As a teacher, I taught my students to keep their families and society updated and ready to face any eventuality. They have learned it well..
Human beings are responsible for many disasters, either directly or indirectly. This havoc is caused by man either close to or in the vicinity of human settlements.
Disasters of varied types are common in the world. But some are natural while some fall in the category of man-made disasters.
Some important disasters which fall in the man-made category are:
- Environment Degradation
- Biological Disasters
These havocs are more disastrous as they have elements of human negligence such as - lack of foresight, improper planning, manipulation of projects for financial gains, and error.
Such disasters are categorized under ‘complex emergencies’ types. A few very common, but important kinds being:
- Epidemics and Pandemics
- Food Insecurity
There cannot be a worse kind of human-caused disaster and its related mismanagement when it is created due to epidemics and pandemics.
The chaos and fear syndrome it creates in the common man can’t be measured. But it doesn’t or rarely affects the management responsible for it.
Covid or coronavirus pandemic is the latest in the virus family. It started in China in December 2019 and spread its tentacles all over the world like a tsunami.
But an important factor was overlooked by the management of world politics and the medical fraternity, A tsunami doesn’t consist of a single wave only.
It is a series of waves that lashes the shores of human settlement. Each consequent wave being more ferocious than its predecessor. The second wave of covid -19 has proved this point.
The theory of all epidemic waves is the fear and confirmed prediction that a second wave and following it, maybe the third wave will strike.
A study of the history of pandemic or epidemic waves from 1957-58 to 2018-20 proves the wave pattern.
There have been five outbreaks since 1957 in the space of two years. All these outbreaks have had a second attack.
(The basis of the above figures can be cross-checked from “Potter CW. Chronicle of Influenza Pandemics. In: KG, Webster RG, Hay AJ, editors. Textbook of Influenza. London: Blackwell Scientific Publications; 1998. P.3-18”)
Components and Strategies
Any pandemic strike is a disaster. It falls under the category of ‘Complex Emergencies’.
The gross effect of coronavirus on other countries wasn’t anticipated when it struck China. It was completely ignored and overlooked.
When it struck Europe, America, and other countries with its ferocious power none were prepared.
This proved to be the biggest flaw in pandemic disaster management. The best health facilities in the world wilted.
Managing disasters such as the covid-19 requires proper planned-out strategies. The few extremely important mechanism to be borne in mind being:
- Identifying and assessing risk factors.
- Planning and arranging resources.
- Assessing vulnerabilities.
- Fixing roles and responsibilities to efficient managers.
- Execution-ready operations, financial strategies, human resources, and communication system.
Basics of Disaster Control
This covid wave isn't just a pandemic. It's a massive man-made disaster, originating from China
It’s a stark reality that there were no plans either in place or working to manage this disaster. This truth was ripped open by the second covid tsunami.
Everyone across all spectrums of political spheres, disaster managers, and the medical fraternity were caught napping.
There was and is a resultant great shortage of medical essentials, from vaccines to oxygen, and other emergency medicines.
This is due to many factors, including the carriage of oxygen to all parts of the country, manufacturing, and importing vaccines, instead, of exporting them.
Though it was the duty of all state governments to prepare for the imminent second wave, none moved their fingers.
None took the central government to task for speeding up the safety process. nor built up oxygen plants and piled up oxygen stocks.
The shortage of vaccines and oxygen was clearly visible during the first covid tsunami. But no one learned the lesson.
Lacuna and Hibernation
No strategies were in place in the world to tackle the Chinese virus in 2020. In 2021, there were some elements of lacuna elsewhere.
But in India, it was completely thrown to the winds by all politicians, both at the center and in all the states.
All, including the medical fraternity, were basking in the glory of having conquered the corona tsunami wave.
When the corona vaccines started rolling out all slept peacefully in great bliss.
They thought that all would be well from then on, no worries at all. They kept fiddling like Nero, while many countries burned.
During the first wave, there had been a shortage of beds, and also oxygen shortage was evident.
So when the second pandemic wave struck countries, it should have set alarm bells ringing in the corridors of the medical fraternity.
They should have started reporting shortages and also gearing up their resources to tackle any eventuality.
But they were so fatigued that they went into peaceful hibernation
Diagnosis and Medication
India is a tropical country. It has four extremely changing seasons. When the seasons change it is the peak earning times for doctors.
Then many people are inflicted with all kinds of bacterial and viral infections.
They suffer from fever, cough, cold, asthma patients get bouts of breathlessness, and so on.
Many practitioners wait for the changing seasons to make hay, earning when the viral attacks come.
And to their extreme luck, the second covid struck the shores just then, February - March.
Thus the resultant double and even triple rush of frightened patients approaching doctors for proper medical scrutiny and consequent medications.
Though they are diagnosed with a viral or bacterial infection, they are labeled covid patients. It appears safer for the medical fraternity.
They should have been given medicines and then sent home to be quarantined. But no, most were sent to covid centers.
(Check the covid symptoms self checker tools of CDC’s to understand)
And there, if they’re ready to shell out hard bucks they are admitted to hospitals with some covid patients in each room.
If viral infected patients are accommodated with covid patients what will be the result: an imminent covid explosion.
Yes, this is done by some unscrupulous doctors. But the result can be seen.
All the opposition parties and their leaders earlier kept calling the vaccines unfit for the people. Thus crores' worth of vaccines were destroyed.
Now all are clamoring for cent percent vaccinations. There are media reports of some corrupt politicians and their people coordinating in black-marketing of oxygen, and vaccines.
There are also reports of offers to provide beds and other facilities at many hospitals on premium, by middle-men and pimps.
Thus the black marketers are happily busy making hay while the coronavirus pandemics exist, spread, and massive deaths occur.
The red tape in government procedures prevents speedy management and control of this second wave. The third tsunami wave is also reported on the anvil.
This sudden tornado has thrown all systems apart and the management gaps are staring people in their faces.
Also, people instead of helping ease problems are busy throwing the buck at each other, especially at the central government.
Isn’t it the duty of all state governments to fend for the people of their states? They also have emergency funds. Who stops them to use it in disaster crises?
All political blame games should stop. Everyone should first do his duty and help in easing this tsunami.
Food for Thought
Only those societies can progress where every person is ready to hold each other's hands in times of crisis.
They should know that “ United we stand, and divided we fall”. Unless we stand by each other through thick and thin people are bound to suffer greatly.
All the governments of the world must have complete foresight of impending disasters. They must be fully prepared to take on the bull by its horns.
The managers being entrusted with any disaster management work must be completely competent in their trade.
They must also be dry honest if you want excellent results. You cannot pick and choose during such times.
It will be disastrous. The state, country, and welfare of humanity must be the topmost criteria.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Bharat Sharan
Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on May 03, 2021:
Thank you for an informative hub. Prayers for India from Pakistan. Get well soon, India - it's no fun without you.