There is a difference!Dustbin (noun): A large container with a lid used for putting rubbish in, usually kept outside the house.Washbasin (noun): A basin, typically fixed to a wall or on a pedestal, used for washing one’s hands and/or face.What you see in the picture is the mother of irony!A washbasin at Bishnupur, which was installed to promote cleanliness and hygiene amid COVID-19 pandemic, is now filled with litters.Plus, this particular washbasin has neither been drawing attention of the locals nor of the authorities concerned — the only thing it draws is rubbish. Pitiful, innit?But who is actually blameworthy here?Well, the SJ team will leave it to the acumen of its readers.
Meet the DaredevilsRoad safety is an essence of driving/riding out on the highway; but this aspect seems to be missing in our city’s Daredevils — you may wonder: ‘Daredevils’? Well, these are some youths with their swanky (intended to say modified) scooters, gliding and whooshing on the city roads.This lot of scooterists in Shillong seems to have got the goat of commuters in general, as the latter report that under many circumstances, they have saved these scooterists from a possible road accident.While they test the horsepower in their machines, the public have to be wary of their daring acts on the roads in order to avoid a disaster, which otherwise would endanger other people’s lives too.A Shillongite, who drives a car, and commutes in the city almost daily, shares an incident: “This stretch from the entrance of Edmunds’ School till RBI is where I have to pay the most attention. Once, I was driving towards Fire Brigade when I saw a scooter coming towards me like a missile. Had I not slowed down my car, he would’ve surely collided with it. I looked from my rear view mirror as I apparently save the day, and saw the scooter again take a dangerous turn, this time with another car! They don’t learn, I told myself”.Even motorists complain about nearly being in a road accident because of random manoeuvres of these Daredevils intended to overtake vehicles, that look way too risky.Why not be patient and ride/drive with care for ourselves and fellow commuters? After all, getting from point A to point B is more important than how fast or slow you’ll get there.
Endemic…not yetWhen you take a walk around the city these days, you will come across a large number of citizens who have unmasked themselves. As soon as the government announced easing of the COVID-induced restrictions, a number of Shillongites have decided to discard the mask.In commercial areas of the city like Iewduh and Police Bazar, you are sure to come across many people without masks, some with masks in their hands and others with masks covering their chins.Now while the Omicron variant of coronavirus might not have caused widespread chaos but COVID-19 is far from over, at least that’s what health experts are contending.With Meghalaya lagging behind on the vaccination front, following COVID-appropriate behaviour is the only means to protection and prevention.A casual conversation at a tea stall or a brief exchange while making purchases from a locality store reveals that the greater majority do not want any further escalation of restrictions but prefer to look the other way when queried about their unmasked state.After close to two years of “fear”, a cough or a sneeze does not alarm us much these days, possibly since we have come to terms with them.However, it remains a fact that the pandemic is far from turning endemic.