Taking Covid19 Vaccination in India

I got my first dose of vaccination on the 18th of March 2021. Except a slight body ache, everything seems to be fine. Till the very end, my husband debated on the prospects of taking it but when I finally said I will do it, he quietly joined me. As I am taking blood thinner and it was reported earlier on TV to consult the doctor, he was skeptic. But when I told my cardiologist, I have a question, even before I could shoot the question he said: yes you can take the jab. He said people have been asking the same question… TV janarige tale-sari illa!!!

As the world was caught by surprise with the Covid virus, and was grossly underprepared to deal with such a dreaded challenge ensured in panic and chaos all over the world, many places had collapsed medical facilities and over flowing cemetery and crematorium. Our Indian government had not only taken the bold decision for early lockdown against all the negative publicity from every possible quarter.

Being called the pharmacy of the world, India is also the vaccine powerhouse and it makes 60% of the world’s vaccine. Our generous manufacturers joined hands and we lived up to our reputation, with the government encouraging homegrown vaccines like Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield in India. While the country launched the world’s largest inoculation effort that too at free of cost, India also supplied/supplying the vaccine to neighbouring countries and host of other nations – so far 51 nations. Without aiming to cash in on others misery, for some it was given free and to most at a very nominal price, what is being widely described as “vaccine diplomacy”.

One year or so after it left its original area and started to spread around the world, the virus is still feasting around. While the self declared advanced nations like England, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Dutch, etc., who built their so called Empires by looting, killing, convert, slavery and racially discriminating the innocent around the world, were surprised to see that there was something invisible more powerful than they could ever be! Mrs. and Mr. Cornona Virus has been spinning them on its little finger, oppressing the oppressors, ravaging their health care system and bulldozing their economy pushing it decades behind. Though India also faced with similar problems, while the advanced nations are still struggling with shortage of vaccines and other facilities India rose up to the occasion and has been lending a helping hand. It is something every Indian should be proud of.

The success of both the vaccine and future of the humanity is yet to be seen. With all the hands pointing to one source still it is not clear when or how the virus surfaced which has been mutating endlessly. AIDs was blamed on the monkeys, the humans ancestors and the Covid arrived from the wet markets! There was Spanish flu, Swine flu, Bird flu, etc., could Covid-19 termed as Man flu? Whether the mysterious virus was brewed in labs or not will always remain a mystery. However, unlike the previous diseases which caught the poorer nations, similar the modern trend, the virus seems to have an affinity to rich and the famous.

According to the reports, Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine which means that it is made up of killed corona viruses, with a sample from India’s National Institute of Virology, making it safe to be injected into the body. When administered immune cells can still recognize the dead virus, prompting the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. The two doses are given four weeks apart. The vaccine can be stored at 2C to 8C about the same as a domestic refrigerator.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from Chimpanzees. (Cool help from our ancestors!) it has been modified to look more like coronavirus although it can’t cause illness. When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any Coronavirus infection. The two doses are administered between four and twelve weeks apart. Like Covaxin it can be safely stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C.

What a fantastic program it has been. Thank you Modiji and your team from scientists to ministers to health workers to volunteers and up to the watchman who stood in front of the building and everyone else in between. This is the first time in recent history that I have seen people preferring to go to government facilities than the private hospitals. Not because it is free but because of the efficient manner in which it is conducted. Private hospital jab administering charges are fixed by the central government and its costing mere Rs.250.

And it was an astounding sight which I never thought I would see in my life time. This is the second time I am amazed by what the Indian government is capable of doing when the need occurs. No matter what the critics who cannot digest the fact that India values human lives and puts their citizens first before anything else, still India is the front runner when the need arises.

First time was in October 1990 when I was airlifted free of cost along with my family from Jordan as refugees of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, after spending nine days on road and in UN camps. More than one hundred thousand Indians which entered the Guinness book of records. That was the Prime Minister Chandrasekhar’s government where Mr. I. K. Gujral played a major role as foreign minister even embracing Mr. Saddam Husain.

