The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a host of buzzwords into everyday vocabulary. The most important one you ought to know as the lockdown eases is ‘Covidiot’. Dictionary.com describes this term as a “blend of COVID-19 and idiot… insult for someone who disregards health and safety guidelines about the novel coronavirus”. Some obvious examples of Covidiots are people who don’t wash their hands thoroughly with soap, or those who hang out in large groups.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inadvertently called out Covidiots in his Facebook live speech on Sunday. The CM is a voice of reason and pragmatism in these chaotic times. Despite having the challenging job of heading the State most affected by the coronavirus, he has kept his cool. Thackeray has made a number of difficult yet necessary decisions, and dealt admirably with the exodus of migrant workers, surprise Cyclone Nisarga and the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Thackeray appealed to citizens not to venture outside unless absolutely essential. “Additional relaxation doesn’t mean that the crisis is over,” he said in Marathi. He urged people to continue taking precautions. “People in villages are taking the pandemic lightly. They are not wearing masks nor following social distancing,” was another concern. His speech came at a time when Maharashtra reported 5,318 fresh cases.
One silver lining is that the Maharashtra government is working towards boosting economy with new agreements worth ₹16,000 crores. He urged more investors to come forward. The CM thanked all the Dahi Handi mandals. They have voluntarily cancelled the annual celebration to curb the spread of infections. However, the same was not the case with Jagannath yatra in Puri (Odisha).
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Mumbai Police has also started urging people to not be Covidiots. The force has asked residents to stay within the 2-km radius of their home while going grocery shopping or visiting a salon. A senior police official announced that any movement beyond this distance is allowed only for office or medical emergencies. Follow the police force’s personal safety and social distancing norms if you don’t want to be a Covidiot.