Researchers and scientists have turned over a new leaf as the Vaccination drive is burgeoning but as all good things come with a price, there have been reports about a few vaccination swindles. Read ahead to find out more.

When coronavirus hit the world, little did we know that soon it is going to become an intangible aspect of our lives. We saw huge losses. Losses that can not be compensated by any means. Such were the conditions that no tear was left to cry and yet the catastrophe continued. Researchers and scientists were burning the midnight oil to find a solution. That is when the Vaccination came to the stage as a lifeline for the human race. It did not promise to bring an end to this blizzard but what it did was to bring down the probability of contracting the virus. It provided us with a penetrable shield with the potential of making our immunity systems stronger to fight it off. However, some people’s affection for gambling overpowered this noble discovery. It is a lifeline gamble but is it worth enough to gamble your own life for personal gains?

India was hit by a devastating second wave back in 2021. If this was not enough, the beneficiaries were scammed for vaccination. Thousands of people went to their nearest medical centers in the hope of getting their doses. Instead, all they got was salt and water in the name of vaccination. People fall prey to this massive fake coronavirus vaccine scam and both doctors and medical workers were arrested for their involvement. According to a report by CNN, the scammers charged their victims a hefty amount for the doses and earned about 20,90,938 rupees. In June 2021, the central government announced a vaccination drive, and soon about 63.2 lakh doses were administered a day. The fake vaccine drive took place between May and June 2021. Breathing amidst a medical crisis, we are heavily dependent on our doctors but if they are the ones ripping people off then what does it imply? Is it a dead-end for us?

At least 12 fake vaccination drives were held in or near Mumbai. They were using saline water and injecting it. Every fake vaccination camp that they (Police) held, they were doing this. We have arrested doctors. They were using a hospital which was producing the fake certificates, vials, syringes.

-Vishal Thakur, a senior official of the Mumbai police department in conversation with CNN

On top of the aforementioned scam, another case of a maelstrom of vaccination has occurred. Recently issues have been reported where only one dose was administered but the records showed two. Many cases have been reported across the national capital of Delhi. The beneficiaries claimed to have received only a single dose of the vaccine while the CoWIN platform showed the reception of both the shots. According to a report by The Hindu, almost all the people reporting the issue have received their first doses in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. The Delhi government came across this hitch in December 2021. Soon, it issued a video addressing a solution. Anyone facing the problem has to log in to CoWIN, raise an issue, report an unknown member in the account and delete it.

Before deleting the earlier account, we note the date of the first dose of the vaccine. Then we create a new account and put that as the date of the first vaccine and then give the second dose. We use the same ID card the person used while getting the first dose and it gets done on the same day itself.

an official told The Hindu

The report further stated that Dr. Girish Tyagi, secretary of Delhi Medical Council, suspected illegal activities to be behind this that caused the mayhem on the CoWIN platform. He wished for the government to look into the matter. Another case of possible illicit pursuit is providing a lifeline to the people. If people are thrown under the bus to get a lifeline, it is one step forward and two steps back. We talk about motivating the masses to get vaccinated but the motivation is getting jeopardized. Can the stakeholders benefit from a public welfare scheme to its full potential?

In another turn of events, medical workers had undertaken one more scam. A vaccination certificate scam was attempted. The medical workers manipulated the CoWIN website to procure ‘fake vaccination certificates’ by entering the bogus details of the applicant. According to a report by The Indian Express, two people- Zuber Sheikh and Alfaiz Khan,  accused of the crime were arrested. As soon as the duo arrived in Mumbai, they realized that this scam would be easy to carry out since there is a large number of people who need the vaccination certificate for numerous things. All that a “customer” was supposed to do is to provide the Aadhaar card details, phone number, and of course the selling price of this snow job, Rs. 2000. After fulfilling these pre-requisites, the customer soon would receive a message from CoWIN, congratulating them on being fully vaccinated. Nevertheless, the scam was too good to be true.

A perplexing question that makes round in my head is that why every undertaking that is supposed to be for the greater good of the society gets converted into some profitable gimmick? Why are people always liable to pay a price for “earning” the benefits that are their bona fide rights? The vaccination drive in India is being carried out in full swing but as each coin has two faces, this drive does not come without its drawbacks. Nevertheless, the only thing that matters is to cut down the fatalities and cease them. Hence, steps need to be taken to ensure its success at the grass-root level.

