As this issue of your newspaper reaches you, the Coronavirus pandemic is showing that it is not as bad as it appeared to be in the beginning. Corona is on the wane in cities like Delhi and Mumbai and is fierce in cities and rural areas which it has reached in recent days.
India has done pretty well in its battle with the coronavirus thus far. The death rate in India is very low. The serological survey conducted in Delhi from June 27 to July 10, 2020, indicated that some 23.48% people in the national capital had antibodies to the virus. This means that in mid-June over 40 lakh people in Delhi had already had their brush with the coronavirus and had recovered without knowing it.
Similar studies in Mumbai have indicated that the slums in that city had 57% people with antibodies for the coronavirus.
If the numbers of cases are so high, and the number of deaths are what they are, the case fatality rate works out to just 0.08 percent, which is the death of just one in 1250 patients and the falling ill of 15 to 20.
Delhi and Mumbai are the cities that first came face to face with the coronavirus, for, it was brought by people who came to India from abroad. It is from these cities that the virus has travelled to other cities and to rural areas.
It is reasonable to infer that the areas that are today seeing an avalanche of cases, should see a decline in cases in a few weeks. The effort must be to reduce the deaths and the suffering. Through trial and error, Delhi and Mumbai have discovered the best way to fight this pandemic. The Delhi model of home quarantine has worked well and is being adopted in other cities for that reason. Far less number of people are dying at home than in hospitals.
The experience of Delhi and Mumbai tells us that there is light at the end of this coronavirus tunnel. Sooner rather than later, the pandemic will be history and life will start returning to a new normal. Business activity will once again pick up and lives will be restarted as people gingerly emerge from isolation.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us quite a few lessons and it will be in order not to forget these lessons.
Firstly, the pandemic has taught us that our healthcare infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired and our government must devote more resources for upgrading it.
Secondly, it has taught us the crucial importance of immunity. In fact, we now realize that our body's immunity is more important than money, for it makes the difference between life and death. Yes, immunity is the new currency. It has to be cultivated by every individual. It is the immunity that the populace has in India that has kept our death rate down. Is it because the Indian population is faced by so many viruses in everyday life that it has developed immunity? Is it our food full of condiments and spices that has given us the advantage? Be that as it may, the outcome is that the coronavirus could not be as fierce in India as it was in Europe and America.
Thirdly, the coronavirus has taught us the importance of maintaining a distance from potential illnesses. Of hand washing. This would also include keeping oneself locked in, figuratively speaking, and avoiding all negativity of all kinds.
Fourthly, the coronavirus has given opportunity to crores of Indians to spend time in hearth and home and think about Life itself. Yes, individuals who emerge from the lockdown have indeed figured out what is important in Life and what is not. So, the blueprint is now mapped out in people's minds about how to focus on the essentials and to skip the non-essentials.
In sum, it is indeed a blessing that the coronavirus has not been as bad in India as it has been elsewhere. Let us count our blessings and at the same time in the post-corona-world value and cherish Life in all its splendour.