Covid-19 & unanimity

May 23, 2020

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THIS is apropos Fahd Husain’s article ‘In Pakistan lockdown eases — fear doesn’t’ (May 9). I think it is an understatement that policy is driving the data. It seems that every minister in the state has their own policy which has to match the data.

It is quite unnerving to know for a moment that the lockdown has been eased by the government and at the same time the cases of coronavirus have shown an escalating trend countrywide.

Currently, the new fad term ‘smart lockdown’ seems part of the jargon of the day and age to define utter confusion which actually seems to mean ‘subject to your own senses: make a wise decision’. Whatever sensibility and wisdom an individual carries is again subjective to his own responsibility and understanding of the given standard operating procedures. So all in all, every individual citizen is doing as things make sense to them.

However, the SOPs are not being totally ignored as there are people who are trying to follow them in letter and in spirit in order to earn a day’s living. But that situation is also subject to a person’s locale.

Every day there is a new rule and a new law but one unanimous acceptance, remains elusive and a rise in coronavirus cases is predicted to reach a peak in coming days.

The talk of being killed by virus or hunger is rife. So like a see-saw, the situation and policies keep tilting from one end to the other. Families and children have come out of their homes for some human and natural connection, while teenagers are seen cycling together post-Iftar. Hence, it is safe to establish that people are no longer in the confines of their homes.

The point is whatever the government decides, whatever philosophy it chooses to follow in the upcoming days, especially during Eid, there should be unanimity. Otherwise the price of this state-wide confusion might prove too costly for an already poor nation.

Zainab H. Sadriwala

Karachi

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020