Read Also: COVID-19 Myth-busters: Your Guide to Gaining the Correct Information

Featured Image Credits: Financial Times

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

The Indian Education system is based upon the traditional methods of face-to-face dissemination of education. With the pandemic hitting and challenging us in all the possible ways, the education needs restructuring to sustain the crisis. The question is how are we going to address the underlying issues to make the system compatible with the on-going predicament?

A thought of the past are those fine winter mornings where we used to get up to our mother’s voices. Then packed our bags, ate our breakfast and headed out for school. From attending those science periods to playing football in every games period, we were accustomed to a certain kind of development. We were never prepared for any other situation where all these could just become a talk of the thin air. Yet, here we are battling a deadly virus from the comforts of our humble abode. The unforeseen outbreak of the COVID-19 disease that is caused by the corona virus has forced the educational institutions to shut. The concept of blended mode or the online Education is not new to the present time but the change from a classical appeal to a more westernized approach has been a little sudden. This situation has kept a challenge before the entire education fraternity of the world and has forced the pedagogues to shift to the online mode overnight. Although, the sheer willingness to gain and impart knowledge has kept the students and the teachers moving through the months, there are quintessential arguments that need our focus to deliver the best in the time of the crisis.

Education system in India was doomed long before the pandemic hit. I’m simply taken aback with the thought that we were expecting them to be efficient online.

-Kenisha, Hindu College, University of Delhi

Every outcome has its pros and cons but if and only if we try to resolve those cons then the solution can turn as the best scenario. Shifting the students and the teacher to the online mode seemed to be a playful and an interesting way out but did it really help when students are slacking off? The Indian educational pattern is more theoretical than practical which makes it difficult for the students to keep up with the classes in the long run. Nevertheless, as students it comes onto us to make some adjustments and do our best to help the situation but a practical approach needs to be harboured eventually. This crisis may cost us other attributes of life. However, the education holds the prime place in a student’s life and the crisis should not cost us the same. The question is not only about engaging the students but also about imparting the same or even better quality of education in such stressful times. So, now the matter at hand is will the long hours of lecture stick to what is written on those ten pages of our book or are we going to find a practical approach to make those hours worth everyone’s time?

From a kid’s perception, it is equally difficult for us to grab things from our home like in DU (we know we will have Open Book Examinations then why to listen? There is no reason.) Same goes with school like students gave exam on Google forms. What is the point of studying huge syllabus?

-Piyush Srivastava, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi

In addition to the above, arises the question of accessibility and feasibility. India is a polarized nation with a clear distinction between urban and rural. On one hand we have a prospect of better approach towards education by making it real-time and accessible from anywhere but the question of disparities amidst the different sections of societies is inevitable. The urban advancements in the digital arena exceed the underlying issue of the division. While this step might have made our lives easier, about 60% of the students face the unprecedented complications arising from lack of internet connectivity. These figures could widen the gap and have the potential for worsening the status-quo persisting in the nation. This is further fueled by the state’s inaction to ensure accessibility to internet in every region. When the little boy has the responsibility to look after his father’s shop and make time for the book in his hand, the inequitable access to internet would make it difficult for him to accomplish his targets.

I don’t think that our education system was capable for online mode because of the vast digital divide that existed and still exists. Online mode is especially incompatible for the rural areas as compared to the urban areas because of lack of proper infrastructure.

-Srivatsa Seth, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi

The online mode might be the final solution to our problems in the near future. Before asking the stakeholders to blatantly switch to this sudden change, it is really necessary to answer the question of accessibility and feasibility. Education is the backbone of the world. It is the medium that is going to reel us out of any crisis. Hence, an equitable implementation of internet connectivity in each and every region is the need of the hour in order to maintain the ethical standards of education.

Our education system holds importance for the face value. Eliminating the physicality out of the system, makes the students exposed to the virtual tangibles. Yet, online education is no longer an option for us but a necessity. It might have loopholes but it is on us to make it capable enough to sustain the global catastrophe that we are witnessing. So, the question is, are we going to kneel before this sitch or are we going to join hands and work towards structuring the system in accordance with the present times?

