The globally operating media outlets appear to be fixated with the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been so since the start of the scourge's worldwide spread. Beginning with the BBC, CNN and the other global and regional news-centered services, almost all of them are still coming up with the latest developments in the pandemic's rise to the opening of areas under lockdown.
A few of them keep some spaces reserved for focuses on trade, diplomacy, regional conflicts etc. Inventions of medicinal cures and under-trial vaccines also continue to receive focus.
The topic of the pandemic is expected to occupy a considerably large space in the world-renowned electronic media outlets for some more days. At the same time, with countries witnessing fast remission in fatalities and infections, the broadcasters are also not failing to take the viewers to the positive and brighter sides of life. They include news from tentatively resumed activities in the areas of sport, performing arts and lots of the lighter sides of life.
Although arts festivals have yet to resume in full swing, news about smaller-scale painting shows and get-togethers make their entries into the thick of depressing reports, discussions, interviews etc. Lately, the BBC has broadcast the news of the plans to stage plays in open space. Professional troupes are set to organise the events.
All this can be taken as a part of the global landscape. In tandem with the mixed scenarios offered by the coronavirus pandemic, with many countries opening up and others imposing stringent lockdowns, the lighter sides of life appear to be regaining their previous dominance in societies. In countries, these activities keep going amid the still simmering pandemic. No matter how dreadful a particular period is, modern humans cannot remain detached for long from social and other aspects of life.
During the Middle-Ages, the general Europeans' out-of-home activities used to be limited to the churches and socialising at taverns. The onset of the Black Death pandemic prompted them to stop going to these places. But in conformity with the human nature, the average Europeans couldn't keep themselves away from these two spots for long. People at the church prayers and in raucous revelry in pubs became a common scenario after the subsiding of the pandemic a little.
The 21st century world could not be different, especially against the backdrop of the stunning advancements in every segment of life. Humans today can boast of a mental make-up where fears and worries cannot remain lodged in mind for indefinite periods. That's why the opening of roadside restaurants in Paris, pubs and bars in London, and beaches in the US states, doesn't seem too unusual. All this speaks of the basic human trait to become bored upon beingconfined to a freedom-snatching system for long.
Although the situation in Bangladesh is not much different from that in the other parts of the world, people in this country have been behaving with the deadly pandemic recklessly from the very beginning. It has exacted a heavy toll on the unaware segments of people. Living amid a low-intensity prevalence of the scourge, the casualties that occurred in the country could have been averted. The authorities have not deemed it necessary to ferret out people from the cells of nonchalance and that of a morbid arrogance. Thanks to some factors unique to this country, the corona pandemic has unwittingly been made to turn furious lately.
Strict enforcement of the related anti-infection laws and aggressive and well-coordinated advocacy campaigns can still stop the spread of the disease in the country's large cities. Dhaka is dominant among them. Compared to the panicky urban scenarios, many rural areas offer startlingly different spectacles. With a lot of neighbourhoods in Dhaka under surveillance or lockdowns, villagers living hardly 40-50 kilometres away give a vacant look when asked about coronavirus. Village after village is still found free of the pandemic.
Although a section of experts predict that the virus may continue to afflict Dhaka and the other cities for a longer period than estimated, others differ. They are of the view that the 'herd immunity' phenomenon can still work for Dhaka. Given the wide-scale flouting of restrictions, and increase in crowds everywhere, only it can come to the rescue of the people in this unwieldy metropolis. Meanwhile, another section of experts concludes that occasional fall in the number of deaths and cases shouldn't prompt one to feel complacent. Anomalies in tests cause the number to decline and rise.
Getting the real picture of the corona outbreak and its fallout appear to remain elusive in this country. It is due to the presence of both optimists and pessimists, both at their extremes and behaving in a way which is far from normal. As a result, reality gets distorted. Society needs romantics - dreamers to be precise, whose role turns out to be amorale booster. They instill optimism in people in times of crises. At the same time, society also needs people who are prone to see through the deceptive smokescreens. They abhor euphemism and call a spade a spade. These people continue to create detractors, who dismiss them as doomsters.
Both the over-optimists, who blur reality, and the incorrigible pessimists, equally do lots of damage to truth. There should be an interface between the two extremes in order for the commoners to get the real picture of cataclysmic times. Bangladesh can ill afford to remain puzzled by obfuscating discourses. Like many countries, it should not waste much time before getting back to its pre-pandemic burst of activity.