How corona scare manipulated human mind

Ravi Shanker Kapoor |

Ravi Shanker Kapoor

A hundred years later when historians would write about the death and devastation wrought by the novel coronavirus, they may wonder how mankind, at such a high stage of development, was duped by a clique of public health experts in cahoots with the world’s most powerful rogue state, China.

Future historians would also find it astonishing as to how the human mind could be manipulated by ideologically-motivated experts, how mass hysteria could be generated and sustained, how so large number of people could be made to forget the facts of life the human civilization has been aware of for millennia.

The most important of these facts is disease. As old as mankind itself, it has been around for long and in various manifestations—plague, cholera, malaria, flu, tuberculosis, cancel, organ failures, and long is the list. That ailments kill is also well-known; it is almost an axiomatic truth.

Over the centuries, most importantly in the last couple of them, medical science has made tremendous progress; there are so many vaccinations, medicines, surgeries, etc., that many body afflictions are taken care of successfully. Life expectancy has increased manifold all over the world.

There is a strong possibility of a corona vaccine being invented within a year, but till then we have to fight it in whichever way doctors deem fit. So, why this panic? Why this perception that Covid-19 would end the world? After all, its fatality rate, from recent data, may not be even 1 per cent, may even be comparable with that of common cold.

We are not safe against Covid-19. But are we against cancer (even strapping sportsmen like Yuvraj Singh can get it), heart attacks, paralysis strokes, kidney and liver failures, the thousand diseases caused by adulterated food, road accidents, and a myriad of other killers? The way people drive in India—men driving with women and children on the wrong side of the road—is much more dangerous than any virus can be.

And the weapon that we chose to check the coronavirus, lockdown, has proved be more dangerous than the disease itself. The chaos it has caused has already killed many. Besides, there is the threat of mass hunger and starvation. Then there are job losses, and the stress and anxiety generated thereof. But government, media, and even large sections of society are focused on the coronavirus, its spread, the methods to stop its spread, etc.

What good the lockdown has done? When it was announced, there were about 500 corona-positive cases in the country. After over two months of lockdown, they are touching the 2 lakh mark.

All this because we forgot the basic fact: disease kills. In this forgetfulness, we entered an alternative universe in which we accepted every abomination—house arrest for everyone, abrogation of Fundamental Rights as enshrined in the Constitution, suspension of normal life and its pleasures and joys—so long as we could remain away from the coronavirus. That has not happened.

So we got the worst possible deal: loss of liberty and pursuit of happiness, and community transmission.

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