By Dr Oscar Rebelo
08 March 2020 00:52 IST

Unless you have been living under a rock, chances of you not having heard of the corona virus Pan panic oops Pan demi, should be remote.

We know the details now like the Our father or the hanuman chalisa.

China, North Korea, Italy and Iran and despite the orange haired American Gods best efforts it has hit the American mainland.

From an Indian perspective, the virus is already here, but the alarming, virulent spread has still not hit the fan

So far, so good.

There are anecdotal reports that the virus may not be able to survive our notoriously warm weather and the maximum numbers of cases and fatalities have been reported in the northern hemisphere, Still in the throes of winter.

But we know nothing about this virus, (save Trump of course who knows everything ) so it would be wise for us to be safe than sorry.

As a disunited, forever squabbling , discordant nation at least on this count we bloody well be united.

The virus, much to our disappointment, makes absolutely no distinction between Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Sikh.

Certainly not the rich or poor.

It just gets everyone. By their unmentionables.

So if you are looking for a ray of sunshine, it's a very democratic virus.

So coming to our Goa context, we are a soft target, considering our heavy tourist footfall, laissez faire attitude and consistent behavioural disability of disobeying all rules and regulations.

Catch a Goan who's sniffing and running a fever who had returned from Wuhan, missing a FC Goa match at Fatorda.

You drag him out of the stadium for the fear of infecting others , he will sue you in a human rights court.

So what do we do as a notoriously undisciplined society, where the political and administrative leadership inspires zero confidence.

Here then is my wish list, to tackle the virus:

  1. The most important thing for the government to do is to set up a testing lab and blare it through the media , as to WHERE THE HELL IT IS.

We have no clue even as Docs how to guide patients where they need to go.

Go to DHS … Go to Hospicio... Go to GMC

And a potentially infectious Joe is taking a joyride through all these crowded places teeming with already sick patients, more dangerous than a neutron bomb.

So please inform the public and doctors through giant billboards and advertisements where EXACTLY they need to go for testing if they or their doctors suspect corona.

  1. Once diagnosed, if the Goan has some conscience and good sense, he or she will self-quarantine for 14 days... please do this strictly as the transmission rate of this virus is spectacularly rapid even if fatalities not as bad..

3 The law enforcement agencies should disconnect themselves from the Russian, Israeli, Nigerian and local mafia for a while and forget about helmet less drivers and come up with an action plan how to enforce quarantine and testing and tracking contacts. This is mandatory even if Goans , budhiwant as they are, stick a finger to you

  1. Ensuring adequate stock of face masks , protective gear disinfectants for nurses and doctors in the line of fire... Cut the bureaucratic red tape.

5.Strictly get your elderly folk to sit tight at home, the moment the first case detected here.

They will protest and yelp and bleat about how you are beastly children , not knowing how to respect elders etc etc.

But nada, nothing no church , no zatra no Friday namaz, no Tiatr, no movies nothing.

Just sit at home and play Sudoku or scrabble.

But keep alive.

  1. Prepare a volunteer force if the epidemic really takes hold to deliver medicines, food , help in getting really sick to hospitals etc.

The RSS , the Church and the Jamaat in Goa I know have dedicated selfless volunteers cut out for this task.

Get them to work together

By working together they may realise they are all in it together and they are good guys and gals- all of them- after all

Positive fallout but hey we are allowed to dream ??? Right !

7 And lastly one political and one health professional should be giving information and information regularly.

No other dis synchronous voices should be allowed to speak.


Best of luck Goa... Chances are you will survive !

But just in case the monster reaches your doorstep you shouldn't be left with a toy gun to defend yourself..

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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