The coronavirus pandemic has pushed India into a state of uncertainty. Healthcare professionals are fighting in cohesion against this disease whose antecedents and treatment options are yet unknown. However, one cannot deny that the unprecedented nature of this epidemic has prompted its people to take a united stand in tackling this contagion. The fight against this novel disease cannot be won unless we assume shared responsibility, though this appears a bit challenging as the high density of population involving a major part living in rural villages and urban slums is at a high risk of being afflicted by the virus spread due to community transmission.
The government-mandated lockdown has had a dampening effect on the country’s economy as business houses clamped down on their operations leaving the informal class stranded amidst a sudden job crisis. The unprivileged section was forced to migrate to their villages and towns, thus, testing the states’ preparation to deal with this sudden exodus.
Mobilization of Resources
To deal with a pandemic of such unequaled proportions necessitates mass mobilization of resources apart from the optimization of those at our disposal. While we applaud the incumbent government’s efforts to contain the virus spread, it becomes imperative for us to come forth and extend help where necessary. The private sector has shown tremendous efforts in helping the government by donating huge amounts to the PMCares Fund, hiking production of sanitizers, masks, personal protection equipment, and building hospitals at short notice besides facilitating food and shelter to the migrant laborers dependent on their daily wages for survival. An increasing number of people are contributing in an individual capacity apart from paying advance wages to their domestic workers and their helpers.
Collective Responsibility is the Key
While the government has been ramping up efforts to identify possible the coronavirus pandemic hotspots and test more people to track the spread, we citizens must adhere to government guidelines and take care of all necessary precautions listed for our safety. Exhibit collective responsibility by maintaining the prescribed physical distancing or going outside only to buy essential commodities. While we educate our children about the importance of washing hands regularly with soap and water, we must also consider donating soaps and sanitizers to the marginalized groups to help them maintain personal hygiene.
Avoid participating in mass gatherings, overcrowded places or religious congregations is another way prescribed to avoid encountering possible virus carriers, thus, helping stifle a possible plague-like situation.
Educate the Vulnerable
Most evils in society stem from illiteracy and poverty. Fake news circulating on social media platforms or mischief mongers peddling hate messages have aggravated unwarranted psychological stress among the uneducated and uninformed. As a society, we must educate these people on the latest developments while drawing their attention to essential steps like wearing clean masks, frequent washing of hands, cooperating with healthcare workers carrying out door-to-door surveys and rushing to the nearest hospital on a sudden onset of early symptoms.
Stigmatization and discrimination against coronavirus warriors or frontline workers have put many lives to risk. Educating the masses about how their unprincipled attitude will aggravate the problem is a must. Participating in public awareness campaigns to share reliable information will ensure the implementation of best practices in our fight against this pandemic.
Coronavirus pandemic is a national problem that needs to be recognized and tackled collectively. Flattening the curve can be gained only by assuming collective responsibility to ensure that no Indian remains bereft of health and social policy responses. Extending help and necessary support in the spirit of solidarity will fortify the government’s directed efforts at tackling the disease.
Not too many people can remain stoic in a situation like this. However, unwarranted panic will not help ease the situation either. Taking precautionary steps, ensuring timely treatment and following government-issued recommendations in letter and spirit will help overcome this difficult situation within a few months.
Smile Foundation is also working relentlessly towards doing its part in providing relief to underprivileged people by providing them with dry rations. The kit will consist of food, medicines, soap, and sanitizer for people to maintain both health and hygiene. In addition to this, teleconsultation of the existing beneficiaries of Smile’s health vertical will be conducted to keep a track of their health. People will be connected with digitally by Smile on Wheels agents and a record of their health conditions will be maintained. They will also be referred to a doctor or medical institution in case of a medical emergency.
A situation like a coronavirus pandemic requires us all to come together to help the most helpless overcome the difficulties alongside ourselves. Smile aims to bring together all the communities in this fight against an invisible enemy through communal effort through awareness and aid.