As we continue to see a malignant rise in the number of COVID19 cases in Kerala, one has to wonder what are the probable causes for this meteoric rise. Early last year, for the efforts taken by the Health Minister of Kerala, the systematic dismantling of the attempts of the virus to enter the State received international recognition. Over the months, daily evening COVID press meet by the Chief Minister shed light on the burden of the virus and how we systematically kept it in check.
As winter zoomed into rest of the world and with the expected ease in restrictions, a second wave emerged. Of real concern were few mutations like the UK variant to begin with, followed by the South African and Brazilian variant. As soon as Trump left his job, a splurge of vaccines started appearing in the market and soon, the world was caressed with hope. While companies and countries toyed with patents, the rich and affluent looked to secure their shores, the poor grappling in thin air wondering their fate. India looked to shine a light for the poor tying up with the WHO to deliver vaccines to countries that need financial assistance. India was soon to be graciously called the Pharmacy of the World.
India seemed detached to the second wave. International view always was, despite the huge population, India somehow seemed to fair better. While the numbers always remained high, the mortality rates surprisingly continue to be low. There has always been contradicting views on whether India really did put out the real numbers. But then, India did not close the doors to its citizens wishing to return back home from different parts of the world. Many leave India for better jobs, to sustain families and earn a livelihood. Livelihood took a big hit all around as businesses were shut, especially the service sector. Development projects were no longer a priority. So there continues to be a constant influx of possible variants from other countries.
Elections were allowed to be conducted with COVID “precautions”. Politicians in Kerala, rolled their mask down as they did roadside press meets. Rallies spanning the entire length of the state, churned crowds that went unchecked for the basic safety measures in place.
This is the point where even the most astute Health Minister of the State of Kerala, turned down her job for the sake of political sustenance. But at what cost? Even to this day, politicians refuse to acknowledge their contribution to the ill of mankind during this pandemic? Will citizens make them accountable? Unlikely. The cost this time around for the negligence of the State will be lives. Nobody wants to lose dear ones, but lack of accountability will drive us down the abyss.