In the little town that I live in, some folks here make it a party town. Women take off from work in the afternoons to attend a party; props and decor are flown from India for a theme party ; couples shop for matching outfits for ONE party; salons are overcrowded on weekends with hair and nail appointments; people discuss the next party while attending one. Folks are comparing notes on who got invited to which party. FOMO rules here, big time! BIG TIME!
Amidst the pandemic too, few have decided to live life, partying in large groups without masks and no social distancing. This has been ongoing for months, and with each passing month, parties have become more elaborate. Some have shifted indoors, and Facebook is flooded with pictures of a happy time. When I told my mother in India that some people in our community have tested positive because they attended themed parties, her response was- “paagal hain kya ye log?” Yes, when millions across the world are dead, and millions are still fighting for their lives, people of my town still party because they work on the principle “work hard, party harder.”
First, Facebook was filled with one group’s party pics, gradually the fever or herd mentality caught on, and several groups started posting their pictures. Yes, the virus is still out there, but hey COVID-19 is what happens to others. And since the virus doesn’t discriminate, some of the partying folks are now Covid positive, and many are awaiting results. Fortunately, most are negative, true to statistics. Only 25% of the people who will be exposed to the virus will actually test positive, and a small subset of that 25% will fall severely sick. Mea Culpa posts are doing their rounds too, yes you got it, on Facebook- but it would be foolhardy to believe these, because we have to look closely on the comments. The comments from their cohorts are – “this will be gone soon,” “you would have developed antibodies,” “we will meet again later,” so on, so forth.
My fear is that since these people would have recovered, they will think they have antibodies built to fight the disease. So, once they are healthy they will party again, and perhaps dance on Tony Martin’s song – “there is no tomorrow” or hum the song “kal kissne dekha hai,” while dressed up like the actors of the album 🙂
Years ago, when my oldest was a 9-year-old, our children used to meet on Wednesdays for a dance practice, for the upcoming party. Hey, remember my town is a party town! Just before heading out of the house, I called a friend to ask when she would be reaching. She told me that she was almost there. She also informed me that she was sick for the past few days with flu, and she had taken Advil for fever.
I asked her – “should you be going to the practice then? You know there are kids coming to the practice?”
Her response was that because she can’t get infected anymore, she was fine. She did not care about anybody else. YES- SHE DID NOT CARE.
I hope you can understand my fear now.
And since the majority just follows, they will influence the behavior of the town again. What baffles me most is that many in this group belong to the medical community. They can set a good example, but they choose not to. Most follow these medical professionals blindly. Here is an opportunity, if one doctor chose to wear a mask in a gathering, I am sure many would follow. But, they do the opposite. In the case of antibodies, the verdict is still unclear. Firstly, antibodies for this virus do not last forever, and finally not everyone develops antibodies.
Not everyone is lucky, not everyone uses their judgement, not everyone can take a stand, but I am forever optimistic. So, I hope whoever reads my article can take one step in the right direction.