Daily Post 1385


Most familiar word of the day, Lockdown, was unknown to us till around four months back. Even after going through a few rounds of it, it remains as intriguing or even more, since the time it was first imposed on us, on 24th of March 2020. The nitty gritty of reaching the desired impact through this tool and numerous methodology changes has put us, at our wits end. Lockdown as a mode of treatment for epidemics has been invoked since centuries. The tragedy is that we had never experienced it, the efficacy of it and its utility in overall scheme, slowly we were to fathom out. Buying time to get ready for a surge or spikes was one of the reasons. Some countries have been able to crush the pandemic in the initial stages itself, lockdown being the major tool; New Zealand and Vietnam deserve a mention.

The highhandedness in China; lockdown, multifarious sanitisation, upgrading health infrastructure and precision technology usage yielded results. The nature of leadership has it’s own role to play. Any methodology and practice has finally to find roots in that geography, in the context, amongst the population and above all, has to tackle both culture and the current leaders. The worst hit nations after China were Italy, Spain, France and UK; the tales, pics and videos from these lands sent chill down our spines. They took a while to declare lockdowns, procrastination was killing a clear cut strategy. Finally they did, when the situation had gone out of control. With deaths mounting and health infrastructure crumbling and surge barely plateauing, the feeble thoughts and murmur of opening the economy was silently put to rest, quite a few times.

The moral of the story is that lockdown can be lifted when it has crossed the plateau and is on a sharp downward descent, to the extent that one can see the end. The end is not the elimination but reaching a level, when the medical infrastructure can easily manage. There are other models as well, that being of excellently maintaining social distancing even without wearing masks, contact tracing and a combination of these. The ultimate lesson is whether you are in control of the situation and you have the ways and means to navigate. Finding Golden Equilibrium is not easy. Here it is between reviving the economy and health crisis, which means a scare of death, in plain terms. Generally, you miss both. The second challenge, is the the command and control and the capability to deliver.

This has been our nemesis in fair weather times, in a generic crisis, how far can we go even with best of the efforts. It has to happen all across the country. Where it will flare up nobody knows. As Unlock progressed, the supposedly well laid out plans and claims of managing the economy and the pandemic simultaneously started falling flat, pretty fast. To accept the conspicuous, and make amends is governance. The decision making kept coming down the command chain. When that happens the execution slackens. We are well versed in managing crisis in a uniform, standardised manner, not through complex micro-management and that too, for dual results. Resident associations declaring self lockdowns is way beyond anybody’s imagination. Scare can do anything. The faces all around proclaim that we are at the brink of a crisis. Might be we are already in. Only lockdown is the answer, first for flattening the curve and then it’s descent.


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