India’s Covid-19 lockdown was an absurd time. A never-before shutdown of the entire country was executed with next to no planning.

Maybe as a warning of what was to come, shortly before the lockdown was announced, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale led a rather confused Chinese diplomat in chanting “Go Corono Go” with side-splitting seriousness.

While scientists were struggling to find a vaccine and a cure, the minister, it seems, was convinced that some purposeful chanting would be effective in fighting the deadly disease.

But Athawale remained unfazed by the widespread derision his method generated. Not even testing positive for Covid-19 and being hospitalised alerted him to the possible futility of using slogans to keep the virus at bay.

As the year was drawing to a close, he coined a new version of his chant, adding the words “no corona no” in order to combat the new, more contagious strain of the virus discovered in the UK.