Councller (250+ posts)
In the history of recorded global pandemics, fewer turnarounds of infections are more spectacular than the one Pakistan is witnessing at present.
Before mid-July the country looked set to become a South Asian version of Spain or Iran in terms of COVID-19 spread.
The vicious virus after a slow start early this year made up for the lost time and began to take a heavy toll on the population, killing and infecting at quadrupling rates.
Hospitals were choking with patients; paramedics were sending out SOSs; policy planners, both at the centre and in the provinces, were bracing for mass scale deaths.
As prominent personalities — musicians, political leaders, writers, doctors, teachers, soldiers — fell to the onslaught of the pandemic, the ordinary mortals felt particular insecure. Some took refuge in the voodoo of local antidotes that ranged from black tea to wild bush oils.
Businesses shutdown and mobility of goods and services came to a grinding halt. As helplessness raged, some became brazen and expressed their fears by pretending that the virus did not exist even when they buried their loved ones after thinly attended last rites and according to strict protocols officials enforced.The reality is that for now COVID-19 is back-page news in Pakistan and the least important concern on the pressing public concern issues. We need another few months to be fully comfortable with the conclusion that this virus has somehow spared the country from the kind of calamity that Italy saw or the US is experiencing
- Syed Talat Hussain
But then, miraculously, in a span of 40 days — mid June to mid July onwards — the virus seemed to suddenly run out of homicidal steam.
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