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March 24, 2020

Confusion, optimism, variance, indecision, distress mark 23rd March

Islamabad

March 24, 2020

Islamabad:For the first time in the history of Pakistan we were denied to watch the display of eagerly awaited armed forces parade, the cultural floats from all the provinces and regions and celebrations, which continue through the day to mark the National Day.

There is widespread confusion among the masses, even amongst the well educated people, about the actual devastating and widespread impact this ‘Coronavirus’ can cause to the people.

Unfortunately these messages warning people to adopt ‘social distancing’ and avoid unnecessary exposure to outside environment, is not sinking in the minds of majority of public. They are still scolding the government for imposing unnecessary restrictions.

Our ‘social media’ players are still busy creating and posting mocking videos, sarcastic slogans and funny messages about ‘Coronavirus’. And there is political point scoring also going on over this frightening pandemic that has created disaster like situations in the most developed countries of world, making these powers helpless in face of it.

But there is faith-based optimism among the people at the same time which is keeping majority of people from plunging into a panic. However, this optimism could also prove disastrous at the same time as people are not as careful and responsive to the health warnings.

The amount of variance in the society, especially among the political powers, is also something to worry about. At the time which a complete national consensus to deal with the ugly situation that is spreading there are some elements who are indulging in blaming and accusing or even ridiculing the others for their inefficiency to deal with the situation.

And the talk of the town is obviously the state of indecision on part of the government to take timely and effective measures to prevent this virus entering Pakistan, especially from Iran through Taftan border from where thousands of pilgrims returned after the ‘Coronavirus’ outbreak in Iran.

Though this was a bad mistake on part of the government, be that by the federal or the provincial government, the fact remains that negligence has proven fatal and now the situation is fast getting out of control if it already has not.

There is a raging debate at all forums, especially in media, that the federal as well as provincial governments dragged their feet a bit too long to impose ‘Lockout’ and prevent people’s exposure as well as travel to other cities and provinces that complicated the situation further.

And now that almost the whole country as well as Azad Jammu & Kashmir, has come under ‘Lockdown’ today and even in Islamabad, the federal capital, the Army has been officially called out to help and assist the civil government, people have started getting worried.

They were already a great deal distressed with ever increasing number of infected persons throughout the country, closure of schools and offices, restrictions on their movements, scarcity of much needed items like face masks and hand sanitisers from the markets as well as the knowledge of lack of adequate equipment and arrangements in the hospitals required to treat the ‘Coronavirus’ infected patients, the stress and strain has already started reflecting in the social attitude of general public.

Those in the government, making efforts to appease people have been announcing making arrangements to acquire the necessary equipment, gadgets and other items on war footings for treatment of ‘Coronavirus’ infected patients. However, the question remains, what made them delay taking the vital decision?