Disaster Strikes India; COVID-19 Cases at an All Time High

Lucas Turecek, Staff Writer

Despite a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in India, around 3.5 million people are still participating in the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela. The festival takes place about every 11.86 years and relies on the placement of Jupiter in the Zodiac. Weary of interfering with religious rituals, local and national officials announced the festival would be continuing with COVID restrictions in mind. 

Although some precautions were put in place, the festival consists of large groups soaking together and food rituals. In the past, the festival has been associated with the super spread of viruses, so the rise of COVID-19 cases as a result of the festival is not unprecedented.  

Currently, hospitals are being occupied rapidly and are running out of supplies, leaving many to battle the virus on their own. Without any other option, civilians have started to reach out on social media as their final effort in receiving medical assistance. With the absence of government support, community stakeholders from all walks of life are responding to these cries of help and assisting those in need. Frustrated with the lack of government involvement, junior Basanti Valerio stated, “The fact that the government isn’t doing anything to protect its people, because it only wants to protect it’s accumulated wealth, is what frustrates me the most.” 

As cases start to rise and supplies get more limited, the civilian relief groups will have a lot of work ahead.