Many have messaged me criticizing my take that Omicron is milder. I accept the criticism from their view point. We are talking about millions of people getting a disease. However mild, hospital admissions will go up, and there will be deaths.
But it is true that after the first six months of the Pandemic, Many have been against excessive fear mongering and stiff restrictions, particularly in the Indian context. I agree partly with them. Quite frankly, none of the more severe restrictions have worked in India, with the virus having a free run. Yet, we had a severe loss of livelihoods, collapse of small businesses, and tremendous loss of jobs. Inequality has skyrocketed. It is not only about the technicalities of the disease.
Initially, we could justify a lot, as it was a new virus, and restrictions can be seen as ‘better safe than sorry’ approaches. Now, a case can be made for a more realistic appraisal and calibration of our response. Btw, do we have any evidence for saying that travel restrictions, lockdowns, curfews, mass closing of workplaces, schools, colleges etc works to any extent against a respiratory virus which is as transmissible as Omicron strain of SARs COV2 ? It is 3 or more times transmissible than Delta. What works and what doesn’t need to be carefully apprised at this stage.
It is more than two years that children in India are out of schools and colleges. Most of our children are poor, and disadvantaged. Most are not getting any effective education, and there was little even otherwise in the first place. Most average children from most households in India has lost out big time, and it is already impossible to make up the slack. Most important, is that excessive fear has backfired. For one, it has created extreme fear and ostracism of Covid patients. This has led to most patients refusing to test and has increased the spread. Unnecessary hospital admissions by rich people rushing for beds created severe shortages of beds and profiteering by private players, during every wave.(Jimmy Mathew)