Volunteer instead of pointing fingers

Editor,

The suggestions and advisories in the letter to the editor, “On containment zones in Malki localities” (ST Aug 4, 2020) by an anonymous author, are well received. However, in spite of all the efforts made by the Executive Dorbar here at Malki, we admit that there are shortcomings simply, because we do not have the experience needed to tackle the issues/challenges arising on account of the prevailing CoViD-19 pandemic.

 Standing on a hilltop and pointing fingers at the people down below who are fighting to help others in their community tide over the advancing calamity is easy, but a better thing that one can do is to come down and lend a helping hand to the Dorbar, instead.

The Dorbar invites the individual who wrote the letter to come forward and perform the duties as they have detailed in their letter. The Dorbar is pleased to welcome any social worker who would like to volunteer and render their services that the Dorbar could really use at this trying time.

Lastly, the information in question was not provided to the media by this Dorbar. It was, most likely, obtained through copies of orders issued by government authorities and widely circulated via various social media platforms.

Yours etc.,

HP Oflyn Dohling

Rangbah Shnong

Dorbar Shnong, Malki

Shillong – 1

No VIP  privileges  please!

Editor,

This has a reference to the road accident involving the vehicle allegedly driven by an unnamed VVIP and the police cover up in the matter. Right to personal privacy should be respected, except when public figures are involved. Why didn’t the police disclose the name of the offender? Did they feel that the act of the offender is more moral than their duty to uphold the law? The police by not disclosing the name and sweeping the incident under the carpet has acted in a more immoral manner than the offense of the VVIP. Did they act to shelter the VVIP out of fear? From the strict moralistic position, the police should have disclosed the name of the offender since the VVIP had clearly violated the law and he should have been subjected to the same sets of laws as every member of society.

While listening to the conversation of the Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister with the reporter of an age old newspaper of the State which is being circulated on WhatsApp, the OSD behaved in a bizarre manner. Not only was he aggressive with no provocation from the reporter but he also displayed no sense of professionalism and he evidently lacked communication skills.

In conclusion, I am reminded of the words of Robert G. Ingersoll who said“This is my doctrine: Give every other human being every right you claim for yourself.”

Yours etc.,

Marbianglang Rymbai

Shillong-2

Men more vulnerable to Covid

Editor,

Having read the article ‘Gender through a COVID Lens’ by Glenn Kharkongor and Jennifer War (ST, 6/8/20), I came across many relevant points  that I agree with regarding the issues faced by women during this pandemic such as domestic violence during lockdowns, livelihoods, medical care and stigmatization. However, I found that the article missed a very important medical data (from a gender perspective) regarding the COVID 19 pandemic and that is concerning the fact that COVID 19 is more fatal for men than it is for women. International studies and analysis have proven that COVID 19 kills more men than women. Men and women are equally vulnerable to contracting the virus but how the virus behaves in their bodies is another issue and data suggests that COVID 19 affects the male physique in a more drastic manner than the female. For example, in Italy, men accounted for 70% of the country’s fatalities and even in countries that have contained the spread of the virus, eg South Korea, the number of male fatalities outnumber those of women. The age factor is irrelevant in such findings, which means that if a man and woman of the same age contract COVID 19, the chances of the man dying are much higher than that of the woman’s.

Scientists have attributed the causes for such a high death rate among men to smoking; that men smoke more than women thus damaging their lungs and leaving them vulnerable to the virus. And this was the case in China, which has a higher percentage of male smokers than women. However, the data from Italy casts doubts on this finding. In Italy the percentage of smokers among men and women is almost the same but men accounted for almost 70% of the COVID 19 deaths. Then, it was opined that women, in the process of caring for their families through washing, cleaning and cooking, actually practiced more hygiene than men thus protecting them from viral infection. But then again this did not explain the high mortality rate among men in developed countries such as the USA where most domestic chores are automated and utilities such as water and necessities such as food are actually more sterilized.

Medical practitioners have acknowledged that co-morbidities, such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity are contributing factors in the COVID 19 mortality. However, these two factors can and have affected the worldwide general population irrespective of gender. Therefore, it does not explain why more men die of the virus than women do, even if both the man and woman have co- morbidities or are obese.

Therefore, the conclusion boils down to biological make up; genes and chromosomes. It was concluded that women had, and have, a stronger immune system because they are biological life givers, caregivers and nurturers. Their bodies are designed to build, nurture and protect life and thus they more prepared for viruses. Furthermore, women as caregivers, professionally as health care providers and in the domestic front, are more exposed to viruses and thus their bodies have attained a stronger response to viruses.

What then does such data suggest? On the factual front, it is obvious that more men die of this virus than women do. On the economic and social front, the difficulties of such a finding are confounded. There are the dangers faced by the father/ husband/ brother/ male member of the family who, in the course of providing for the family, may be more susceptible to not only contracting and spreading the virus but also dying from it, leaving the family helpless and on their own. There is the psychological stress and uncertainty on the part of men as they go about their business knowing that a fatal viral infection lurks about them and can affect them more than their counterparts, even if they follow all the hygiene and physical distancing protocols. Men are vulnerable even if they are healthy and strong, simply because of their genes and chromosomes, elements they cannot change and thus they are left more vulnerable and helpless than others are.

Yours etc.,

Joshua Rynjah

Shillong- 14.

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