The COVID-19 pandemic is there to stay till a vaccine and/or cure sees the light of the day. Some countries that unlocked earlier are in the grip of a second wave and considering lockdown again albeit in containment or high-risk zones.

The world has come to grips and a long way, since the first outbreak of the pandemic, in the last months of 2019. Several lessons have been learnt and some clarity about the dreaded Corona-virus and preventive measures have emerged. The economy has been devastatingly affected worldwide. The need to unlock and open up the economy is being urgently felt, even as some nations and states have already begun the process to safeguard economic interests.

‘Should we or should we not’ open up is the moot question. The frightening part is people tend to lower their guard in desperation, making a re-emergence possible. However, the economy has to survive, if people have to survive. Acknowledging this and armed with the preventive measures like physical distancing and hygienic behaviour, complete unlocking must be put in place.

The government machinery and administration will need to be cautious and alert to enforce needed physical distancing conditions quite strictly and do away with selective unlocking. A case in point is allowing liquor shops and bars to open in the State and keep places of worship closed. The government has certainly done very well in keeping these crowd-gathering places closed in the initial stages that has surely prevented a wide outbreak of the pandemic.

Now, they need to open up completely, subject to necessary restrictions like physical distancing and hygienic civic behaviour. Certainly, places of worship should not be the last priority. Considering the efficacy of spiritual attainment, places of worship could have been included in the healing process to quell the traumatic effects of fear caused by the pandemic and even for the post-recovery solace. It is indeed a case of misplaced understanding of the need of these places of psychological interventions, which could work as divine placebos.

However, the discipling of crowds through proper Standard Operating Procedures will have to be responsibly enforced. So also, is true about educational institutes. How long should we keep them closed in fear of a flu, that can be prevented through proper civic practices and behaviour. Who will wield the responsibility, would be the obvious query?

It will be the collective responsibility of every citizen to assist the government in their effort to contain the spread, in just as much as the government must be sensitive and awake to the call of the right things to be done to secure the citizens, shield them from imminent threats and ensure their rightful means of livelihood and peaceful living.