After more than a year of living under the constant threat of an undefeated pandemic, it appears the people of Quetta have now turned numb to the viral threat. The growing desensitisation, which is a treacherous path to tread, has left many throwing all caution to the wind, in a time when it is most needed.
“It’s not like the people have not had hell to pay or haven’t witnessed the worst of this virus firsthand. My own family has lost two close relatives to this disease but they still don’t seem to be taking the threat as seriously as they should,” said 23-year old Jamil, who’s a student in the provincial capital.
“It is perhaps the realisation that most of our elders are vaccinated that has left the rest of the family to assume that they can take all kinds liberties with the SOPs now. But that too is a callous thing to do, considering vaccines are not 100 per cent effective,” he added.
Jamil’s family is just one example among many in the city, who have over time, despite experiencing serious ramifications, have grown to either turn a blind eye to the virus or falsely believe that the threat has somehow diluted since it last wreaked havoc.
According to Balochistan Covid-19 Cell’s former member Dr Ismail Mirwani, the public should focus all their efforts towards getting vaccinated right now, while our case numbers are still relatively low.
“This virus has brought even the most affluent countries to their knees, so a developing country like ours, with a flailing healthcare system, clearly doesn’t stand a chance. Immunisation is our only hope, but even so we still need to follow all SOPs and precautionary measures until we are declared free of Covid-19,” he advised.
Speaking in the regard Federal Department Officer Zaibunissa however said that she thinks that Pakistan has come a long way since the first wave of Covid-19 jostled the country in March of 2020.
“I still remember the lack of information and wide-spread confusion regarding the disease back then. There was no cure on the horizon either and it was like we didn’t even know what hit us. All we could rely on was shared knowledge and experiences, which took a grave mental toll on everyone. I think we are doing much better now, since we know what we are dealing with.
But even so, if we are to make it through this we need to be not just physically but also mentally fit and at ease. We can only achieve that if we take care of our mental health and act as each other’s support systems through these troubling times,” she told The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2021.