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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Corona Threat Not Fully Over Yet!

Masks continue to be in the inventories of chemists and druggists worldwide, at least in the cities. But head village-ward and they have disappeared from the shelves. Villages are where Covid-19 is a distant memory. The fact is, human memory is short and this is not because the virus has been mutating at a virulent pace though it’s also true that because it is mutating at breakneck speed, it has become unrecognizable, even in the lab. The truth remains that Covid-19 has not gone anywhere. It is very much there, alive and kicking in some or the other part of the world.

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Masks continue to be in the inventories of chemists and druggists worldwide, at least in the cities. But head village-ward and they have disappeared from the shelves. Villages are where Covid-19 is a distant memory. The fact is, human memory is short and this is not because the virus has been mutating at a virulent pace though it’s also true that because it is mutating at breakneck speed, it has become unrecognizable, even in the lab. The truth remains that Covid-19 has not gone anywhere. It is very much there, alive and kicking in some or the other part of the world. For instance, India reported 109 cases in “the last 24 hours”. That said, the biggest proof that Covid-19 has called it a day was in the pictures of Parliament where both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Health Mansukh Mandaviya were seen mask-less, and Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman had read out the Budget minus the slip of cloth. A couple of continents, and two and a half oceans away, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the only one in a mask at President Joe Biden’s ‘State of the Union’ address for which the socialist Democratic Senator is garnering thousands of ‘likes’ on Twitter.
But back to square one, and the news is Covid-19 infection rates are continuing to dip, but are also fluctuating. Sanders must be keeping a studious eye on the virus and must have noticed that the United States saw a rise in cases in January which is pinned as the “holiday season”. At least one news report noted that people are taking fewer precautions. This, is even as the WHO issued updated guidelines on isolation period, clinical management, and Covid-19 treatment. And the WHO did not take its eyes off “mandatory mask-wearing”. The WHO has asked human beings to keep up their guard and honour and humour the mask by keeping on wearing it. Does anybody care? Nope, not when leaders of the “free world”, supposed to be the best among world leaders, aren’t impressed and ignore the WHO guidelines on Covid-19 like the proverbial plague. Following the leader’s footsteps, millions of common people are also ignoring the guidelines and “roaming freely in public places without masks”. Suffice it to say that not everybody is a Bernie Sanders. Videos of the 81-year-old in a mask are going viral on Facebook and Twitter. “Bernie Sanders is the only person wearing a KN95 mask. Respect that man – Bernie Sanders thank you,” the Washingtonian epidemiologist of Chinese origin Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted. “Honestly Bernie is a saint in his dedication to protecting others.” One fellow on Twitter reacted and lauded the lawmaker’s “sense of awareness for himself and also for others”. Another tweeted “noted that as well! 1000 people in an enclosed room. Good for Bernie”. Yet another tweet read “I saw a couple of others with masks, but by far most people were unmasked. I wonder what testing protocols they still have instituted.”
Ironically, President Biden in his State of the Union address spoke of the “threat of the virus not yet over”. A total of 535 lawmakers were inside the chamber of the House of Representatives and all the lawmakers had been asked to attend wearing a K/N95 mask by the White House. There were no such orders given to parliamentarians of our nation in this event-packed Budget session.

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
Welcome to The Hills Times, your trusted source for daily news and updates in English from the heart of Assam, India. Since our establishment in 2000, we've been dedicated to providing timely and accurate information to our readers in Diphu and Guwahati. As the first English newspaper in the then undemarcated Karbi Anglong district, we've forged a strong connection with diverse communities and age groups, earning a reputation for being a reliable source of news and insights. In addition to our print edition, we keep pace with the digital age through our website, https://thehillstimes.in, where we diligently update our readers with the latest happenings day by day. Whether it's local events, regional developments, or global news, The Hills Times strives to keep you informed with dedication and integrity. Join us in staying ahead of the curve and exploring the world through our lens.
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