Good morning fellas! I’m just sick and disturbed by what I am seeing in my country. People have gone more mad after the outbreak of the coronavirus. Some are organizing hawans, others are busy in namaz. The leader tells us to beat drums, the religious fanatics suggests us to drink gomutra (cow urine) and cow dung for it has the cure to every disease. I’m just sick of all of these. So now I’m going to debunk some of the myths and absurd theories attached to this outbreak and what are the necessary things to remember in this outbreak:

Question: How bad is the situation?

Answer – To be very honest, it is very bad. The government is not being honest to us. Let me tell you why! So, whenever an outbreak takes place, it gives us a one week span to gear up and stop it from entering the zone. India had the knowledge that an alien virus has evolved in China which is a novel strain and has no cure yet. But it did not take the precautionary measures that were needed to limit the spread. It did not consult with the Chinese officials and doctors to incubate the strain. Rather it kept on focusing on other things. It did not lock down the borders. The planes flew even a few days back. People too believed in being stupid and kept on staying sick without any kind of treatment. The educated fools with the disease came from abroad, broke the instructional parameters, partied with hundreds to spread the disease in a more rapid manner. We are now in the “community spread stage” wherein the government has left all the treatments on the hands of every hospital because it has gone out of control. Those people with no travel history are also getting infected. So please realize that we are now in a drastic phase where we need to be more cautious. We can’t listen to all the shit that’s going on in social media platforms because it is not the time to go by religion or it is not the time to relax rather now is the time to gear up.

Question: Why are we so doomed?

Answer – Regardless of all the nihilism, I always try to be optimistic, but now is not the time to be dishonest. India lacks proper healthcare resources and infrastructure. Believe that! We are not some developed country to boast on our facilities. We invest 5% of our GDP in our healthcare. So, here’s the thing, we’re doomed because of this only. More than 40% of our population live on streets, that is, 600 million people. Others are daily wage workers who work away from their home. Even then we are not getting an honest report from the top officials. To be very scientific, with proper information comes proper precautions. Our healthcare system isn’t that much capable of sustaining the tsunami of deaths that’s about to come. So, we must know all of these because the time demands to be honest. Yes, the population may panic but believe me panicking is much better than death.

Question – What are the myths associated with this virus?

Answer – See, I myself am a student of hardcore biology and I’ve been in this field from past ten years and I’ve studied the fundamentals of virology. There are many myths that need to be debunked because now is not the time to be absurd in the head.

*** So, firstly, the curfew won’t help in stopping the virus. Educated people like Sonu Nigam, and even good teachers are believing that the virus has a lifespan of 12 hours but the curfew is of 14 hours so it will help in creating a barrier for the virus. No. Not at all. Viruses stay inactive outside the body of the host. It needs a body to survive. So without the host the mortality rate of the virus is 72 hours and more. But still it is inactive so one cannot detect the proper mortality rate of the virus. So the curfew is good, but it should be extended a lot more because the situation is out of hand.

*** Secondly, cow piss won’t help in killing the virus. Please stop spreading this shit. Let the doctors do their job. They know the best. An uneducated nonsense religious fanatic cannot/should not become the reason for our stupidity.

*** Thirdly, no viruses don’t die because of sound waves that have been given as the reason why the Prime Minister told us to beat utensils. Please stop doing all of these because you’re killing logic and without logic we cannot fight with the virus.

*** Fourthly, please stop doing yajyas, hawans, namaz in the time of an outbreak. God won’t help us. It never will. It’d be stupid to believe that God will save us. Influenza killed more than 4 million people in Europe. Chicken pox killed 7 million only in France. Cholera killed more than a million people in India. They were fought with vaccines, not some God. If you keep organizing all of these, amidst the outbreak it would only lead to the spread of the disease. So just tighten up your asses and do what’s sensible and rational.

Question – Why do we need to learn from China?

Answer – Right after the outbreak the very bashing of Chinese officials started. I won’t go into politics. But let’s stick to the fact that everyday 12 million microbes evolve on this planet. China was the epicenter of the outbreak, but it controlled it. Factories, offices have started opening in China. It is not because they developed the virus. Rather it is because of the aggressive and old school method adopted by the Chinese government. A documentary report broadcasted by DW news suggests that the Chinese government sanitised the whole Wuhan. They isolated the whole city, knocked on every door, sanitized the entire country, isolated the strain of the virus, used extreme measures to catch the patients who were trying to hide the symptoms and hence, they were able to stop it. We, on the other hand, do not carry such resources to do all of these. Our international relationship with China ain’t that good, but we need to copy what China did in all these days. It is the dire necessity.

Question: Do we need to be afraid?

Answer – I believe yes. But that doesn’t mean that we should become stupid to do absurd things. Fear of death is good in times of crisis. It is time to lock ourselves and then to understand the basics of the virus, the biology of the virus. We cannot fall for fake news, rather we need to cross check every other information that comes in our way. Read how the virus works. At this point, our senses would help us only. Don’t believe that hot water would be a cure. Or some fluid of some monk could save us from this virus. We have dealt with many kinds of diseases and religion hardly had any answer to them. So please, be afraid but don’t panic. Don’t make the country a mess. There are workers who don’t have a home to live in. We cannot let their life at risk by believing in such stupid narratives. So please, maintain social distance. Spread art. Make the best use of this isolation and just help those who are helping us.

Kabir Deb is a published writer and poet. Born in Haflong and completed his Masters on Life Sciences from Assam University. His work has been published from different national and international magazine like Different bTruths, Counter Currents, Reviews, Cafe Dissensus, Spillwords magazine and his works rely on political activisvm. He recently won the Reuel International Poetry Prize in 2019. His debut book is now available in stores.


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One Comment

  1. Today everyone wants to say their opinions about the reactions to the global epidemic. A good word in time of need can make the difference between mindless panic and rational worry. Sometimes a few good words from a humanist layman are much better than the instructions of an overwhelmed, panicked “scientist”, who must deliver, who cannot say he is not sure. We need to be extra careful how we communicate our opinions, we shouldn’t try to impress by using a language of certainty about subjects we cannot be sure of. People need to keep it together, cool their minds and be able to think, that is the most important. Otherwise we will be living in a Hollywood-style post-apocalyptic zombie movie. Nobody wants that.