On No Option’ rationale

Witoubou Newmai

The ‘COVID-19 time’ raises so many questions even as we feel a measure of uncertainty. And, at the same time, we seem to have difficulty expressing it.

It goes without saying that faulty measures have also been one of the reasons why this COVID-19 has become pandemic. The world lives today with deep regret about what it had failed to do or what it did not do about what it could have done.

Numerous frames of argument can be advanced concerning the sorry figure about COVID-19 combating.

Whose ‘bad’ is responsible for the problem? Should we say the ‘concerned authorities’ are not smart enough as there have been no competent measures? If so then why are the people obediently silent? Is it because of the notion that “we can be moral individuals, concerned with the problem, but it is only the duty of the concerned authorities?” If that is the case, then we are only ceding our responsibility.

When we say ‘problem’, we are not only talking about the disease alone. We are also talking about the altered life of hardships and the longing to scale back our normal living.

The point here is about the issue of ‘mirroring’. Even as the ‘concerned authorities’ take up their responsibilities, we need to reflect what they do. We should not hesitate to harangue the ‘concerned authorities’ if we feel the measures taken up by them are faulty. But here we are, choosing to allow the trend to take us anywhere. It will be too damaging if we choose to trade our future for that of our reluctance to ‘mirror’ on measures taken up by the ‘concerned authorities’.

Let us not forget that wisdom is not present all the time in all the places. In other words, folly also often finds its comfort in high places. This infers, albeit a bit distant, that a vigilant society suffers less.

COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for several months now, a period long enough to attain required knowledge and wisdom on ‘what-to-do’.

To begin with, if the ‘concerned authorities’ feel it is necessary to impose ‘total lockdown’, then there is certain degrees of rationale if they do it till the effort yields the purpose. But we often see the effort is neutralized by half-baked measures.

As of now, 14 days’ period, or even more, is considered one straight quarantined period by most ‘authorities’, reading based on the reported incubation period of the virus. Arguing by banking on this rationale, what ‘total lockdown’ of a few days will yield? Or, ‘total lockdown’ and then scaling down to ‘partial lockdown’ in line is relevant in the situations where issues of mob or unrest prevail. But it needs to have a closer observation of this ‘total lockdown’ to ‘partial lockdown’ measure practice when it comes to the COVID-19 issue. The 'few hours' lockdown pattern in a day and its rationale also need fuller studies. 

And what about ‘total lockdowns’ imposed by certain administrations for a one-day-jump-another-day pattern in a week? Rationales behind all these patterns of lockdown need urgent studies whether they yield results or the suffering returns some benefits. In short, it is time to rethink on ‘lump-sum’ or ‘blanket measures’.

Another concern is also about the closure of hospitals on detection of a COVID-19 case or more. Needless to say they are doing it to prevent further troubles. However, can we also make attempts to locate if there is a thin line between ‘closure’ and ‘opening’ of hospitals rather than this ‘lump-sum’ measure? We urgently need to explore for a way out passage in this regard.

Now, let us also further reflect on some of the above arguments. In case the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise, and going by the impulse of the ‘concerned authorities’ prevalent today, there will be more ‘total lockdowns’. As a society, should we obediently go by the ‘No Option’ rationale if such a situation arises?

It is time now that this topic overwhelms our fire-place and drawing room talks to gain the sole objective of meeting a unity of purpose between the public and the ‘concerned authorities’ on the prevailing pandemic.


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