Topsy Turvy Monsoon vs Fluctuating Covidity
Is contemporary global scenario a sad reflection of intensification of FEUD between Climate Change and the vast spread of the reported animal virus ?
OR does it appear to be a latent tussle between the seasonal yet historical Monsoon getting Topsy Turvy vs.Fluctuating” Covidity” ?
SAD CASE OF BIHAR
The second scenario has been made prominent through surge in casualty figure double jump in the country from 5424 on 7th June to a whopping 9775 within twenty four hours. Such an alarm was raised primarily due to a long jump of 73 % rise in Bihar.
Fresh figures did not come out of their own volition or the administrative acumen of the State’s 16 year old C.M. but decisively under the stern direction of Patna High Court.
Ironically, Bihar had proved to the world, albeit U S President elections that universal Franchise could be exercised successfully(magic powder being persons of fair sex) amidst toughest of ‘ “natural” health issues or challenges.
But actual aftermath has to be still eagerly awaited in Bihar as more skeletons are or may be coming out in regard to its tightly kept confirmed case figures( could be mis reporting also) in its “secured” almirahs.
A trailer, thereof, has been sadly reflected through sighting of hundreds of Covid dead bodies on Ganga river in mid- May. Same was embarrassedly followed by discovery of hundreds of shallow sand covered graves of same unfortunate lot who did not get the respect & dignity entitled to the dear departed under the famous tenets of philosophy if not religiosity of Hinduism.
Talking of fatalities, even the W.H.O.had commented on 20th May that these were being incorrectly reported the world over and these could be two to three times higher.So the actual figure of the dead on the mentioned date would have been seven to nine millions.
Freak Weather,Cyclone etc in Bihar, West Bengal & Delhi
Why only to look at the ‘controversial’ Bihar? One could turn towards now ‘normalised’ W.Bengal and Delhi to get an idea of malaise prevailing also due to co-incidence if not co-existence of climatic impact of two Cyclones within a year and frequent dust storms, hail storms and pre Monsoon showers for intensifying Covid crisis.
It may be noteworthy to mention that Delhi too has been witnessing varying weather since August 2020, and off and on it has been raining for the last three months, so much so that element of summer was yet to be felt during May end and beginning of June.
Global warming as also global cooling has not only been felt but fall in total number of registered cases of Covid in 54 to 60 to 70 days now should not mislead us.All this had aggravated Covid situation from 7th of April to 10th of May and is again likely to pose serious challenges in regard to Covid control & management in future also when third wave could be knocking and even children could be under its tentacles.
According to some reliable sources ,both in W.Bengal and Bihar there could be wide cleavage between what it is( reported) and What ought TO BE ? There could be umpteen instances if issue is re examined.
How could Bihar maintain a certain level when more than two to three lakh migrant labourers reportedly returned to the state in the beginning phases of both first and second wave.
In the same way if one analyses Assam situation ,no doubt Covid figures may have been more than the actual report of registered cases as on 2nd May vis a vis the corresponding figure of 459,457 on 13th June. Cap over such figures during the state election process from 26
th of February to 2nd of May may have been a purposeful exercise but relatively low flood fury during the mentioned phase in Assam certainly is not a reflection of impact of nature over worsening of pandemic situation as in case of West Bengal or Bihar.
It may be desirable to look at Covid statistics of T.N. as well,as condition over here was not dis-similar to that of two demographically gigantic states of W.Bengal and Bihar. Apparent or visible effect of climate change did not show up prominently in this State. But it’s a fact that despite manageable Covid and cyclone situation,the State has seen maximum number of confirmed cases for more than a month.
MONSOON & KERALA
Kerala ,another poll colored entity should not be ignored due to its early claim of flattening of Covid curve and wide publicity of Kerala model. Never mind the Roller Coaster rides it displayed many times in the past. State,in addition, has suffered in lesser measure due to Taukae as also pre Monsoon thunder showers at least in whole of Kochi region.Impact of arrival of touch down of Monsoon delayed by 3 days, is yet to be reported, forget about its assessment.
Incidentally, when it comes to confirmed cases and casualties between the period preceding elections vis a vis May 2nd situation, the Covid fluctuations that emerged in Kerala do not reflect positivity or optimism, either.
It remains to be seen as to how this tiny yet ‘big’ state will perform under the brand new Health Minister as opposed to the earlier proved performer & go getter woman Minister.
To sum up, retention of Kerala state by the Left will have to be watched with keen interest as they were not “Left out”,unlike in Tripura and West Bengal but have to manage the possible third wave of Covid with the parties of differing ideologies, if not “Left -overs”or self proclaimed probable victors turned vanquished mega force that BJP turned out to be.
The author is a retired IAS officer and former Chief Secretary, Sikkim