Read Also: Is Covid-19 Making Celebrities Stay in the Same Boat as Us?

Featured Image Credits: Vanessa Rodriguez via Foothill Dragon Press

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]


Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) introduced an online Google form soliciting opinions of students with regards to conduction of their postponed examinations, some of which shall later be added to a memorandum scheduled to be submitted to the authorities.

Amidst the shutdown of universities across the country and the indefinite postponement of semester examinations in lieu of the coronavirus-induced national lockdown, Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad Delhi came out with a press release on 16th April 2020 announcing the release of a “Student Opinion Form” for students of universities across Delhi including University Of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Ambedkar University with an aim to collect concrete suggestions and opinions regarding the evaluation of their internal assessments and conduction of semester examinations.

This new initiative has been termed as the “Padhega Bharat, Badhega Bharat aur Jeetega Bharat” (India studies, India grows, India wins) campaign. After compiling the opinions and selecting a few notable suggestions, ABVP intends to add them to a memorandum which is due to be presented to the University Grants Commission and the Ministry Of Human Resource Development shortly.

Stressing on the necessity of this initiative due to recent developments such as the possibility of examinations shifting online, Sidharth Yadav, State Secretary, ABVP Delhi came out with a statement, “The pandemic has adversely affected the student community. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the resumption of normal civic life, reopening of campuses, conduct of internal assessments and conduction of semester examinations. The semester examinations have also been kept in abeyance. Since students are the primary stakeholders, their suggestions concerning the issues that can influence their academic progress, especially the possibility of organizing web-based semester exams merit specific inclusion on our memoranda.”

The fifteen-point questionnaire includes simple close-ended questions like “Have you ever given any internal exam/project/assignment during the coronavirus pandemic or prior?”, “Are you comfortable giving online assignments/assessments?”, “What online platforms do you use?” and also opinion-based open-ended questions like “Suggest a method for internal assessment during lockdown” and “In your opinion how should the semester exams be conducted?”. Most of the questions seem to seek the students’ opinions on the possible shift of internal and external assessments to online platforms.

“This new initiative was needed as this is an unprecedented situation. The questions are thoughtful and will surely help in revealing the views prevailing among students”, opined a first-year student of the University Of Delhi, on the condition of anonymity.

The link to the “Student Opinion Form” can be accessed through ABVP Delhi’s social media accounts.

Feature Image Credits: Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad via Twitter

Araba Kongbam

[email protected]


Vice Chancellor of Delhi University urges Alumni to contribute to the battle against Coronavirus.

Delhi University has reached out to its alumni network and urged them to contribute in the fight against COVID-19. The Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi has written a letter to the alumni of the University and urged them to strengthen their efforts in serving the society in whatever way they can. He has also requested them to share about their endeavours in order to inspire the community by writing to the University on a dedicated email id, ‘[email protected]’.

Faculty and staff members of the department and constituent colleges have contributed their one-day’s salary, amounting to more than four crore rupees, to the PM-CARE Fund and intends to contribute more.

University VC has also informed the alumni network of the steps taken by Delhi University to contribute to the prevention of COVID-19 as well as the aid provided to the needy and vulnerable sections of the society. He has written about the efforts taken by University faculty to teach students through digital resources so as their education can continue uninterrupted. “Our faculty members have successfully explored virtual classrooms and other digital aids to ensure continuity in the teaching-learning process,” he writes.

“We are reviewing our preparations for admissions in the next session. We feel confident our students will have a fruitful session this year, too,” he says about the DU admission process which has been put on hold for the time being. The University is also taking care of the multitude of students who hail from different parts of the country and some from other countries as well.

The University has also launched ‘DU Care for Neighbour’ programme to help poor or homeless people in the neighbourhood of the University’s North and South campuses. Constituent colleges have also been asked to initiate similar program in their vicinity.

Delhi University has also constituted a Special Task Force with a diverse representation that meets regularly through virtual mode to discuss impending challenges, devise solutions and implement them.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Paridhi Puri


[email protected]

Read on to find the problematic association between eco-fascism and Coronavirus. 

