The global impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is affecting different people in different ways. Numerous people have lost their jobs, others experienced loneliness and loss, yet, some have discovered new things about themselves or acquired new hobbies. It’s society’s diverse social identities and the social groups that determine our situation within society and, by extension, our vulnerability to epidemics. Some haven’t been affected by the pandemic while many have been devasted. But since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been more losses than gains. COVID-19, as of today, is haunting our society.

On March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, symbolising a significant global spread of an infectious disease. At that point, there were 118,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in 110 countries. China had been the first country with a widespread outbreak in January 2020. And today, we have a world full of COVID victims. India is undergoing a second wave of COVID cases. Everyone is helpless. Both common people and the frontline workers are affected. The courts are interfering with the issue, the policymakers disoriented and the common people shocked. As of today, 3,46,786 coronavirus cases have been detected in the country pushing the total count to 25,52,940. The numbers are alarming. The unfolding of the second wave is beyond our vision and imagination.

But all is not lost. What’s happening in India is a reflection of what has happened in countries like the USA and China. We need to learn, understand and adapt to the methods of resistance that these developed countries have shown against the virus. If we don’t, then the worst will come true. It will be impossible for any government to stop the wave of virus because of the huge population size of our country. We have to stand apart to stand together because that’s the only way out now. We don’t stand a chance against this virus if we are divided or careless.

As an Odia, I can cite the example of our CM Shri Naveen Patnaik, who has been helping every state government that needs help. Recently, Mr Patnaik had assured PM Modi that Odisha would extend all cooperation at the national level including ramping up oxygen production to assist other states in this emergency. He had further aided Delhi CM Kejriwal and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao by filling and sending tonnes of oxygen tanks for use in hospitals of their respective states. “Odisha will extend all cooperation at the national level including ramping up oxygen production to assist other states in this emergency” quoted Mr Patnaik. Moreover, the people of Odisha are the least affected and are pleased with his governance. This is the kind of statesmanship that can help us win this battle, where the state leaders not just help the state but the entire country.

Times are tough. The heat waves are rising and so are the covid cases. We have to wear masks and follow protocols even in our own homes. The process is tiring but we need to have patience. I am hopeful that a collective effort and patience can actually win this war against COVID.