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Coronavirus Pandemic And Our Social Responsibilities

Abid Hussain Rather

Coronavirus is nowadays a frightening and scaring name which sends shivers up and down our spine and gives jolts to everyone who listens to it. Coronavirus disease, as we all know is an ongoing novel dreadful viral disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). 

With its epicentre at Wuhan of Hubei province of China, the disease has spread to almost 180 countries and territories of the world and has affected almost 246,000 people worldwide resulting in more than 10,000 deaths. The disease is spreading so widely that the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized it as a pandemic on the 11th of March, 2020. So far as no vaccine has been invented to cure the disease neither any specific antiviral treatment is available, the disease can be prevented only by some measures like hand washing, mouth covering, isolation and keeping a distance from unwell people. 

The spreading of the disease can be controlled by travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews,  postponement of events, avoidance of congestions and crowds,  closure of educational institutions and government offices.Whenever there is such a pandemic, it does not only affects the health of the people but it has a direct impact on the socio-economic set up of the society and causes great losses to the human life and economy. At this juncture of time, every individual of the society has some social responsibilities which will not only prevent the spread of the dreadful disease but will also minimize its impact on our socio-economy.  Because during such a  disastrous situation every single effort from each individual counts. 

It is not only the government authorities and the health care departments which have sole responsibility to fight against this pandemic but every individual should take precautions at his own level to avoid further spread of the disease. No doubt medicos are running at forefront to fight against this disease. Their efforts and their hard work are really appreciable. They put their lives in danger to save us. So it is our responsibility to cooperate with them fully and follow their bits of advice in letter and spirit. We should avoid unnecessary visiting to hospitals, markets, congested areas and crowds.  Frequent visits to hospitals increase the pressure on doctors and disturb their work culture. It also increases the chances of spreading the disease more and more. 

We all know that an ample number of people particularly in rural areas are still illiterate and have less access to social, electronic and mass media. They remain unaware of the precautions which a person needs to take during such a pandemic. It is our social responsibility to aware them about the disease and the precautions which we need to take to avoid its spread. Some people might have certain superstitions regarding this pandemic which need to be cleared to avoid frustration among the masses.The government authorities have closed all the educational institutions because of this grim situation. We all are well aware of the fact that our educational institutions already remain closed from last eight months because of the political turmoil in the valley which has adversely affected the study of our student community. Now it is the social responsibility of our teachers to personally guide the students of their locality and conduct free tuition classes to avoid their further loss. They should help the students in every possible way. There should be no more wastage of their precious time in this peak academic session.

The markets have been closed and public transportation has been restricted to avoid the spread of the disease. The entrances to maximum cities have been sealed and only necessary movement is allowed in the cities. These tactics will reduce the spread of the pandemic but they will also affect our daily routine and our socio-economic setup. As most of the shops will remain close in the markets, some of the shopkeepers will sell their commodities at higher rates taking unethical advantage of the situation. There will be unnecessary hikes in the prices on the daily use items in the market which badly hits the life of the common people. It is the social responsibility of the shopkeepers to sell their commodities at fair prices in this disastrous situation. Rather wherever possible the prices should be lowered if the situation becomes more critical. 

Likewise, private transporters should not take the undue advantage of the situation and should not increase the fare prices during emergency situations.We have seen that whenever there is such a pandemic it affects all of us without making any difference on the basis of our caste, colour, religion or occupation. So we have to fight collectively against it to avoid its further spreading and to control its impact on our lives. We should be helpful to each other in this critical situation. We should contribute our best for the welfare of humanity in this disastrous situation. Let God protect us all and give us the courage to fight against this pandemic.

(The author teaches Geography as GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at [email protected])