3+1 T in Corona Times in India
It is now generally understood that the way to effectively manage COVID-19 is the 3 T principle. Track. Test. Treat.
Allow me to propose a fourth T. Trust.
For all the scientific brains here, there and everywhere, TRUST four things unless you have a definitive evidence otherwise. If you have a counter evidence, do share.
The four things I want to say:
1: Everyone at this point has the interest of the Country and its population in mind. Those decision makers know if they make wrong decision and you are infected, they too stand a higher chance of infection.
2: The scientific advisers to the Government on COVID-19 are some of the best scientific brains in the country. They understand virology. They understand epidemiology. They understand public health. They understand clinical medicine. Rely on them for once. They are thinking sound unless proven otherwise.
3: A decision is taken based on its scientific merit and feasibility. For example, long back when polio eradication efforts were adopted in the country, a school of Indian scientists thought and provided evidence that injectable vaccine would be a better choice than oral vaccine because of many reasons. But India chose to go for the oral vaccine. Because of many reasons. Cost. Feasibility. Herd immunity impact. Among the reasons. Whether injectable would have given better results than oral, we do not know. But what we know is in the long run with a heavy cost, we succeeded in stopping transmission. And then when we could we introduced injectable. That too in fractional doses. Again there were questions. Why in fractional doses? But now the world is looking to adopt India’s strategy of fractional dose Injectable Polio vaccine. Therefore, know that we are blessed that we have the best scientific brains in the country that have the country’s interest in mind while advising the government. And also know that in making policy decisions there is something called feasibility. Something may sound very attractive scientific scientifically. But may not be feasible. The balance between science and the feasibility of its application is very important.
4: Be a critic. But not always. Particularly in areas where we do not have the full knowledge. In Democracy, the role of the critic is super important. As a citizen, you have another very important role. Stick to it. Be a spokesperson of Science. Speak loudly and repeatedly about the public health measures that Government is asking its citizens to take. Trust that we will do a more effective job together as soldiers in this battle than criticising our government and our scientific institutions at this hour.