  • The difference between environmentalism and eco fascism.

Environmentalism in its simplest sense is a political and ethical movement which seeks to protect, preserve, and improve the environment by putting a stop to harmful human activities. Eco fascism marries the ideas of environmentalism with racism and supremacy and propounds the sacrifice of humans and their interests for nature.

  • Eco fascism and racism

Eco Fascism tends to align itself with a Neo Malthusian thought process that the earth is simply falling apart because there are too many people, it does not question the entrenched factors behind environmental issues. Both the Christ church and El Paso shooters have referred to themselves as eco fascists. Though, currently on the fringe, Eco fascism can be used as an excuse to target racial, ethnic, and gender minorities in the name of the environment.

  • Linking Eco fascism to the current pandemic

The Coronavirus Pandemic has led to lockdowns and curfews throughout the world. The lack of human activity has led to substantial drops in pollution levels. Now, while this does pose some serious questions on the consumerist and materialist lifestyle we follow, Eco fascists have ignored all these questions and come up with a simple, yet ultimately flawed thesis. Which is highlighted by a lot of posts about how humans are the virus and how the pandemic was needed to reduce human population, basically the celebration of a pandemic.

  • The flaws and privileges behind “Humans are the virus.”

Ignoring the deeper questions presented by the pandemic and simply celebrating it has many flaws. It comes from a point of privilege as those propagating have access to healthcare and are at relatively lower risk and ironically lead consumer heavy lifestyles, while those in underdeveloped countries and from lower sections of society will end up suffering as always. So, before sharing content and tweets, spare a thought to how this movement carries echoes of exterminating/reducing what supremacists see as “inferior(minorities)” populations and try to judge what you share accordingly.

Feature Image Credits: The New Republic

Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]

In the wake of the COVID-19 breakout, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), a student group- solicits the Ministry of HRD to make online learning a voluntary practice.

Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS)- a student led group with many of the members comprising of Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (DUSOL), has urged in writing to the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) to oppose the resort to online teaching amidst the shutting down of educational institutions, owing to the nation wide lockdown due to massive spread of the COVID-19.

While talking about the motive behind the said action, Harish Gautam, Delhi State Committee Member of the KYS told DU Beat that, “Online education is not a substitute for classroom teaching and it’s accessible only among those students who have the said resources. While a big majority not only in Delhi but across the country faces difficulties with regards to access of the online learning facility, it’s imperative that it’s not made into a mandatory practice, therefore classroom teaching should be conducted as soon as the lockdown is lifted and the online mode should be made voluntary.”

“One of the most important problems with online teaching is that the majority of the students do not have access to the internet. If in case the internet is available, there are the problems of bandwidth and speed,” said the KYS in a statement to highlight the crux of their resolution. 

The student group posits the disparity of access to technology across demographics as a noteworthy problem which relates to digital divide and inequality. The resources required for online classes are not spread evenly throughout the student class. While showing apprehension, Vinitha, a first year student at Kamala Nehru College who is from a small village in Thakurla of Pali district said, “I haven’t attended a single online lecture due to the constant irregularities of network operations in my village. I am completely on my own with the reading materials and lack of assertiveness about the further exam dates just adds on to my stress.”

The official press release issued by the KYS also hinted towards a relaxation in terms of extension of academic session to requite for the loss learning which happened. Harish Gautam in the press release said, “The extension of academic sessions and semester would not be a loss for any institution, since all of them would be conducting the entrance examinations for the next session at the same time,” 

To heed to the problems of students facing network issues and some teachers who don’t get a hang of technology enabled services, an inclusive idea of making online teaching a voluntary method is a concern which needs to be attended to.

Featured image credits: Facebook page of KYS

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]


Reminding one eerily of the swine flu pandemic ten years ago, coronavirus has brought the world to a screeching halt. We take a brief look at the two.

Infecting an estimated one billion, and causing the deaths of around half a million, the 2009 H1N1 virus, or the swine flu pandemic, disrupted the world for over a year, striking fear across continents and cities, and is considered among the deadliest pandemics in human history. Recently originating from a different part of the world, but only ten years apart from the preceding pandemic, COVID-19, or the coronavirus pandemic, has been spreading across countries at a devastating speed, with the death toll rising almost exponentially in several regions.

