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The Financial Express

A CLOSE LOOK

Pandemic's lessons go unheeded as ever

| Updated: July 09, 2021 22:51:57


Pandemic's lessons go unheeded as ever

How welcome rains are when scorching heat of summer makes a hell of a life for people. Right now parts of Canada and the United States of America are smarting under a relentless and repressive sun. People there are gasping for breath and about 500 Canadians and dozens of Americans have lost their lives due to sweltering heat.
In this part of the world, the monsoon has set in its traditional intensity. Sometimes pitter patter, sometimes drizzles and at times heavy, the rains could be highly enjoyable but for a virus that has been cruel and unforgiving. The rains may have helped the cause of lockdown by compelling people to stay indoor but there are those day labourers who have to get out in search of their paltry income, come what may. Rickshaw-pullers, van-pullers, vegetable vendors, roving hawkers and many others living on their daily wages go about their business in defiance of the driving rains or drizzles.
When rickshaw-pullers paddle their three-wheelers with or without passengers at midnight or thereafter with their full frame drenched, one cannot feel pity for the misery they suffer. That they get drenched with rains during the daytime may even be somehow accepted but the untimely shower for long hours may prove too much for them. After all, it is human body and there is a limit to cope with such unusual conditions. Don't they catch cold or fever after a thorough drenching?
These people serve society in time of emergency in return for small rewards. But when they are in dire need of help, society turns a blind eye to their crises. In a polarised society, these vulnerable people have become more vulnerable because of the archaic and discriminatory social system. They almost live a primitive life unconcerned by deprivation of many of the basic requirements let alone luxuries. They lead a simple life and are happy if they can barely manage two square meals of coarse foods and coarse attire for them and the members of their families.
Of course, some of them harbour a big dream for their children and send them to schools. But the problem here is that the schools their children can have access to are also the fringe schools dedicated mostly to raise the rate of literacy instead of offering even the minimum commercialised education as offered by mainstream educational institutions. Only the extraordinarily talented among these students can cross the line and pull them out of the mire. But their number is few and far between.
Class struggle has become almost fossilized the world over with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc. But the market economy is exposing its inhuman discriminatory treatment of humanity everywhere. Right now this has been happening even in case of vaccination. The rich countries have more vaccines than they require and they are vaccinating even children and young population whereas other less equal nations cannot inoculate their elderly citizens who are more vulnerable to Covid-19.
By all means, this pandemic should have given a lesson of humanity; instead the monopoly right of vaccine manufacture and its distribution points to the fact that the commercial concerns and avarice have become the overriding motive. The poor are becoming its principal victims.
Nature is making a bold statement by delivering unprecedented capricious weather all over the world. Europe from France to Finland faced weather never experienced before last year. This year Canada and America are listening to the music. But who cares? Human bond has become shattered and decimated, so the civilisation may have to pay a heavy price for not caring for those who need to be cared.

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