At a time when the world is battling novel Coronavirus, which has claimed over 1,00,000 lives, criminal ignorance on the part of individuals and groups with respect to the spread of COVID-19 can yield disastrous results, as each individual infected with the virus sets up a potentially new chain of transmission, leading to exponential growth of cases at a later point in time.
India, to its credit, has not yet entered Stage III (Community transmission) of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government is doing all it can to ensure that we never reach that stage. Yet, some individuals are hell-bent on derailing India’s fight against the Chinese virus, ample specimens of which can be seen on Tik Tok.
Samir Khan from Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district is an avid Tik Toker, who considered himself nothing less than an ‘artist’ on the platform. In one of his videos, which has now gone viral, the boy is seen poking fun at the usage of masks to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus.
“Bhai iss kapde ke tukde pe kya bharosa rakhna hai, rakhna hai toh uss uparwaale pe rakho,” Samir Khan is heard saying in the video. He clearly advocates the non-usage of facial masks, and further seems to think that the almighty will protect people like him. In the background, the song lyrics of Kun Faya Kun can be heard.
The catch, however, is that the same Samir Khan has now emerged as the first positive case of COVID-19 from Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. Clearly, not wearing masks, acting indifferent towards the disease, and tokenistic heroism cost the man dearly.
In a video which he shot in his isolation ward, an emotional Samir informs his ‘audience’ that he will not be able to make new videos, since doctors have found him to be positive for COVID-19. He further asks everyone to pray for him.
The usage of masks, in a country like India is very crucial in order to minimize the spread and proliferation of the virus, and many states have even mandated its usage if one is to venture out of their homes. Only yesterday, PM Modi was seen setting an example during the video conference with state Chief Ministers, by wearing a home-made mask.
Data from countries like Czech Republic, Slovakia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, indicates that using masks goes a great deal in containing the spread of the virus. The countries which made masks mandatory (Czech Republic, Slovakia), and the countries which distributed masks to public so that no one comes out without a mask, have very, very low rate of infections.
It is therefore advisable to not fall for unscientific and irrational Tik Tok videos, and endanger one’s own life, and that of others as well. Indifference and ignorance towards the disease will do no good to our fight against COVID-19. The usage of masks, social distancing and hand hygiene, however, will.