Lockdown of cities, shutting down of corporates and companies, suspension of all sports events, closing down of universities and schools, disruption of air and road travel  – the worldwide call for social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease has brought the world to a standstill. “We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the UN – one that is killing people, spreading human suffering and upending people’s lives”, said the United Nations in a public report. The current pandemic seems to be on its way to upstage the damage done by the one before it.

The swine flu emerged among pigs, reportedly in Mexico – though some experts dispute that the place of origin was in Asia –  and was carried by them for some period of time before it finally transferred to humans, hence the name. The first reported case came from Veracruz, a small town in Mexico. Experts are yet to ascertain the specific cause that led to the spread of coronavirus, though there is a good probability that it passed onto humans from a different species. The first reported outbreak was in Wuhan, China. 

The total number of people infected with swine flu was estimated to be 700 million – 1.4 billion, from March 2009 to August 2010, while for coronavirus, the number has almost reached 900,000 (reported cases) in a matter of three months, and with the absence of a vaccine or a cure, the number is expected to rise at an even swifter rate in the coming weeks. An extremely stark difference between the two is seen in terms of the mortality rate. While the swine flu did infect a high number of people and did cause a large number of deaths, the mortality rate was not as menacing as compared to what had been expected. Compared to swine flu’s rate of 0.02%, coronavirus had a mortality rate of 3.4% as of March 27, and the difference, when seen in terms of thousands of human beings, is enormous. Though with the increase in number of cases, the rate is expected to fall.

Due to the high mortality rate and high contagiousness, the measures for social distancing are far more severe under coronavirus as compared to swine flu. The extra caution undertaken can also be attributed to the fact that governments and medical institutions are a bit more equipped, mentally and physically, and a tad more aware as regards to handling such a large scale pandemic, having already experienced it a few years back. “When swine flu came out in 2009, there were some shutdowns, some precautionary measures implemented, some schools closed, and daily life was not as disrupted, but during this coronavirus outbreak, there has been a total shutdown of almost every activity, that too at a global level”, said a city doctor, on the condition of anonymity. Indeed, the widespread suspension of almost every public activity, from road vehicles to international flights, local shops to multinational retailers, restaurants to tourist attractions, football leagues to the Olympics, public parks to national stadiums, along with several countries under precautionary quarantine, is unprecedented. 

Both coronavirus and swine flu have largely similar symptoms, and a similar mode of transmission, infected respiratory droplets. Yet both were caused by vastly different virus families. A vaccine for swine flu was developed a few months after it was declared a pandemic, and though many deaths had been caused by that time, it helped curtail any further damage. No such vaccine or cure has been developed for coronavirus, though efforts are underway across the world. According to a report by Centres For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children and young adults accounted for 75% deaths under swine flu. As for deaths under coronavirus, a large proportion of the deaths have been of old citizens. 

A definite and conclusive analysis can only be done after the pandemic has subsided. While the logical and quick decision made by several governments to introduce social distancing measures is laudable, the magnitude of the shutdown, as well as the damage that has already been done, is a proof of the potential damage that the disease can inflict in the coming few weeks. Though looking at the doctors and scientists working day and night towards a cure or a vaccine, the rising number of recovered patients and the fact that the case toll has slowed down in some countries, especially in the disease’s place of origin, China, the possibility of coronavirus being brought under control by the end of 2020 cannot totally be ruled out.

Featured Image Credits – Business Insider

Araba Kongbam

[email protected]




Yes, the swans are returning to the canals of Venice, and the skies of Delhi are clearing up, but at the cost of whom? Because it is not the rich.

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite was unarguably one of the best movies that were served to us last year. An excessively uncomfortable yet realistic movie about the class divide, it was practically on everybody’s tongue to discuss.

There were many gripping scenes in the movie, and it’s hard to pick a favourite, but the “car scene” was definitely one of the best. It describes a scene where Mr Kim is driving Mrs Park back home after a day of shopping for her son’s birthday impromptu that was to happen that evening.

The night before, a devastating downpour that flooded the entire city, forcing the poor out of their homes and destroying almost every belonging that they possessed. Mr Kim and his entire family had been displaced too, with their entire house wrecked and destroyed, but he had still been asked to come to work and look cheerful for the Parks, simply because he had been paid.

