Thursday, 16 July, 2020
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EDITORIAL

Easing The Lockdown



Slowing down the spread of the dreaded coronavirus is the prime reason that has guided the government to impose an extended nationwide lockdown. The over two-month lockdown has shut down schools, colleges, offices, industries and businesses and has prohibited social gatherings. Lately, with the arrival of a large number of people from across the border and a spike in virus cases and deaths, the government appears to have no option but to give continuity to the ongoing lockdown, which has indeed put many in the nation at the receiving end.

The extended lockdown has left a deep scar on the life of the people belonging to multiple sectors of our society. Apart from hitting hard the industries, trade, commerce and education, it has robbed the daily wage earners, labourers, vendors and small-time entrepreneurs, shopkeepers of their livelihoods. The government is under pressure as its sources of revenues have dried up. The lockdown has also roiled essential medical services, transport and other services causing immeasurable hardships to the people suffering from non-communicable diseases, women requiring maternity care, people facing mental illness and those who are in need of seeing their doctors and visiting medical laboratories at regular intervals. Many patients have lost their life because they could not receive required health services during the lockdown period. They could have been saved, had the ongoing lockdown been somewhat relaxed.

Another repercussion of the lengthy lockdown is many school-going students and adolescents, along with their parents and guardians have been forced to stay indoors. The shutting down of schools and colleges has stopped students from engaging in learning, playing and physical activities. As such they are likely to suffer from monotony, which may be detrimental to their mental growth. In the meantime, many of these youngsters are found to be hooked up to electronic gadgets, threatening them to become less smart and less knowledgeable gadget loving nerds. In fact, the parents and guardians who have not been able to attend their own businesses or offices during the lockdown period, have to cope with their gadget-loving kids, which has only piled up their troubles. All these incidents tell us that the extended lockdown, which has affected multiple sectors, has come at the cost of people's wellbeing.

Experts have said that the extension of lockdown can't be the only solution to the virus crisis. It is noteworthy to state that the countries that had earlier imposed stringent lockdown have started easing the restrictions after they came across several predicaments arising out of it. Also, the experts believe that the dreaded virus appears to remain with us for some period. The lockdown has proved to be only a partial solution, not a panacea to the virus. They have thus recommended the government should now go for easing the mobility restrictions. To manage the situation following the relaxation of restrictions, the government, according to experts, can well implement strict guidelines to be followed by the people, besides conducing detection, test, isolation, treatment of every case to control the contagion. Undoubtedly, the "lockdown-oppressed masses" would throw their weight behind the experts' recommendations to the government because the recommendations would bring them much-needed relief from the pitfalls of the extended lockdown. 

How do you feel after reading this news?