Archive for May 28, 2021

How India Managed to Botch its Response to Second COVID-19 Wave

May 28, 2021 14 comments

A few weeks ago, you might have heard endless articles about the COVID-19 situation in India was horrible and “medical system had collapsed”. At that time, I wrote a post about almost nothing you read or heard from English Language Media (ELM) in India or Main-Stream Media (MSM) in West was factual or reflective of ground reality. Readers might be interested to know that, since then, the situation in most parts of India has improved quite considerably. As I had predicted, oxygen shortages have pretty much disappeared and availability of other important medications has also improved. However it is also very clear that the Indian government (at all levels- from central down to local) did botch its response to the second wave of COVID-19.

So.. let us now talk about why they botched it up so badly and also why their screw-ups did not ultimately hurt the national response to the second wave- starting with the later.

1] The biggest reason why multiple iterations of incompetent governments and bureaucracy have not been able to destroy India comes down to the fact that vast majority of people in that country simply ignore or bypass whatever brain-dead plans, rules and regulations those two groups come up with. While some white-worshiping brown morons in West might see that as “wrong” or “corrupt”, the simple reality is that ignoring or actively flouting bad, stupid or actively dangerous rules and regulations is a sign of intelligence. It also tells you that the elite in India, unlike their Chinese counterparts, have no interest in the betterment of people living in that country. Oh ya.. they also have little to no contact with reality.

2] Which brings us the first way in which the Indian government and bureaucracy screwed up their response to second wave- namely, by ignoring the input of their medical professionals. As I mentioned in one or two of my previous posts on this topic, it was common knowledge (based on large serological surveys) that the first wave of COVID-19 in India had exposed about 20-25% of the population to that virus. That translates into 75-80% still having no exposure to COVID-19. In other words, a larger second wave was inevitable. It was really a question of when, not if, that would occur.

3] Based on how things went during the first wave , it was also clear that shortages of oxygen for treating hospitalized (but non-ICU) would be an issue during a second wave- especially in smaller cities where such medical facilities are often less than adequate. It was also known that the richer segments of urban India and much of rural India had largely escaped infection during first wave. The point I am trying to make is that any non-retarded person could have correctly figured out where and how hard the second wave would strike. But the government (at all levels) and bureaucracy simply ignored the likely consequences of data produced by their own professionals- perhaps, because they had the ‘wrong’ skin color.

4] Instead they listened to white people from the West who had “credentials” from “famous universities”. They did so in spite of the fact that these same white “experts” had been unable to control COVID-19 in their own countries. They did so despite the very obvious fact that all the NPI measures (social distancing, face masks, lockdowns etc) had not worked in western countries. The Indian system (political leadership and bureaucracy) kept pushing for drugs of dubious efficacy such as Remdesivir while often ignoring ones such as Ivermectin that seem to reduce hospitalizations in high-risk groups. Nor did they seriously explore other drugs such as Doxycycline, Colchicine or Indomethacin. Luckily, most Indians ignored their government.

5] The Indian political leadershit (at all levels) ignored the negative consequences of (even partial) lockdowns in a country with so many people dependent on day-to-day jobs for survival. They made no serious attempts to adequately compensate poor people for the loss of income from these stupid partial lockdowns. They ignored the way cities and towns in India are laid out and how and how that makes the bullshit scam of ‘social distancing’ impossible. They ignored the fact that outdoor transmission of that virus is far less frequent than indoor transmission. They pretended that non-specialized face masks were effective at blocking transmission. Luckily, once again, most Indians ignored their government.

6] The Indian government (at all levels) and bureaucracy ignored the reality of how many medical facilities and personnel they had. That is why they made a series of brain-dead decisions such as using hospital beds to treat people who required supplemental oxygen but were otherwise likely to recover. It would have been far easier to give such patients a couple of oxygen cylinders + medicines + oximeters and send them home or to some nearby non-hospital facility so that the hospital beds could be used for those who really needed specialized medical attention. You know.. basic triage. This would have prevented hospitals in small cities and large towns from being temporarily overwhelmed.

7] The government and bureaucracy also did nothing to give people a real picture of their relative risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. This is especially relevant in India, where the median age of population is lower than the West. As you know, the risk of death or even hospitalization from that illness is much lower in people under 50-60 than in those above 70-80. The vast majority of population in India is below 50 and not especially obese. For this group the risk of death is less than 1 in a few thousand. For those under 20, the risk of death is even lower- approaching 1 in 100k. However the Indian government (at all levels) never systematically explained this to people or used it to formulate policies. Instead they imitated the West and pretended that the virus was also dangerous to younger age-groups.

In summary, the Indian government ( at all levels) and bureaucracy fucked up at multiple levels making something that was almost inevitable much worse than it should have been. Luckily, the virus has spread far enough in India to start running out of new hosts- which is why the number cases in many parts of that country has fallen by over 50% in past three weeks. In summary, almost all bad decisions made by Indian government and bureaucracy were due to deliberately ignoring their own professionals and data while blindly imitating mistakes of western countries + no willingness to honestly consider the real-life infrastructure constraints and logistical issues inherent to implementing their decisions.

What do you think? Comments?