We play, we pay
The escalation of a community based, voluntary lockdown into a total, 21-day lockdown of India is one that has shocked many people into stupor even as official sources and media alike try to make the whole situation palatable by speaking of its decisiveness or the many global examples that preceded it. All the same, if the objective was to limit panic and ensure compliance, it doesn't seem to have worked out great. Following the encouraging success of the Janata Curfew, people broke out of their homes to celebrate what looked like the end of a long war. They had behaved for a day (if that) and they deserved to celebrate and in the process, waste all the efforts of the government and health professionals of our nation. Then, when the new, total lockdown was announced, predictably people took the selfish, unthinking route of rushing into public to hoard all available supplies in a display of absolute national shame. So naturally, if we can't play by the rules or ignore our baser self-centred interests, then we can't blame the government for escalating its control over our lives. Some of us, through our actions, prove that we must in times of crisis be herded and directed to not cause harm to ourselves and society. This foolish disregard is often paired with unfounded optimism, misplaced confidence and a helping of rumours and conspiracies. This problem isn't unique to our nation but given the vast population, the whole process of information dissemination becomes something akin to a massive, toxic game of telephone, where each person passes on some garbled version of events and facto the next person in the chain. To conclude, I would request everyone, throughout the world, to stay calm, follow government and medical directive and please, for the sake of all that is good, exercise common sense and restraint during these trying times.