Covid was a last nail in the coffin—a vague foreboding that nothing more demonic can exorcize the human body; Dengue, malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases act as fillers and the excrescence of Tuberculosis is a red-hot magma rising in a volcano with an unprecedented flow. Seasonal flu’s are a comeuppance as a result of climate change and the not so interesting environment we swear by. Respirationis now a cry for survival like the involuntary brandishing of the arms clamping the sheet waves of water to figure out if living is still a permissible reality or drowning will be a clean slate of one’s neglect.
We are fanatics, when it comes to religion; observing rituals as inveterate gamblers of what is convivial for the prosperity of mind and health. But, we forget that good health cannot be answered through the piffle-paffle of religious ceremonies but by fanning the ‘wrongs’ and ‘belittles’ that have imprecated the human body. We love to get alarmed! ‘Oh! Dengue is on rise’, ‘did you hear about the new virus?—Money pox, God knows what these bats and monkeys are up to? ‘Pollution levels are about to rise because of crop burning – it’s time to buy air-purifiers.’ The same verbatim every year and unfortunately we have learnt to live with it.
But, with Covid manifesting insalubriously, Indians today get easily paranoid of their health and swam of people are seen jostling outside diagnostic centres. A fastidious culture of testing and re-testing is a new directive finding absolution from the atavistic innuendos. But all this a causation of a ‘fear’—a fear arising to save ourselves; least we forget to work on parameters that are causing these health hazards.
So, whose fault is it anyways?
The virus or the bacteria that’s leaves no stone unturned to creep inside our body or the abdication of the government to assess the proximity of the hazard, or the vulnerable citizens of the country whose indigence is a curse and are bludgeoned by the rich for they carry assisted privileges falling as a coup de grace on the poor?
Our country has become a cauldron of exculpating health menace making it difficult to breathe and sustain. To add more fuel to the fire is our debilitating health infrastructure unable to contain scores of patients which often result in self-treatment, causing relapses and resistance to medication.
Pollution has become a panjandrum in the nest of our breathing apparatus. So conveniently, our government envisages plans and preparations to solve the crisis but all hell breaks loose during the winter season when farm fires are at the zenith. Stubble burning gives rise to toxic air breathed by North Indians, making Delhi and Haryana the worst polluted cities of the world. The Government, in all its honesty, tries to lock the barn after the horse has escaped—closing schools, banning construction work and applying the ‘odd-even’ conundrum to have less traffic on the roads. Nobody talks about new technologies to re-use the stubble or create awareness of breaking the rice-wheat monopoly through crop diversification. Providing super seeders and bailing machines to farmers will also help reduce the cost of stubble burning and give them an apparatus to alternatives.The lack of plausible mechanisms leaves behind chocked lungs and arrhythmias creating warfare of poisonous gases looming inside the human body with all gust and spirit.
The contemporaneous machosim ofthe lethal mosquito is welcomed in India with aplomb every year. How benevolent of us! The rise of Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya—all mosquito borne diseases—are an absolute tryst with destiny; the failures and falters imperceptibly creating a havoc of high-grade fever, rashes, gastrointestinal upsets and in severe cases causing haemorrhage. Rain water breeds these mosquitos and we fail to address the open water drainage and the maintenanceof ubiquitous pot holes. So, what can we do to avoid the aberration? Mosquito breeding places should be identified before the rain gods pour in their sanctimony to this land, which is now being taken for granted. The cracks in the roads should be repaired to avoid water logging. Educating people how to avoid infestation of mosquitos in their abode should be a priority.
I now feel that the peripatetic mosquito hovering in our homes furnishes consanguinity with the Lion in the jungle? Like the bat was evicted during its trial of the Covid master-blaster, the mosquito too seems cordially ensconced on the sheaths of human depredations. Enter the monkey who is venerated in Hindu temples as ‘Hanuman’ is now a virulent harper of ‘Monkey Pox’, the Indians can’t make the head or tail of.
Whoa! With Covid still hovering tempestuously over our heads, all of the above seems like sugarcane caught is the gears of a juicer. Tuberculosis was an undeterred walnut unable to break causing cases to load up during Covid. The health infrastructure lamented as an imbecile on its own trajectory of fallible tendencies.
More than people going for unpalatable health check-ups, isn’t it time for the state and the central government to consider suitable paraphernalia for a safe-thriving environment and a robust health infrastructure? How we handled the Covid pandemic imbues a torrid wave of mortification. An alien virus caught us in dead pants, but what about the indigenous mosquito and crop-burning? We look like an ant struggling under the load of a matchstick. Its high time we off load our shortcomings to give the citizens of this country as healthy environment to live in.
We as a nation need to give our progeny a clean and a safe harbour. Regular check-ups are not a mandate for a good health; what is required is a pragmatic approach to put on the table hard core policies and directives to prioritize ‘health’.