Can he or anyone in the congress answer the following questions that occur to a common citizen of this country?

17 April 2020


When the whole world was kept in the dark for at least 3 months of this impending disaster, who would have thought about, leave alone procure testing equipment?

When suddenly the news about the virus comes up, the Govt. has started procuring the testing kits. What else do you expect anyone to do?

When there are no sufficient test kits, what would you do random testing or rush and test a place wherefrom a case is reported? Obviously one cannot do random testing because there are not test kits even for reported cases.

When you do get sufficient test kits, you can start on random testing as well. The Govt is already doing so. So what is the complaint about?

Can you do random testing only to “keep ahead of the virus’s direction of spread instead of chasing the virus?” The fact is you need both the random testing and testing of reported cases areas to go on simultaneously. Assuming there are enough test kits, and you do both random and reported cases testing, what you do once find positive cases and the direction of spread of the virus?

There is only one thing on this virus right now: You cannot confront it, fight it and win: The only thing you can do is to dodge it as there is no known cure as such. Even in cases cured, it is not that we have found the cure: the remedies we based on symptoms use work in some cases and not in other cases. Even doctors pray and give the remedies they give rather than giving the remedies with the confidence that the remedies will work and the patient will be cured.

So in cases of testing done after a case surfaces or in random testing, the only thing you can do is to dodge the virus and there is only one way to dodge now and that is lockdown. The testing can only pinpoint, circumscribe and limit the area of lock down and avoid country-wide lock down. We are doing just that.

Could we have avoided the country wide lockdown? No, not at all, then we would have gone down like Italy( Rahul’s mother’s mother- country), or Spain or the US. Work out a figure as no. of cases reported divided by the population of the country. India will top the list with an enviable index : What else we want? It is so till date and the country is working to keep it that way.

Imagine the consequences of not having the lockdown: our covid figures would be several times the US figures as our population is 4 times the US population!

India has given priority to human lives over the economic woes in enforcing a lock-down: Is this wrong priority? First humans have to survive to revive the economy. Whereas humans can revive the economy, economy cannot revive humans!

The sequence that India has followed in tackling the covid crisis is the best: People like Raga should know that, if you do right things in wrong sequence, results go awry. May be it is too much to expect such clarity from anyone in the congress of today.

Once we ensure we are living, then putting the economy back to order is at least feasible and the country that has tackled the covid is such a remarkable way has brains, innovation and strategy to tackle economy too in a remarkable way.

The final question: Even with prolific testing, one can only dodge this virus and that too through lockdown, either in selective places or district as a whole. Is “pause” button analogy valid?

The advantage of either selective or total lockdown is immense: here we are dealing with human systems and not computer systems. In humans, research has proven that, if a human being does something daily once, it becomes a habit in 3 to 6 weeks. So when nation wide lock down is lifted, and selective lock down only is in existence, things like social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands frequently etc. may be insisted upon but fortunately would have become habits to all of us. We will be uncomfortable without doing these, as these would have become our habits. So there is a good chance we will keep up those habits and it would have a tremendous effect on the spread of covid even if lock down is lifted. So Raga’s contention that the lockdown is meaning less because covid will come back once it is lifted, shows lack of understanding of human systems. In fact what Raga contends namely lockdown is meaningless is indeed and in fact meaningless! We all will be used to a new norm or way of running our daily routines and that alone is enough to keep dodging the covid until we find a cure for it.

This is the only thing that makes sense given the current situation and constraints. And our Govt. and its experts are doing exactly the right thing and the only right thing in the current circumstances.

Raga says he has talked to experts in Govt., outside Govt. and foreign experts. If he comes out with statements that has made in the mad press conference today, I have a word of advice for him: It is not just the level of expertise of people whom he consults that matters, but also who is listening to such experts. Raga should see the short educational film “eye of the beholder” to understand what I am saying.

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