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    Editorial | Mask Force It should be a means to contain the spread of virus, not to create some chaotic scenes Srinagar, December 29, 2020, 1:00 AM UPDATED: December 28, 2020, 10:41 PM

     Finally we are back to the basics. For all this time that we suffered the pandemic and its fall out on our activities, we have learnt the eternal lesson that care supersedes cure. In this case, when the  cure is altogether absent and we are only left with observing care, there was need to be extra careful. But in our case it was not the way it should have been. Even when the world is testing the vaccine and there is hope that the vaccine will even take care of the new variant, the world has learnt that the only thing that can actually save us is as simple as wearing a mask. That is why in the developed and civilised parts of the world people ensured that they observed the guidelines and never moved around without wearing a mask. That is the reason the authorities imposed heavy fines on those who violated this pandemic-norm. The results were stark. All those places that observed this guideline reaped the benefit. The number of cases came down and the number of fatalities also saw a steep decline. So the simple mathematics says that not wearing a mask is not only endangering your life but that of the others. And those who don’t wear it must be penalised. Here also, there should have been a strict adherence to wearing of mask, but unfortunately it was not so. The results are in front of us, and we need not emphasise a point that is all too apparent. But what surprises is the attitude of the authorities.

    There should have been a degree of proactive attitude on part of the government to enforce wearing masks. Now that it has been announced that fines will be imposed for not wearing masks in public places one can hope that people follow the guidelines. But one thing should be ensured. It should be a means to contain the spread of virus, not to create some chaotic scenes. For this, the ground staff should be sensitised, and made to act decently. Also, the contents of the order should be fine tuned regularly based on the  feedback that is received from the ground.  May be those driving their private cars without anyone else in the car can be exempted from fine. Similarly there are other situations where exceptions can be made. So while a strict adherence to waring masks is ensures, care also needs to be taken to mark the exceptions.

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