Sometimes it makes one wonder if people are really “listening” to COVID pre-call massage that comes every time we make a call. Whatever the number of people this writer has asked nearly all say that they find the message not just irritating but it is utterly wasting their precious time. The saying– “too much of anything is bad” is what is perfectly applicable here too. Well, in order to avoid hearing repeatedly the same message, many people these days have taken an alternative option for communication like calling by WhatsApp or by sending messages. Even the voice of superstar Amitabh Bachchan has literally failed to cheer up his crazy fans. Is it not an embarrassment of riches?
Of course, for the first 1 / 2-month of the pandemic, people never grumbled, they did not feel jaded. As a matter of fact, the massive awareness and warning against the coronavirus was a must. True, the Government must force the message down the throat of the citizens who are habitually irresponsible and insensitive.
Moreover, the government can’t take the risk as the major part of the population might not follow the virus precautionary measures. But, now, already into the seventh month, if “some” people don’t comply with the COVID-19 regulations then they won’t be even after hearing the same sermon for another ten years. One netizen expresses his anger on social media thus: “If I don’t die of coronavirus, I’ll probably die of an overdose of listening to the forced coronavirus ringtone.”
What is unquestionably obvious is this pre-call message has cumulatively disrupted the routine affairs of countless people while putting many others on the verge of chaos and loss. Well, one medical officer from New Delhi, who has to make frequent calls to his juniors, quips – “No doubt, the Covid-19 message can be given once or twice on each alternate day but not all the time. It has adversely affected people’s day to day activities”. Who knows if some hot-temper freaks would not bang their cell phones like they bang and break their TVs or remotes when their favorite cricket team loses the game? Undoubtedly, the repetitive COVID-19 message has wreaked havoc on business and commerce in every segment as they are totally dependent on mobile communication.
Now let’s make one small calculation. If a person makes 4 calls in 24 hours then that means his roughly 2-minute time is wasted by this pre-call patter. If we multiply that by 100 crore citizens, it comes to approximately 3800 years’ time span per one-day-one-night. Just evaluate and imagine how this overdone message has retarded the pace of economic development and tempo of growth and progress.
Here I can’t say much but one intensely wishes that some group of mathematicians put these facts and figures across the table of PMO. The Government must take the public call now.
(The author, a Shillong-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ which has earned worldwide appreciations. Translated into Twelve languages, his book has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA.)