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Novel Coronavirus And Our Level Of Consciousness

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01st-Apr-2020       
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Md. Abdur Rahim :
Coronavirus has terribly shaken the whole world. All the people of the world are extremely panic-stricken. The deadly virus is infecting country after country. The World War situation is prevailing everywhere. It is, as it were, The Third World War where the opponent   of mankind is a virus which is so small that it can not be seen without a microscope. It is spreading like an epidemic. People of Bangladesh have the experiences to face cyclones and floods. We have a remarkable success in facing these two natural calamities.
People of our country are not accustomed to facing Coronavirus. They are not aware of the terms 'quarantine', 'isolation,' 'lockdown,' 'shutdown', etc. When the returnees from different countries are told to be quarantined, they get scared because they think that staying in quarantines will prove that they are infected with this fatal virus. They think so because of their ignorance about quarantine. Besides, those who don't show any symptoms like coughing, sneezing and fever think that they are totally free from Coronavirus and so they show reluctance to be put into quarantine. Moreover, Bangladeshis are so much nostalgic. After returning from abroad, they feel an extreme pull of their roots to meet as soon as possible. The expatriate Bangladeshis who have already stayed in home quarantines are facing negative comments from their neighbours and other people of the society.
A female doctor who has kept her in self quarantine after returning from Switzerland   as expressed her deep concern in a national daily  remaining anonymous  that people are treating her to be a coronavirus  patient. One of her patients phoned her and said, "Madam, I have heard that you have been attacked with Coronavirus." Actually that lady has no such symptoms. She has carried out the instructions of the government.  People get amused by embarrassing others.
Despite frequent requests from the authorities concerned to follow some instructions to avert Coronavirus, still people are found to act irresponsibly. It is our general tendency to spit or sneeze here and there especially on the streets, on the outside walls of the buildings. People still gather in the market places, gossip here and there. Still we cannot avoid shaking hands with others. Still a lot of people are found in the tea stalls and restaurants. Encouragingly, the use of masks has increased.
The other day (on the 17th March), I went to the bazaar to buy some household products. I became stunned seeing the bazaar jam-packed with a lot of men and women buying things profusely. We normally observe this scenario ahead of Ramadan.  This abnormal shopping has made price hike of some products making poor people helpless. All are storing food stuffs.  What will happen to the people who live from hand to mouth? The unscrupulous businessmen have got the opportunity to increase the prices of some daily necessaries. On the 17th March one kg onion was sold for 40 taka where as on the 21st March it rose to 70 taka.
Many people still believe that the Muslims will not be infected with Coronavirus. Their belief gets deep rooted when any 'Mowlana' gives the statement ruling out the possibility of Coronavirus attack to the Muslims. It is very difficult to convince such people that a disease does not attack people   knowing their religious identity.  Don't the Muslims die of cancer and other diseases? We know what has happened to Iran where about 95% people are Muslims.  Actually, we the   Muslims, have a great faith in Allah. It is a good omen and it makes us mentally strong. Let us stick to our belief avoiding all superstitions and illogical notions to get rid of Coronavirus.
(Md. Abdur Rahim, Assistant Teacher, Sabera Sobhan Govt.  Girls' High School, Brahmanbaria)

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