16 May 2020
The city I live in has been declared ‘COVID-free’. This is a small victory but by no means a permanent one. We had ninety patients, all of whom recovered.
What this means, on the optimistic side, is that others can take this as a morale boost; we can take this as a morale boost. There is light at the end of the tunnel and some of us have seen it, which means others can too. We can get things under control even if we will never be fully rid of SARS-Cov-2. The city administration of Mysore deserves a pat on their back, as do our cops and medical professionals, and our grocers and vendors, and our journalists and teachers and several others whose contributions are incredibly important but sadly go unnoticed.
On the pragmatic side, it is important not to loosen up now. Sure, opening the city up would be a great move—and that was precisely the (predictable) response—but reducing security, not so much. While we have no cases in the city, we are not immune to cases from outside the city slipping in. Our border security officials have to be all the more careful now. Our cops and doctors have to take a breather but not let their guard down. And above all, our citizens must not forget what we went through over the last two months and do their best to stay safe and hygienic.
One more interesting observation on traveling across districts today: the state government is helpfully offering two options for people who have been recommended quarantine, and these were I believe really thoughtful moves. One, simple quarantine facilities have been set up by the government and under their watch where people can opt to quarantine for free; two, more well-equipped, luxurious facilities have been set up by the government, also under its watch, where people can choose to pay for themselves and quarantine. Both facilities come in the form of rooms in existing hotels. This set up is great because it caters to everyone—those who cannot afford to quarantine, and those who can; those who have no complaints about quarantine facilities, and those who do.
Despite this, a group of travellers from outside the state refused to quarantine themselves in either set-up and had to be forced back to wherever they came from. Go figure. Some people just do not get it.