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COVID 19 and the Durga Puja

With the Durga Puja about a fortnight away, the city of Kolkata is decking-up though not the way we are used to seeing her over the years. The atmosphere is quite subdued this time around. The advertisement hoardings are yet to be jostling for space and the FM channels have till now spared the loyal listeners from incessant bombardment of advertisements. Probably they will, a few days from now. However, what has indeed been the point of debate in the town is whether strict restrictions should have been imposed this year given the delicate situation concerning COVID 19.

What Kerala is experiencing in the aftermath of Pongal and Maharashtra after the Ganpati Puja, is there something for us to learn from? The answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’. While the cases of COVID infected persons have skyrocketed in Kerala due to laxity of crowd management during Pongal yet the situation in Maharashtra has not spiraled out-of-control post Ganpati Puja due to restrictions. This is what experts seem to suggest based on facts and figures.

It seems Bengal is inclined to follow the ‘Kerala Model’. Words of caution and learning from others’ mistakes seem to have fallen on deaf ears. One may hope that good sense prevails for the sake of safety of large section of the society. An odd dot ball, as we say in cricket, need not be construed as a failure. Not considering so is.


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