Dilemma of long COVID

Editor,
A recent study published in the Lancet’s journal eclinicalmedicine highlighted that patients who were affected by the Covid virus can report over 200 symptoms post COVID known as ‘Long COVID’. From visual hallucinations, heart palpitations, bladder control issues, tinnitus among others the added burden of these symptoms should not be ignored. This shows that the rehabilitation process will have to be a multi-pronged approach by the Health Ministry covering all areas of concern, as SARS has been known to affect the quality of life.
With the revamping of the health infrastructure, what is also needed is setting up post COVID clinics in urban and rural settings. Alongside mitigating this aspect, the world together should not also forget diseases which have plagued humans for years such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, malaria and cancer to probe for new therapies and vaccines.
Dr Martin Blaser, in his book Missing Microbes, narrates the repercussions of overuse of antibiotics, reminding humankind that with advances in health care, it also has its own consequences. Hence we need to maintain a proper balance.
Yours etc.,
Christopher Gatphoh,
Via email

Poor joke on us citizens

Editor,
Over 4,15,000 people died due to Covid-19 ( thereby leaving at least 16,00,000 family members in inconsolable grief and helplessness. Many children have turned orphans or lost the sole bread-earning member), several hundreds of them succumbing during the “Long March” home and millions finding themselves jobless overnight with many of them compelled to die of suicide. But it is disgraceful that the who’s who of the BJP and Union government should boast about their “impeccable fight” against Covid and their “glorious victory” over the pandemic ! So, when the top honchos of the party assert that Pegasus-exposure is nothing but an “international design” to “defame” the country as a sort of “revenge” for the way “India handled Covid”; it sounds not only bizarre but silly too. Also shocking is their “enviable” unfathomable magnitude of shamelessness, insensitivity, falsehood and rhetoric !
The displacement of millions of starved, malnourished poorest of poor migrants comprising children or senior citizens also negotiating the highways for months in the harshest of conditions; the inhuman queue for procuring oxygen cylinders with several hapless dying because of the massive oxygen shortage, burning of mass pyres in parking lots, mass burial of bodies on the banks of the Ganga or discarding dead bodies in the water have exposed the horrors and insensitivity of the Modi Government. Has any country in the world witnessed such horrors in these “modern” times? And all these are nothing but direct results of a series of callous steps decisions and programmes including the zealous attempt to implementing the NRC-CAA, “Trump show”, toppling of the Madhya Pradesh government through the backdoor; instant lockdown without notice, “Occupy Bengal”, Kumbh Mela, mindless megalomaniac obsession with VISTA etc. This when the sole emphasis should have been in preventing the intrusion of the pandemic or controlling it through creation of adequate medical infrastructure!
Far from drawing inspiration from “Visva Guru”, the civilised responsible nations around the world must be citing the state of affairs of India as a stern warning how not to act irresponsibly when a pandemic of such a proportion poses a threat to civilisation !
And just as any criticism of steps like demonetisation where hundreds died of heat wave while standing in queues or rendering millions of people jobless, the unilateral abrogation of Constitutional provisions in Jammu & Kashmir and its fragmentation, divisive anti-humanity NRC-CAA; questioning how Pulwama or Ladakh incursion happened or anything related to Covid-deaths and oxygen-vaccine shortage immediately invites the accusation of being “anti-national.” In the same vein, obviously any query revolving involvement of the Union Government in the Pegasus scandal is also construed as a “direct attack upon India’s integrity”!
Instead of coming up with concrete answers in a sane and sober tone and based on logic, facts and truth the Modi Government instead decides to character-assassinate the questioner and invoke foolish sentiments by invoking the name of the nation ! Unfortunately these tactics of jingoism regularly fetch rich electoral dividends also in the country !
What a tragic state of affairs !
Yours etc.,
Kajal Chatterjee,
Via email

Signs of climate change

Editor,
Heavy rainfall triggered devastating flooding causing dozens of casualties in Western Europe. Raging rivers submerged towns leaving Europeans shocked. Hundreds had died of heat in the north western United States a few days before. Wildfire had removed a village from the map in Canada. Wildfires spread across 12 states in the Western America.
Two important facts are emerging from these disasters : the world is not willing to slow down climate change. It is not willing to live with it either. Some of the world’s wealthiest nations that are burning coal, oil and gas in large amounts have been severely affected by climate change. These disasters in the developed world have significant bearing on what these wealthiest countries are doing to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. These disasters that occurred a few months before climate negotiations in Glasgow serve as a warning not just for the developed countries but for all the countries.
Disasters induced by global warming have brought about massive destruction in different parts of the world. Crops in Bangladesh were destroyed, villages were completely destroyed in some other countries. Typhoons brought about widespread destruction in the Philippines. Developing countries that were not responsible for climate-induced disasters demanded funding to deal with the loss and damage but it was rejected by richer countries. Although climate-induced extreme weather conditions cause widespread destruction and great death in developing countries, they are seen as their responsibility. Developed countries evade responsibility for it.
Global emissions have increased since the 2015 Paris Agreement negotiations. China is considered to be the world’s biggest emitter today. While emissions have declined in the USA and Europe, it is not sufficient to limit global temperature rise. Although developed countries are aware of the catastrophic results of rising temperatures, they do not adopt strict measures to combat it. Notwithstanding the fact that there is consensus on halving emissions by 2030, global emissions continue to rise. Global average temperature has increased by more than 1 degree Celsius. Sadly, developed countries are under the notion that they are invulnerable. By the time countries realize the seriousness of the situation, more catastrophic events would have occurred.
Yours etc.,
Venu GS,
Kollam

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