India has been hit by one of the worst pandemics in history. A disaster that killed more than 4 lakhs people in the country. This government reported data which as I’ve seen on the ground seem massively underreported. Just a month ago, it looked like the whole of our country would be finished due to a lack of oxygen cylinders and beds in the hospital. My father and I both contacted covid in May and went through a horrible time for a month. There were no beds to go to, no doctors to reach and the government of Bihar had given up on us as well. Through this ordeal, I decided to be as self-sufficient as possible because when chips are down, no one, not even your neighbour comes to the rescue, forgot the government institutions. Until yesterday, I reckoned everyone in the country would have gotten a lesson on the dangers of this pandemic amidst our lacklustre health infrastructure. But as I saw the growing number of pictures and news from tourist destinations around the country I was dumbfounded by the utter stupidity and carelessness of it all.
I was heartbroken to see the irrationality among my fellow privileged countrymen trying to ruin it for everybody else. On every social media, I go to, there is a steep rise in posts from Manali, Ooty, Dharmashala, Goa and every other tourist destination you can name. There are videos of crowds roaming the city without masks and care about covid norms.
Look at this video from Dharmashala market where a kid asks the tourists about their masks. Everyone walks around without a sense of civic responsibility paying no heed to the kid who despite his age seems to be the sanest person on camera.
This is just one of many pictures and videos coming from Manali and other tourist destinations. Hotels have reported no beds and the roads are brimming with traffic.
The same people will criticise everyone else
This is the same privileged crowd that would send tweets and posts about how the government has failed in curbing covid cases and how our country is backwards from their iPhones. We Indians do not have any sense of civil responsibility at all. I thought this pandemic had at least frightened the people into behaving differently but no, we’re still the same. Despite lakhs of deaths, despite frightening photos of dead bodies buried at the banks of Ganga, despite visuals of people crying outside of hospitals due to lack of beds, we still refuse to change our selfish ways. We refuse to work for the greater good of the country in these trying times.
The government’s hands are tied
The central government does not impose restrictions on the influx of people on hills because tourism is the sole source of income for these people. Since the economy is already dwindling, the government cannot impose restrictions on shops and businesses anymore. The country economy would crash if this goes on for more months.
The government has left it to the people. It has asked its people to travel responsibly, get vaccinated and follow all the covid norms. What does the general public do? Everyone gets up and goes to the hills without masks! Despite being through one of the worst times of our collective lives, people are still roaming around in Manali without a care in the world.
Remember this when the third wave is here and these privileged idiots post on social media how India has failed to manage covid!