Covid-19 and winter

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As the world is still waiting for some miracle to happen, Covid-19 continues infecting and killing people all over unabated, Kashmir being no exception. The worrying factor that looks the people of Kashmir in the eye in the winter. Come winters, Kashmir is in the grip of different respiratory viruses and respiratory illnesses like SARS, influenza, etc show a seasonal variation and cases show an upward trend during winter months. Experts say that viruses tend to survive longer in a cold and dry climate as low humidity promotes evaporation of viral particles and aerosol formations, which can increase the airborne spread of disease. Secondly, there is less sunshine during winters depleting Vitamin D levels, thereby decreasing immunity making people more susceptible to infections, including Covid-19, say experts.

The tally of Covid-19 infected people has already crossed one hundred thousand mark in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the death toll has reached 1618. The only good news is that out of 104715 positive cases, only 5560 are Active Positive while as 97537 have recovered till date. But as the winter tightens its grip, particularly on Kashmir Valley which has already witnessed light snowfall, the situation has every potential to turn worse if the populace doesn’t behave responsibly. It is pertinent to mention here that Kashmir has a history of spread of flu-like diseases during winters as the cold weather and humidity are favourable for the spread of the disease.

More than the winter months, the worrying factor is the complacency of the people. With every passing day, one should have expected people to be more cautious seeing how dangerously Covid-19 is spreading its tentacles. But the reverse is happening. People have become indifferent. They are not following the set Covid-19 protocols. Face masks are vanishing at an alarming speed. Social distancing is not being given a fig. People are crowding markets without any precautions. A picture published in this newspaper on Monday showed shoppers thronging Srinagar’s thrift market, popularly known as Sunday Market to buy winter garments. A negligible percentage of shoppers were wearing face masks and all the social distancing norms were violated. The picture could scare anyone having even a faint idea of the deadly coronavirus roaming around in Kashmir airs.

It is high time that people understand the intensity of the situation and also realize that coming days are going to be very tough. Conscientious people should launch campaigns in media and social media to make people aware about the coming dangers. The Imams of the mosques could play a vital role subject they start following the Covid-19 protocol in their respective mosques first. The deadly virus is on prowl. It is eager to hit anyone and everyone. Let us open our eyes. Let us make wearing of face mask and maintenance of social distancing mandatory and follow the guidelines regarding hand washing. There is no cure to the disease yet but we and only we can prevent it from spreading further. Let us make a pledge that we will save ourselves so that we can save the lives of our nears and dears.

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