The Triangular Dynamic of Cooperation
The Triangular Dynamic of Cooperation
Prevention is the best medicine
Rev. Dr. Lalrosiem Songate
One of the hardest things our people are facing during this time of pandemic is being stranded in a city somewhere in mainland India, without job and without money. And this is where many of our people found themselves during this period. The initiative taken by our honorable Chief Minister Shri Biren Singh to bring back our stranded brothers and sisters from across the cities of mainland India deserves our utmost praise and cooperation.
While this looks very good and exhibits the fatherly heart of the government, this humanitarian service could become a health hazard to the people in general, and particularly, to the older generation of our people. Almost all of these returnees are young people with strong natural immune system who, even if infected, will be mostly asymptomatic or with a development of slight fever or cold. Our recent pretty lady of 22 years, developing a high fever due to Covid-19 infection could be considered an exceptional case. And considering our tribal robust nature, most of them will not be bothered at all by such slight symptoms. (Tell me, since when did a strong robust healthy tribal young man would go to see a doctor for such minor ailments? No, sir, we wait till we git up no more!).
Since the spread of all Covid-19 infections begin with a small number of imported cases, our safety and the safety of our older generations now depends on how well we contained the spread from our returnees. This is where what I would call the Triangular Cooperation needs to come into display. By the triangular cooperation, I mean an upside down triangle where the returnees are at the tip below and the Government machinery and the local people represented by the local task force at both ends of the triangle on top. The success of all the efforts of the government and the local task forces stand on the cooperation of the returnees as depicted in the triangle here.
In view of their strong natural immune systems, the returnees may not develop the symptoms even if infected, but they can potentially spread the virus to the people they are living with. They need to understand that and do their best to follow the government directions of quarantine and self-isolation for the sake of their own people at home. The instance of one returnee being whisked away by a white I-20 car at Imphal the other day deserves a condemnation in the strongest term.
I do not want to comment or say anything with regards to the roles of the government and the local task force, except that it has been quite commendable so far. What is most critical, and this is what I want to emphasize here, is the attitude and cooperation of the returnees. No amount of effort from the government and the local people will be effective unless there is an unstinted cooperation from all the returnees, I repeat all the returnees without any exception. Even one single careless person can cause the spread of the virus in our state and that will bring all our efforts to no avail. While I understand the feeling of exhilaration for being in your home town after all the ordeals in mainland India, it is very important that reunion with friends and families, even with girl-friends and boy-friends need to wait till the quarantine period is over.
If we fail in this containment, then the virus will spread in our society, our older people will get infected and we will begin to die. Even the healthcare system of New York, the greatest city in the world, is unable to withstand the impact of the pandemic. This small state of ours called Manipur which we dearly call Home, with its limited resources, is no match for the onslaught of such a pandemic.
Our only hope is to contain the spread. Or else, we die the death!