A sheer imagination of almost half-year spent inside a house not just gives you a feeling of time being lost but also, the feeling of lives being lost and adversities being dealt at some part of this world. Considering the daily wages and average income of Nepalese, the current situation has left many in tears of blood.
It is obviously a cumbersome task for the government to come up with a necessary solution. However, we cannot lead the country with perpetual indecisiveness. The government should at least break the ice and debunk the administrative weaknesses to meet the new demands of the new normal. The government should now no longer evade from the process of bringing life back to normal.
We as citizens
At the same time, citizens are equally responsible to bring situation to normal. We too should not encumber the process with our minor recklessness. In the meantime, the little gap in the lockdown (starting in shrawan) created a situation of chaos and more or less citizens are also to blame for their share of faults to deal with day to day lives.
Our minor reckless activities may debilitate the current situation and the responsibility to calm this situation is equally ours. This particular pandemic has a lot to do with what you and me do if the situation is normalized. Our slight hesitations to maintain social distance, to sanitize ourself, to take precautions and more can plague us to endless state of indeterminacy.
COVID19 is not completely erratic itself. We can agree that there are numerous variables involved in the process but, the ways of transmission are not so much esoteric as believed. With some responsibility in the citizen’s part and authority in the Government’s part, we can return to our days of ecstasy and bliss. Our small commitments to not travel recklessly, to not participate in mass gatherings, and to not do things that can be done otherwise can lift us from this execrable situation.
Do we agree that we have been vehemently blaming the government and not taking our share of responsibility to take the country out of this bizarre situation? What have we done on our part? We have limited ourselves to an animated and boisterous living creature who knows to complain and survive out of blame games. Let us take responsibility on our part to ignore interactions beyond necessity, our limitations will provide us the much-needed freedom.
World around us
I have friends, colleagues, and students who reside in Australia, the USA, India, Bangladesh, and many other countries in the world. Their experiences in the lockdown are not drastically different from ours, the simple thing is they have learned to deal with ‘woe’ to make ‘wow’. The precautions taken abroad is not something we cannot exercise here in Nepal. They too wear a mask, use some sanitizer and wash their hands frequently. They do not have individual mechanical ventilators, they too live the same level of insecurity as we do. In the initial days of lockdown, if you have been through the news, you must have known that many Nepalese who were found to be victims of COVID19 were requested to self-quarantine themselves at home. There is nothing like magic being abroad as well. Are we expecting too much from the government and giving too little from our side?
Not just in case of a pandemic, being philosophical, we can only find solutions when we deal with problems rather than running away from problems. Running away from problems may provide us that temporary relief but, it will not last long. We need to pragmatic while being emotional, a pandemic may not be taking a toll on you but to many, we should be able to empathize with the need of every human.
Nepal’s ground reality is weak and being polemical, and consistently harassing politicians may satiate our frustration but, will never result in something commendable. It is now time to take the responsibility at individual level and let the authorities know that we will take care of ourselves.