Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fear in its Present Form

Fear is an all-consuming thing. It overtakes our senses much like anger does, and hampers our activities. It seems like every other day we are consumed with a new fear. It could be a personal fear – money shortage, family issues, health concerns, or mass panic – like the virus that has been dominating headlines lately, with grim news of victims succumbing to it everyday.

Like the earlier viruses, we joked about swine flu too. That was when it seemed far, far away. But right now the fear in major cities like Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi is palpable. In fact, the virus seems so close that I fear if I stretch my hand out the window there are chances I could catch it. I’m too afraid to take my daughter with me while I shop for groceries. As I write this, 4 lives in Bangalore have already been claimed by it. Children seem to be the most vulnerable to the virus, making parents worry sick about them going to schools and the possibility of them getting infected through someone. Every cough, every rise in body temperature, every ill person is looked upon with fear and dread.

Fear paralyses people into either inaction or drives them towards the wrong kind of action. While several people choose to shelter themselves by being cooped up at home, many are hitting the drug stores for the anti-virus or the diagnostic centres to give samples for testing. Fear is blinding them from the fact that this is putting an enormous strain on the fragile infrastructure present to handle the virus, and many ‘deserving’ patients have to unnecessarily wait their turn to be tested.

As the world waits for this particular wave of swine flu to blow over, I wonder what manifestation fear will take on next? Best Blogger Tips

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