13 June, 2021

Champaran Diary

Last year, there wasn’t a Covid-19 case within 100 miles of my village—Bihar was snug its innate ‘immunity’. But doctors were as scarce…and now Motihari looks worse than Mumbai.

Illustration by Saahil
Champaran Diary
outlookindia.com
2021-05-28T15:44:45+05:30
The Litti-Chokha Immunity

Last year, during the first wave of the Covid outbreak, while sitting in faraway Mumbai, I often wondered how my home state Bihar was able to manage the pandemic situation so well des­pite having no proper healthcare infrastructure. Relatives from my native East Champaran district were a boastful lot: Biharis have a superior imm­une system, they are the grassroots people with a hotline to Mother Nature, their per capita consumption of vitamin D is better than that of the residents of Rann of Kutch, corona is a damn metro thing and what not! Do you think the coronavirus can do anything to us, they asked. In all seriousness, none of it sounded like empty boasts; they actually believed in such theories. And I have reasons to suspect that the Bihar government also bel­ieved in the same hypothesis. Going by the flagrant lack of preparedness on its part in dealing with the second wave of COVID-19 cases now, it seems they went...

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