But this 2021 vaccination drive by the current Prime Minister Modiji and his team surpasses that previous record. What is astounding is the fact that the way it is organized, managed and planning to vaccinate its current population of 1,389,604,984 {plus give or take – more give!} which is 17.7% of the world population. As if such a need would arise in future, man of vision Modiji had pushed for digitalization drive in India which is aiding this vaccination drive. I even got my confirmation while still waiting (half an hour) in the recovery room.

The system is so well arranged and even a little child can follow the system. The orderly program maintaining the social distancing, cleanliness and other norms with world class service that too free of cost is difficult to phanthom.

Another interesting factor I witnessed is that except the wheel chair bound elders there were no preference or influence used there. There were three uniformed cops in the queue in the next lane. Not only that they had to wait like everyone else but the lady behind the desk refused to register one of them without the Aadhar card. His uniform or his police ID did not play any role.

I never voted for Modiji, but I can boldly say that he is the best thing ever happened to India in a long time and I can’t even imagine in my wildest dreams what would have happened if the dynastic scion and talking parrot was the Prime Minister instead Modiji.

Last but not the least on personal level, like how many don’t understand or refuses to understand your Farm bill, the state government influenced by timber mafia, big resorts, neighbouring state’s influence, etc., refuses to understand the difficulties of the Man-Animal conflict. The Forest department officials whose knowledge is based on books or tied by the rule of the law are not been able to handle the situation. Mr. Pratap Simha who is the district in-charge has been very efficient but has been unable to bridge the gap between the Kodagu (Coorg) problems and the government attitude. After deforestation, the re-forestation is mostly of commercial valued trees than the useful ones for the animals. Human ignorance has played a major role in the problem.  Please help implement the Kasturirangan report or at least consider the important aspects from it. If you don’t help us no one else ever will and it won’t be just bane for us but it would affect the entire South India.

Latest on Thalassery-Mysuru Railway project…

In spite of the assurances given by both the ex-government under Mr. Siddaramaiah as well as the opposition party in Karnataka, the problem with Mysurur-Thalasherry railway doesn’t seem to be dying a natural death under the present government. Son of the Son of soil does not seem to be aware of the needs of the soil. Seems like the politicians just talk the talk but they won’t do anything.

Previously on one hand the state government said that “in principle” we are not in favour of the project and we will not allow DPR (Detailed Project Report) to be prepared on the controversial railway project. On the other they held the so called preliminary meeting regarding the project with representatives of Karnataka, Kerala and Railways in Bengaluru. Now they went one step further… and on the sly, survey work on the project started in Kodagu for the said project. The question remains who gave the authorization for survey to Konkan Railway officials?

There is a proverb in Kannada, “ganda-hendira jagaladalli kusu badavayitu” (roughly translated as while husband & wife fought, the child became poor in every sense). While Indian Politicians fought endless power and party wars, manipulated religions and invented new ways to get votes, caught in-between people as well as the land suffers endlessly.

This is what is happening to the district as well as the people of Kodagu. For being in the opposite side, the ruling party used every weapon in the arsenal.. either you are with us or we will not let you sleep in peace was their motto… seems like the trend remains rolling to this day.

Sadly India is cursed with more than its fair share of political parties and half baked politicians whose agenda is to grow their wealth and divide the country in the name of religion to stay in power. They say there cannot be two kings in one land… unfortunately after the state assembly election, the state is filled with one too many kings and queens. On top of it not only every politician and their cronies but also the krimis (insects) under their butt acts like kings.

However something doesn’t really make sense to me and there is something wrong somewhere. As far as I perceive, our beloved Modiji is the most sensible PM India ever had. So it’s hard for me understand why such an issue is happening even though Mr. Pratap Simha assured that the project will not take off. So in that case, the issue of the survey by the Konkan Railway officials really does not make any sense to me as the Railways come under the Central Government. So either there is some communication gap or someone very influential is pushing it underhand for some kind of personal gain.

Fear of future water shortage or resource crunch or man-animal conflict, nothing seems to deter the ignorant dull-witted politicians. Ignorance is tolerable but to dwell on it is utter sin. If someone is committing sins wide awake, how could there be any solution?