In the car, Mr Kim drives forlorn and dejected- the man had just lost his house and everything he had owned- while Mrs Park sits in the back-seat with her feet up, inviting a friend to the evening’s jamboree. She talks heartily in the back, complaining about the rain, and how they had to trade plans for her son’s birthday- from camping to a garden party. “But at least the sky cleared up,” she says, as Mr Kim, whose house the rain that had ‘at least cleared the sky’ had destroyed, drives on. To Mrs Park, a downpour that had destroyed hundreds of lives in the city was a mild inconvenience that had at least made the sky pretty.

That is exactly what we sound like when we applaud the swans of Venice coming back, or the pollution clearing up and the skies becoming pretty, or the Earth ‘reclaiming herself’. All these things are extremely important- and needful- and there is absolutely no contest to that. However, we are extremely fast to forget that this clearing up of these skies, and the ‘reclamation’ of nature, has come not at the expense of the rich, as it should have been, but instead at the expense of the poor.

As workers, a lot of us have the privilege of a work-from-home, something that the daily-wage labourer or the essential service worker cannot afford. To a lot of us, the sacrifice for the clearing up of skies is the mild inconvenience of having to stay at home working from our laptops yet earning the same or watching hours of Netflix to try to while away the time. But the sacrifice that the poor make isn’t simply an inconvenience- it is a matter of survival and uncertainty. It is a matter of anxiety about how to earn enough to buy basic groceries that were already hard to buy, to begin with. For them, this global crisis is more than just medical.

The swans should return to the canals of Venice, the waters of the beaches of Manila should be turquoise again, and the skies of Delhi should clear up. It is what we owe to nature, as is her right. But the least we can do is not romanticize a pandemic that is giving all this to us by standing on the backs of the poor.

Feature Image Credit: Parasite (2019)

Shreya Juyal
[email protected]



As soon as the lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on March 24th, the Ministry of Home Affairs put down the rules and regulations which are to be followed during the lockdown. Read on to find out.

The whole nation has been under complete lockdown since March 24. The lockdown, as of now, is 21 day long and a lot of us have various confusions over the do’s and don’ts of the same. And this confusion and deliberation has led to various social media memes about police taking action against those who violated the lockdown. So to save you from becoming a meme here’s guide of the things and activities that you can and can’t do during these 21 says.

What is shut? 

Most State and Union Territory government offices will remain shut. However, police stations and municipal bodies for essential services like municipal bodies, administrative services, home guards, electricity, water and sanitation will function with minimum staff
Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous/Subordinate Offices bad Public Corporations shall remain closed. With exemption to Defence, CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces), Disaster management, post offices, National Informatics Centre and Early Warning Agencies
Commercial and private establishments that work in non-essential services will remain shut and work-from-home
All educational institutions, including coaching classes, will remain shut
All places of worship will be closed to the public. No religious congregation will be permitted–without exceptions. Funerals are permitted but attendance will be capped at 20 persons
Transport services (air, rail and roadways) will be suspended. Only transportation for essential and emergency services will continue to function


What is open? 

Hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries, chemists and ambulance services
Shops and stores selling groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish
Banks, ATMs and insurance offices
Petrol pumps as well as CNG and LPG stations
Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment through e-commerce.
Private security services


Can I order online? 

Yes, you can order essential items like food, medicines, etc. via online platforms like Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, Grofers, Big Basket, Medlife, Pharm Easy.etc. However these platforms are only serving select cities and localities.

Can I go outside my house? 

You can go step outside your house, however, there are certain conditions related to it. A person is allowed to only step out only in case of an emergency or a valid reason. Valid reasons may include the need to buy rations, medicines, essential/life sustainingcommodities, etc. and you are required to do so only in your local areas of residence  

What if I violate the lockdown measures? 

The refusal to abide by the directions given by the Central as well as the state governments will result into a fine or/and an imprisonment of up to one year. If the unruly behaviour persists then the sentence may extend upto two years.

How do I approach doctors if I develop COVID-19 symptoms? 

You are allowed to go the hospital in case you develop any symptom related to COVID-19.

