Learning to live with the virus could be a reality stretching to the near future, but it is nonetheless a dismal thought. Already a fatigue seems to be setting in across the board. Take the case of Bengaluru Police: They were quite a band of Covid warriors, all over the place, guarding the roads and checkpoints, particularly the footsoldiers of the city police commissionerate.
Cases of high-handedness were few and far between. Till the cops copped out, quite literally. Over 269 of them tested positive, and 19 police stations had to be sealed. Since then, that 24x7 zeal too has ebbed. Even in the hinterland, cops got infected while trying to nab dacoits and other sundry lawbreakers.
The next victims: Of course, the healthcare workers. Chock-full hospitals are now getting bad press for not admitting patients with breathlessness or other acute Covid syndromes. The state government is at its wits’ end, submerged with complaints—of ambulances not reaching on time, oxygen beds not available, helplines not responding, private profiteering.
B S Yediyurappa, who appeared a determined administrator just early last week, is beginning to sound a tad philosophical. A sure sign of being overwhelmed—what with the caseload spiking from 11,005 just on June 26 to 23,474 on July 5, and some 26,000 test results still pending. No retreat or even plateau is in sight.
Bengaluru, Karnataka’s hotspot, is still much better off than other metros and the national average: on positivity ratio, new cases or fatalities. But the surge leaves no scope for complacency. It’s not for nothing that India has pipped Russia to the world’s third Covid spot.
The reasons are not too difficult to guess: in Melbourne and Victoria, an unlocked Sunday has resulted in such a spike that Australian authorities are reimposing the lockdown. With our capacity to care for the sick running thin, the onus of staying safe is clearly on us.