PM Modi’s effect…. Swach Bharat, itchy hands and leaky members…..

While in Mysore, I like to do two things religiously every morning: one is go to Kukkarahalli-kere (lake) and the second is to drink tender coconut right after. One fine morning in mid January when I landed in Mysore, I was happy to see mass cleaning on the South side of the lake. Then, I saw the road in front of the Crawford hall closed as the road was being widened and everywhere spick and span.

I was telling my husband the MUDA (Mysore Urban Development Authority) was really taking a sudden interest in keeping the city clean. Guess they are vying to claim their title of “India’s cleanest city” back. When I stopped for my tender coconut, my husband said there were hardly any coconuts and it must be from the previous day.

When I asked the old man who cuts the tender coconut, he said boss is not bringing more.

I asked him why?

He said because of PM Modi’s arrival….

I was surprised and told him, PM Modi came to Bengaluru and why the boss is not bringing in Mysuru?

Showing his missing teeth, he said I don’t know Amma….

He is an innocent hired villager and he had told me that on a good day he sells up to 150 tender coconuts. He had also told me that weekly his boss pays Mamuli (usual bribe) to three different persons and every Sunday they come religiously to collect. If someone is around that time they will wait till the coast is clear and then collects it!

Later I spoke to his boss and he confirmed what the old man had said and gave me the list too.

Someone from Abhai (MUDA) collects Rs.300, traffic police Rs.300 and another police collects Rs.100. So Rs.700 total weekly payment. He also told me that they will drink tender coconut and if they find it fresh they will also pack 2 each to take it home! (Each tender coconut costs Rs.25).

Sad there is always room for black money and different avenues and channels available…

After two days the old man was moving his cart when we stopped by. He said Amma we are not allowed to sell on the pavement, the municipality people warned us and told us to stay away until after PM Modi’s visit on 18th and 19th of February 2018. Swachh Survekshan people will inspect…

So the mamuli does have its benefits and the less stocking was not because of the previous visit but preparation for the future visit… the whole system is a vicious circle and goes back to the roots…

I was also told that the cleanup operation and kicking the peddlers out was limited to the route PM Modi will be taking. I hear there are no rooms available at Lalith Mahal Palace hotel as it’s fully booked by a retired bureaucrat for his son’s wedding. So from where ever PM Modi is staying (mostly Radisson Blu)… going to Railway station and then to Maharaja’s College ground, the order will be maintained…

Wish PM Modi also visited the Kukkarahalli Lake so that the human waste coming in to the lake would stop and the little paradise would shine further.

Cleaning also brought to my mind the leaky privates some men sport besides the charandi (ditch at the kere)… or even in other open places. To this day I wonder why they can’t simply go at home before they set out on their journey. Interestingly I don’t see poor people doing that or a villager doing that. The middle class who travels in two wheelers or cars does that. Why do they really do it? Do they want assurance that their man hood still intact. Or is it just force of habit?

Wonder what might discourage them to do it? Does it help if everyone starts clicking their pictures in action and start posting in the social media… if they are shameless to do what they do why not take the picture?

Sadly there is this small breed of specimens who considers themselves as the leaders in such smelly business and presume their action justified. I see there is only one place remains which poses competition in this respect… however there is a minor difference. There the specimens have four legs. It’s at the world’s foremost city… Manhattan, New York. City of dogs, where the dogs are treated better even than the children or spouses.

The handsome, fancy dogs in leash, taken for walk, is a feast to the eye and the love and affection they receive is enviable. This perhaps is the reason they are also tolerated when they pee around. Most of the time their poop is collected and disposed but no effort is done to stop the pee. Everywhere they sport the little boards: Please Curb your Dogs… wonder what could be the befitting board for the educated fools here? A question and comparison which bothers me whenever I am in Manhattan!

The other city, the city of love which had the long standing tradition of drink and wild peeing, since before the day of Napoleon has finally put an end to the adventure and tradition with the introduction of Uritrottoir. Well you guessed it right, it’s Paris. Wild peeing was another tradition along with haute cuisine and chic fashion, they were wilder than the leaky dicks in India. So when will we be able to call it quits in India?