How can I reach out for help? 

Apart from this, you may also reach out for help via these phone numbers:-

Central Helpline: +91-11-23978046 and 1075
Central Helpline E-mail: ncov2019@gov.in or ncov2019@gmail.com
Delhi Helpline: 011-22307145
Uttar Pradesh Helpline: 18001805145
Haryana Helpline: 8558893911

Image Credits: Jewel Samad/AFP 

Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Suddenly, no more do you hear the rattle of bullets, nor do you see any Sisyphean clashes in the name of religion or beliefs.  All you see is concern for loved ones and prayers for the ones afflicted. The current pandemic has showcased how beauteous humanity really is.

The year 2020 has been terrifying. We never could have anticipated such testing and difficult times. Our everyday lives and activities have come to halt as we battle against a microscopic enemy, who is gnawing at our strength and harmony every second. Entire countries have been locked down, more than 14,000 people have lost their lives, flights and trains have been cancelled and people have been  asked to quarantine themselves; scaring us all whether this is the end of the world as we know it. Sir Francis Bacon quoted, “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” And in these dark times, the innate benevolence, unity and resilience of humans have transpired as our gleam of light.

The entire atmos has been engulfed in clouds of dismay and gloom but from different corners of the world we also hear stories of courage, magnanimity and empowerment. Usually, movies depict state of affairs like these as total chaos, people going into frenzy, turning bloodthirsty for survival and so on. Although some people have contributed to mayhem by hoarding sanitizers, toilet papers and other necessary items and by spreading fake news and lies; it is well evident that during such a threatening pandemic we have not descended into anarchy. Videos from countries such as Spain and Italy are being shared in which residents can be seen holding musical concerts and singing to the tunes of famous songs, from their balconies in order to raise each other’s spirits. As the elderly is under the highest risk and advised to be under strict self – isolation, their neighbors, random strangers and numerous people on platforms like Nextdoor app are offering to help them buy groceries, medicines, etc. Many celebrities have also taken up the responsibility of spreading awareness and asking people not to panic. For instance, Ndlovu Youth Choir, a group of young South African singers released a catchy music video to raise awareness of proper hygiene and optimism.  Some even have donated to address the supply shortages of necessary goods and to food banks, while others decided to pay for the salaries of certain workers who will be greatly affected by the shutdown. Few celebrities have also come up with unique ways to help out like Josh Gad, the voice behind Olaf from Frozen, has been live streaming himself, reading from his favourite children’s book while Lizzo, an American singer, recently hosted a 30 minute meditation session on Instagram. The coronavirus outbreak has shown that the medical staff, sanitation workers, people running grocery shops, pharmacies and other authorities working day in and day out to aid us are the real heroes of current times, and the masses have recognized and appreciated their selfless service by clapping and beating thalis (steel plates). Another incredible aspect of this turmoil is the encouragement given to all to talk about any mental health issues they are facing, through means of social media and helpline numbers. 

Apart from all these positive and consoling instances, cases of hostility and racial discrimination have also been reported from different places. Incidents like a woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulled a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper, a Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity was beaten up on the streets of London, an Asian man was left stranded on a road in Egypt and bullied by the passers – by, and many North – eastern students in Delhi were taunted and called ‘Corona’; are not only infuriating but also show that some of us can stoop so low. This kind of demeanour and attitude is a thousand times more deadly than the virus itself. 

Rebecca Solnit, in her book ‘A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster’ (2011) which examines the resiliency of human beings during catastrophic times quoted, “Disaster doesn’t sort us out by preferences; it drags us into emergencies that require we act, and act altruistically, bravely, and with initiative in order to survive or save the neighbors, no matter how we vote or what we do for a living.” We must realize that all of us are dealing with a common enemy. This silent killer has already ruined many lives and families. It is high time that we shun our differences and contribute in whatever capacity to the higher cause of defeating COVID – 19 before it further ravages our lives. We must not let this crisis shatter our dreams and toilings rather use it to bring out the best in us and empower all. In the end, the ‘marvelous’ words of T’Challa from the movie Black Panther are sure to inspire us and must define our future course – 

“We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

Image Credits – Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ipshika Ghosh

[email protected]