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[Blog] Are we doomed...?

Jhinni Awotar

With the outbreak of the global pandemic mostly known as Coronavirus or Covid-19 or more simply the ‘beer virus’ as I prefer to call it, most countries are under lockdown  and people have been exiled in their homes to enjoy a privileged moment of confinement in an attempt to control the spread of the virus while bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants, theatres, clubs, cinemas, gyms and leisure centresremain closed. While the first week of confinement was a mini holiday for many, by the second week, people started to go mad from scrolling their newsfeed or tolerating their spouses and kids! 

The fact that people are deprived of their ‘human rights’ to go out and enjoy happy hour on a Friday is but outrageous!
As simple as it may sounded to many in the beginning, the ‘beer virus’ has created much havoc globally and as I am writing this, 100 more people are dying somewhere around the world.

Like many countries across the world, Mauritius has been fighting the disease for some time now. With the hike in contaminations in just few days, we are also grieving the loss of a few of our beloved people, 7 precisely as I am writing. 

Mauritius has proved to be such a player in this time of war against the invisible enemy. From a closure of borders to lock down to individuals coming together to help the needy is rather impressive, though I still fail to define the term ‘needy’ in this time of crisis. Right now, I am as needy as the homeless with money in hand but incapable of grocery shopping for either the shut-down of markets or the fear of getting caught by the police or of simply getting contaminated. Not to mention the online shopping facilities which never worked or were highway robbery in daylight for their high prices. Well going by the saying ‘beggars are not choosers’; we cannot complain much but either take or leave it or survive on ‘bouillon bredemouroom’which you avail from your neighbour if you are lucky enough. Luckily the Government has been gracious to restart the business of supermarkets which is not quite a blessing in disguise for many.

We are now used to the daily special appearance of Dr Joomaye, Gujudhar and DCP Jugroo on Social Media or TV briefing us on the ‘progression’ of the virus amongst Mauritians. While some people continue to ignore the severity of this pandemic, the authorities are working tirelessly including our ‘Dabbang’ style policemen who are perfectly impersonating Bollywood throb Salman Khan to impose their rights to shoo us into our homes through their endless patrols on land and in air (I swear, the sound of the choppers approaching are but annoying) and through some very advanced vocabulary as shown in their proudly self-made videos. 

As all other countries, we never prepared ourselves to see the coming of the nasty Corona on our beautiful island. But we welcomed the disease with quarantining people and what not. While many in quarantine are complaining about the food or the poor conditions at the quarantine centres, they forget that it is still safe to be confined with cockroaches than to contaminate the rest of the population and lose about half of them to death. 

While many are resorting to doing live videos or writing annoying long posts on Facebook, cautioning us on the do’s and don’ts  others have taken sabbatical to sit cross legged and go ‘in.’ For others dare I say, they are either at the beach or roaming on the streets in pursuit of ‘fresh air’or invading supermarkets like never before; royally ignoring the confinement rules with the attitude ‘Catch me Corona- I dare you.’

The next few weeks or months are going to be hectic and challenging to Mauritius should the contaminations continue to hike especially now that we are entering winter. We will undoubtedly face an economic slow-down given that our most important economic pillar which is tourism will bear the consequences for a very long time. People in the informal sectors will be affected to a great deal and many will be left without jobs for a long time. Not to mention the surge of other social ills such as thefts, murder and domestic violence will also increase. The number of deaths globally as per the World Health Organisation has already reached to about 55, 132. 

Dear people, let us brace ourselves for what is yet to come for doomed… we are already!

Jhinni Awotar

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