Abid Hussain Rather
Coronavirus pandemic is taking a more dangerous shape with every passing day. Everyday the number of covid-19 affected people is increasing in different parts of the world. The situation is becoming worse day by day. Everywhere in the world the experts are advising people to keep social distance and to stay at homes in order to avoid the infection and to avoid the spreading of the disease. But most of the people specially in our Kashmir are not taking the advices seriously and are making fun of the pandemic. When the people are dying everywhere and the people in different parts of the world are praying in their own ways for coming out of the catastrophe; people in Kashmir are continuously spreading rumors. We are sharing fake news on social media without any confirmation. Few days ago photograph of a baby girl was circulated on the social media labelling her as a covid-19 victim and the relative of the deceased person who was a covid-19 patient. Then a short video clip from some hollywood movie was circulated on social media which was labelled as showing the dead bodies of covid-19 victims thrown somewhere down a mountain in Italy. It seems that our bones are not yet shaken and we are still miscalculating the outcomes of the disaster. Most of the people on social media particularly on Facebook update funny post about the pandemic and are enjoying the flinty situation. Everyone among us gets gathered on roadsides in the evening and then updates his post on social media regarding social distancing and staying at home. Instead of social isolation we make gatherings in our areas and start futile discussion about the present situation and share fake news with other people. We crack jokes about covid-19 with our friends. Some people who return from outside of Kashmir don’t find it necessary to get checked and tested but instead of it they stay at home, interact with their friends and relatives without informing the government authorities. They also hide their travel history and put their lives as well as those of their family, friends, relatives and neighbors in danger. Some people in rural areas are still of the opinion that this disease is for urban areas only and the virus is either harmless to the people of rural areas or it is prohibited from visiting the rural areas and God is there to protect them. They still don’t avoid social gathering. Most of the shopkeepers in villages keep their shops open all the day and allow people to gather around their shops for futile discussion, thus putting their and other people’s life in danger. Some of us believe that the pandemic is only for non believers and people living in developed countries. Our youths still show no sense of responsibility and enjoy playing cricket in open fields and make social gatherings. The police personals have to use harsh methods to keep us in our homes as we ourselves do not find it necessary to follow the present rules and regulations. Instead of following government orders we argue with people on duty for not allowing us to wander freely.
The deadly virus has made developed countries like USA, Italy, Spain and others to bow down to their knees because the situation in these countries has become uncontrollable and if we will compare ourselves with these people we are hundreds of years back in medicinal technology and health care facilities. So let us guess well in advance what will be our fate if the situation becomes uncontrollable here also. It is high time to understand the alarming situation and the deadly disease as it is still in the initial stage in Kashmir. Instead of spreading rumors and fake news, let all take the precautions as advised by experts. We all should change our behavior and behave as responsible citizens in order to save ourselves and our society. If we will not still understand the disastrous situation, if still our hearts will not melt and if our eyes will not get moistened and we will keep making fun of the covid-19 pandemic by spreading rumors and cracking jokes about it, then surely we deserve something more than this pandemic and can’t claim God to be cruel to us and we can’t ask for His mercy. Let good sense prevail everywhere.
(The author teaches Geography at GDC Kulgam. He can be reached at [email protected])