Indian can’t do social distancing, can they? Even when the government says it can save lives. Even when there is a threat over your head.
India is populated. Social distancing means giving people enough space so that they do not inadvertently breathe in your body odor when they breathe to live (I paint quite the picture don’t I?). But no! We as a crowd are incapable of understanding this concept. And I finally found the reason why.
The other day, I went to buy vegetables. A bunch of people were standing so close to each other and buying. When I mentioned the social distancing rule, they just glared at me. I could not even wait for the crowd to leave. Because another person joined the crowd every 5 mins. They were aggressive, careless and competitive. Yes! they were competing to buy vegetables. The competitive spirit wins over the safety rule.
Too many people compete for every single potato. The feeling is overwhelming, because it meshes with the basic survival instinct. If you do not get it first, you din get it. You have to be loud and demanding. The person who is rule-following is seen as a wimp (Yup! I am a wimp). I asked the vegetable vendor to instruct the people to follow social distancing. But, then again, he was competing with other vendors. He was afraid that he will lose his customers (if you are an Indian, these arguments will seem fair to you).
I know that social distancing is a luxury to many in India. There is just not enough space. However, considering the origin of COVID-19, it is the elite class that has to rampantly distance themselves from everyone. Simply put, people who can afford to travel to a foreign land. That is being taken care of by our police force.
I am talking about the middle-class, educated, office-going, literates. People who know all the information, know the science behind it, talk about news and socialize virtually. They do know! But they choose not to follow the rule!
So, how do we make the competitive, aggressive, relentless crowd of good people follow rules? I mean, fear does not seem to work. There is a pandemic hanging up your head! If this does not scare you into following rules, what will?
What do you guys think? What will work?
‘Cause I have no clue.