This is like asking a married man if he has stopped beating his wife. He cannot say yes or no. Both the answers would get him into trouble. “Yes” would amount to a confession of previous demeanour. A “No” would be much worse.
As of today the best of experts have not been able to find out exact causes for the spread of the corona virus or the cure for it. They are like the proverbial six blind men trying to figure out an elephant. Existing vaccines and allopathic drugs have been found ineffective.
The common man is neither intelligent nor stupid. He is seen as stupid by experts who always try to educate him on the do’s and dont’s of any situation. If he understands and follows their instructions he is considered intelligent. If he fails, he is not just considered just stupid, but an incorrigible idiot.
However, in the current situation experts are themselves not knowledgeable. Their own credibility is at stake. Hence they are not in a position to pass any judgement. In this environment the common man has evolved as an expert. The result is total confusion. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a solution for immunity and avoidance of the virus. The list of do’s and don’ts is lengthening everyday. Many new terms are gaining currency. Many new practices are evolving, like social distancing ( why can’t we simply call it physical distancing?), wearing masks, PPEs, sanitising, wfh( work from home), lockdown (models 1, 2, 3 etc) unlockdown (models 1, 2, 3 etc) home quarantine, room isolation etc. Newer and faster testing techniques are emerging. Since no cure is available, existing drug formulations are being prescribed and un-prescribed by turn.
Lancet came up with a fake report about the inefficacy of an Indian drug and withdrew it post haste. WHO bosses are working overtime on newer and newer recommendations. Yet there is no answer regarding the future course of the pandemic or its arrest. Second and third waves are being predicted. Statisticians are oscillating between optimism and pessimism. Governments are being trolled and taken to the cleaners.. Treating doctors and attendants are dropping dead. Grim pictures about the inadequacy of health care in rich as well as poor countries continue to be exposed. The business world is in a hurry to see green shoots. Never mind the deaths, concentrate on wealth creation, it says.
Suddenly concern for the unemployed has taken centre stage. Drug companies are making a killing. They are already negotiating fat prices for vaccines that do not exist. Insurance vultures are blackmailing the helpless common man to rush for insurance, knowing fully well that his premium will only benefit them and not take him too far. They are openly threatening him that he may be about to drop dead.
In the above milieu I return to the basic question asked of me. Intelligent or stupid? Answer: IDNK. Please ask my yellow skinned neighbour who knows more.