This is a confession note and not an accusation, voice of concern and not rebellion against compliance, debate and not dissent. India err on the side of extreme fear, ignorant epidemiology and medicine over novel coronavirus and purchased our economic disaster.
Our epidemiology (scared to say epidemiologists) and the policy makers of health care services only have led India to this level of economic disaster.
It ‘looks like’ both wants to abdicate their responsibility, did not wants to learn and understand more about the virology of novel coronavirus and instead looked at the mere virulence of the virus as reported from the western world, took the most easiest and safest route called lockdown the entire country and call such bizarre act as measure to save humanity.
When we say, save the sinking ship, it means saving every life in ship and not just the physical object called the ship. We have to save the both, because both are inseparable in scientific and lexical sense. But we have destroyed our economy, livelihood and saved the life…..the question is whose life we have saved.
Modi has imposed nationwide lockdown on 24th of March 2020. Our first reported case of coronavirus positivity was on January 30 2020. By the time we got the first case, WHO and global countries have reported scary mortality rate due to COVID 19, the disease believed to have been caused by novel coronavirus.
India appears to have made several mistakes in its understanding and are as follows
- Too much fear India showed towards COVID 19 due to the projected mortality rate possibly by our so called white collared policy makers(ICMR, DST, CSIR, Epidemiologists etc.,)
- Synonymized novel coronavirus to be COVID 19 and adjudicated mountain out of molehill
- Clinical and pathological concerns alone were allowed to prevail in our policy making and any understanding about the virus
- Adopted text book based epidemiological model – contact tracing based surveillance and negated repeatedly the existence of the community transmission
- Neglected the ground realities; economic, cultural and social problems that exist in India before lockdown
- Ignored the encyclopaedic fact that in India, life and livelihood are inseparable and hence cannot be separated too long by imposing lockdwon
- Considered only ‘communicability’ of the virus and the reported virulence and denied even a toe hold space for the viral load required to cause infection and negated the multiplication rate of virus in different regions of the host like nasal region, lungs etc., (medical microbiology)
- Failed to learn anything from the asymptomatic carriers, people with mild symptoms, people in ICU not warranted ventilator, co-morbidity factors etc.,
- Gave too much weightage on RNA of the virus and failed to question whether RNA and virus are same or different until metro water in India shows the RNA of virus by PCR. Cultivation of virus should have been attempted to see how many show positive for RNA of the virus also carry live virus to understand our logic of lockdown and quarantine
- The scope of multi-way interaction of novel coronavirus with variety of microbes in Indians (as most of the Indians harbour several microbes startlingly scary to western world, such as Typhoid, Malaria, Dengue, intestinal worms, amoeba etc)
- Imposed measures to prevent the spread of virus and scared people instead of creating awareness and partner them in the misison
- Used inhuman forces (a few incidents) over voluntary participation of people to defeat the virus
- Cut the umbilical cord of very human existence ‘livelihood’ and then asked people to fight coronavirus
- Empowered all those white collared executives who are sitting in air-conditioned room and enjoying all paraphernalia of the government as birth right to make fantastic policies and measures to address the issue without any connect with the ‘true Indian living in real India’ (poor of the poorest)
- Failed to use any known reference to compare and then ascertain the pathogenicity of novel coronavirus in India to understand how dangerous is the virus to us
- Failed to accept the fact that lockdown will not stop the communicability of a virus of such nature in a country like India but still took such draconian measure and killed our economy
- We created media pandemic than viral pandemic
- Imposed quarantine and containment over lockdown to worsen the life of people
- Failed to ask the fundamental question Et tu, Brute, to the innocent novel coronavirus
- Did not ask for proof of Koch’s postulate of novel coronavirus and lack of availability of animal model suitable for such prediction
- Did not study how easy or difficult to cultivate the virus in different cell lines to correlate with its communicability
Our policy makers and health care experts did not study nor even show any commitment and necessity to know about the virus from the beginning till date.
The virus that spreads fast cannot be deadly. Communicability and virulence are not always linked with each other. When a virus spreads fast, its hold up time in the host is too short and hence it migrates to others.
Or in other words, it may be multiplying more in nasal and throat region and hence spreads fast. If it multiples fast in nasal region means how can it be deadly. It its rate of multiplication is fast in the host means, once again it proves only the low pathogenicity of the virus. But it appears we failed to question all such possibilities may be due to the fear that such questions may make us look ‘lesser scientist’ and less knowledgeable in science.
We showed religious faith in accepting what is being told than showed any scientific temperament in questioning novel coronavirus, COVID 19 and other reported information.
The pathology of all those patients died of COVID 19 as revealed by the autopsy, we simply concluded the pathology was due to the virulence of the virus. The role of comorbidity conditions we recognized less than the role virus because we wants crucify the virus because the world has already indexed the virus as villain.
Lockdown has only broken India and the livelihood of millions of Indians and the virus remained unharmed during the lockdown and is going to bounce back once when the lockdown is revoked. But in any case, nothing worst can happen.
Our policy makers have enjoyed the extra-constitutional power during the lockdown period and therefore even if novel coronavirus leaves us, they may not like to leave all those extra constitutional powers that they enjoyed during this period and hence may continue to demand lockdown, quarantine, containment and single power centre.
Government of India must also deal the pandemic politically; people of India are also responsible to protect their life. Time has come, we must take on the virus directly, in the fight for the livelihood between the virus and man, and the man alone will win.
Man is not the ultimate host of the virus as it looks like, we allow the virus and people to move over each other, the virus may skip humans and would go to its world. When death is inevitable, dying cannot be prevented. To prevent death, life should not be denied to people who may not die due to novel coronavirus. Let us take earnest measures to protect all those vulnerable population and make sufficient medical facilities to save the life of those vulnerable.
Let us not kill our country more competitively than COVID 19. Revoke lockdown, release Indians, let Indians also be as free as novel coronavirus, under freedom, both the virus and man will chose their way and become partner or friend, time will decide.
Microbiological understanding of the virus is as important as those moving around in hospitals wearing white coat and stethoscope in hand to save our life. Without understating the bio-data of the ‘criminal’ (coronavirus), crime cannot be stopped. Keep investigating the crime and analysing the victim although may look rich and fantastic, but let us know more about the criminal.