Written by Saanchi Biyani, a grade 5 student.
Around a year ago, on 23 March 2020, the Government of India announced a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of alarmingly rising COVID cases.
I am wondering how do I relate the lockdown event in the history of India (even the world) – as it earmarked an important event which no one is going to forget in their lifetime. Should I call it the ‘Saving Lives’ event, ‘Raksha Diwas’?
I leave it to you to figure this out.
Let me focus on some numbers, the vaccination drive, and my opinion as a 9-year-old kid, who is waiting to go out, play and learn.
We all understand that the numbers are truly upsetting. The Indian economy has been damaged badly by this Covid, unemployment went up by 24 percent in April 2020, 0.16 million deaths in India mental health issues – stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fear are at an all-time high.
It has been a year now, and while there has been some improvement it is still a long road home. The only solution to handle the pandemic wave was ensuring ‘vaccination for all’. It was certainly a difficult task, but, the doctors and scientists rose to the occasion and ensured its readiness.
India’s regulators gave the vaccine an emergency approval in January 2021 and India launched its vaccination drive on 16thJanuary. The first phase of vaccination was limited to healthcare workers and frontline staff. March onwards the eligibility criteria expanded to include people over 60 and those who are between 45 and 59 but have other illnesses. By March-end, 47.20 million people have been vaccinated in India, a huge number, but, only 3.5% of the total population. The government expects to vaccinate 500 million people by July 2021.
While the vaccine is ready for the adults, I understand that it will take another 6-8 months for it to be ready for the children. This upsets me, but, I realize one of the factors could be the limited number of cases with children, which prompted the doctors and scientists to focus on adults first. But then, what if one of the companies would have focused upon ensuring vaccines for children since the beginning. Do you realize what as children, we have missed the last year? Majority of the time we hear that learning and growth come from meeting friends, talking to them, sharing ideas, working solutions, and specifically, if this happens physically.
On one hand, our parents want us to reduce our ‘screen time’, and on the other hand, it is increasing as we are getting dependent upon the idiot boxes coming of all shapes and sizes (mobile, tablet, laptop, and TV). Well, we as children might not be that important in the hierarchy that earns for the family and drives the economy, but, we are an integral part of any family and country that drives the future.
Let’s ensure that the baby mouse is out of the trap and gets to play and learn before it is too late. It shouldn’t be too long a wait as I am sure you as parents are looking for some respite before we irritate you to the limits.