Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Extension of lockdown restrictions a good step, herd immunity is too illusive

TOWNPOST EDITORIAL

The decision of the Jharkhand government to extend the lockdown restrictions, already in place in the state, up to August 31, 2020, is a welcome and necessary step.

The Corona situation is getting worse by the day in Jharkhand and the state government just can’t afford to allow any let-up at this point of time.

There are many who feel that the situation has already gone out of hand and it would be better if the country quietly allows the virus to reach the stage of herd immunity.

Even the common man, desperate to come out of the unprecedented corona situation, now feels that herd immunity may be the best answer to all the problems.

Theoretically, it looks plausible, that if 70 to 80 percent of the people get infected, the community would develop herd immunity and the virus would stop spreading further. This theory also makes an allowance for loss of some vulnerable category lives.

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However, this is not the right theory for our country. In a country with a population of around 135 crores, waiting for herd immunity to develop is not the right step.

Because the human cost before we reach that stage would be too huge. We cannot lose millions of lives. We just cannot do that.

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Anyone advancing the theory of herd immunity is either a distracted person or has no idea how many lives are likely to be lost as a result of this theory.

The answer to this conundrum is nothing but a vaccine. Herd immunity through mass vaccination is the only feasible way to stop this virus.

The only problem is that we do not have a vaccine at this point of time. And we only have hope that a vaccine may develop in near future.

What, then, do we do now?

Nothing but a patient wait till a vaccine is available, or continue warding off the virus in the best manner we can by using social distancing, masks and hand washing.

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We do not have too many options right now.

However, we also cannot afford to consider the option of getting to the stage of herd immunity. Loss of too many lives just can’t be an option for us.

Therefore, the decision to extend the lockdown restrictions is the right step.

A step that was much needed.

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