Looking back, it's evident political authorities world over miserably failed in responding to COVID19-threat in time. Had there been no CARELESSNESS and COMPLACENCY indulged into by different country-heads then there would have been no surge in cases
of Corona-19 virus patients and deaths.
Sample this. Chinese authorities didn't take timely action to stem the dangerous tide of COVID19 despite having been sounded alert by one of their own young doctors in Wuhan. Instead of acting on his warning to take PREVENTIVE measures against the COVID19, they took police action against him. He himself later died of COVID19.
Similarly, USA had detected COVID19-menace in JANUARY this year. But, it unfortunately displayed CARELESSNESS of extraordinary proportions and so took COVID19 lightly with President Donald Trump debunking it as a purely chinese virus. Disastrous result is there for all to see. It took serious action against COVID19 only by 2nd-3rd week of March. By then, it had caused widespread infections and since then more than 43,000 lives have been lost to Corona-19 virus at the time of authoring instant write-up.
Now, let's take case of India. Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh has said on record, his administration had sent a written communique to NOIDA Administration in JANUARY 2020 itself regarding COVID19. He had then rebuked Administration officials including DM of Noida in a televised meeting when he visited Noida after clamping of 21 days' LOCKDOWN in India on 24th of March for taking no action to stop and contain spread of COVID19.
Even this author had then been receiving reports of serious outbreak of COVID19 in NCR/Delhi state, two weeks prior to announcement of 21 days' Lockdown. This writer was told at that time the RML hospital in Delhi had no more beds left, as full it had become with COVID19 patients. This author was told by reliable sources then that the Indian government had unofficially gagged Indian media, especially Television Channels not to break this news to public for the fear there would be panic amongst public.
Thus, one can easily infer the sad conclusion that even the Indian government was CARELESS and took action of LOCKDOWN too late in March...
The story is same for all other countries that are busy fighting the scourge of Corona-19 virus.
Why was this UNPARDONABLE callous carelessness and complacency in terms of delayed response to COVID19 displayed by government authorities all over world?
There are several reasons.
First, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared in January this year that the Corona-19 virus is non-infectious. Consequently, world leaders such as Donald Trump took the COVID19-threat lightly. Of course, in March, WHO declared it to be infectious. But, irreversible damage had been done by then by virulent COVID19.
Some governments like Narendra Modi governments were scared and wary of antagonising public by imposing Lockdowns, an unknown new phenomenon in politics! Unsure of public response, they proceeded too cautiously. For example, Indian government tried to feel public-pulse through one day's "Janata Curfew" which was fortunately viewed positively by Indian public which were already scared by learning of thousands of horrible deaths due to Corona-19 virus in countries like Italy and Spain...! Based on positive feedback, it EXTENDED the LOCKDOWN by 21 days.
Obviously, the Indian government led by Narendra Modi didn't wish to cause public anger of the kind witnessed against MISA imposed in 1975 by Indira Gandhi that cost her massive electoral drubbing in 1977...! They tried to avoid domestic political cost of forcible imposition of public-policy.
In short, it seems Narendra Modi was SO MUCH SCARED OF PUBLIC BACKLASH THAT HE TOOK TWO MONTHS TO MUSTER COURAGE ENOUGH TO ANNOUNCE LOCKDOWN IN MARCH...!
Even now, it is acting on a "no-displeasing the public" (NDTP) policy by imposing Lockdowns in piecemeal fashion. For example, it extended LOCKDOWN till 3rd May. One can see the indian government imposed Lockdown of 40 days not at one single stretch. Instead, it divided it into two parts - (i)21days (ii) and 19 days.
Some sceptics have already opined the Indian government shall again announce extension of Lockdown on 3rd May for another block of days, may be 7 days -14 days- 21days -27 days and so on...
Third, authorities probably thought it to be just another seasonal virus that would decrease in intensity and impact with onset of the Spring.
Whatever be the motives or circumstances leading to CARELESSNESS and COMPLACENCY, it has proved costly to Maanavataa/humanity as proved by continuing onslaught of COVID19 that is causing thousands of COVID19-deaths daily in top 10 Developed Countries such as the USA, ITALY and UK.
The lesson we must learn from COVID19-pandemic is very simple: Don't take early signs of disasters too lightly. Else, it would be too disastrous for whole Vasudhaa/Earth and its inhabitants.
- Dr Swaamee Aprtemaanandaa Jee
( The writer is well known for informative analytical pieces on Healing, Spirituality, Yoga, Fitness, Health, Medicine, Ayurveda, Science, Economics, and Politics)