March 13, 2020 10:53 AM NPT
Our incompetent government is going to have an easy year as our netas, civil servants and contractors can blame the coronavirus for the country not moving forward. Every year, our contractors get busy during the monsoon. This year will be the same but if our contractors fail to finish their work on time, they can blame China and the coronavirus. They can just tell us that their equipment is stuck in China and just share the contract money with our civil servants as usual.
Yes, it’s true that most of our hydropower projects are in a limbo because we need Chinese workers and equipment and most of the technical team seem to be stranded back home after the Chinese New Year. If Oli Ba had a good PR team, then our government would at least do a ‘We are with you China’ video with the Nepali people praying and asking for the Chinese to stay strong. Oli Ba could have prepared a message even if it’s in broken Mandarin to wish China a speedy recovery. But, of course, our netas seem to have advisors who do not use social media much. No wonder, our communist government wants to ban social media and all forms of expression in this land.
Our tourism campaign has been halted and we cannot blame our tourism minister for the coronavirus. We didn’t start the fire but our government can do much better to at least create awareness among our ordinary folks about the virus instead of just letting us get carried away with fake online news. Instead of calling our country, ‘coronavirus free’, our airports and government agencies should be provided resources to make sure that tourists are screened properly and effective measures are taken so that we are adequately protected against the coronavirus. A table and two chairs and a flex board are not going to help.
Some folks have started to eat tons of garlic. Good for them but of course it might also be bad for their breath if they have to attend any meetings. Some are scared to go out and then they get more scared than they already are as they scroll through all the fake online news. Some folks think that wearing a mask will prevent the spread of virus. Well, if you are standing right next to the person who is infected then the chances of getting infected is of course higher. But then, how do you know who is infected?
We have our mantris telling us that if we do get infected then we have to go on a self-quarantine instead of waiting for government help. Yes, our government doesn’t have much funds for the people. It only has [more than] enough dough for its own puppets.
Well, we have not had problems like China, Italy and South Korea but it’s always better to be prepared. Finally, our government is following other countries when it comes to issuing travel ban and other preventive measures to combat the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.
I think it’s time our netas went on national TV and showed us their hand-washing skills. Yes, let them sing the national anthem till the end as they finish washing their hands. I bet you that nine out of ten politicians in this land do not know the national anthem by heart. Some of them might still confuse it with the old one and recite a few lines from the old anthem. I think we should make it a part of the oath-taking ceremony and then impose a rule wherein if you fail to sing the national anthem till the end then you don’t get to be our mantri or prime minister.
Our PM Oli Ba is slowly recovering from his surgery. We hope he will be fit again and be back to his game. Our Emperor is down with fever and cold. Let’s wish him speedy recovery as well. With the top honchos in our country battling health issues, it’s about time our health ministry at least carries out awareness campaigns to educate the public about the coronavirus.
Let us all wash our hands and sing the national anthem at the same time. Let us not touch our mouth, eyes, nose most of the time. Finally, our ‘Namaste’ seems to be the best contact-less greeting for the world. And I think it’s the best time to encourage mobile payment as we minimize the risk by not touching our bank notes.
We don’t know when this ‘coronavirus’ thing will continue to affect the world. Let us hope that it will probably be controlled within a few months and we can finally get some cheap stuff from Khasa and our contractors can get their equipment and the Chinese workers as well.
Most of the western world had been making tons of dough from the millions of Chinese tourists visiting their land. This year is going to be difficult for all of us. Our tourism entrepreneurs will be the ones to suffer the most and so will our airlines. Let’s hope our government will also follow the world when it comes to providing waivers on taxes to industries affected by the impact of the coronavirus. And it would also help, if we, the people, get some tax breaks as well. It’s going to be a slow year. We have stood up to the earthquake, to the blockade and so maybe the corona should not be a problem. After all, we are Nepalis. We take care of ourselves even when the government does nothing at all.
Guffadi is a grumpy old man who blogs at guffadi.blogspot.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.