Now, more than ever, is not the time to turn complacent.
As we hear increasingly of people breaching COVID-19 safety protocol and the latest: a youth accused of trying to smuggle tobacco products across the borders who escaped a quarantine facility and is still at large, we need to question ourselves: are we doing our best?
All signs so far prove that the Bhutanese feel that they are an entitled lot. We are so used to welfare schemes and government intervention in every little issue that bothers us that we feel that we should be served and granted goodies on a platter. Ask for a little discomfort and sacrifice, and hell hath no fury like the person who is thus asked (requested).
We have to give it to the authorities- they have and are doing their best to contain and intercept the transmission of COVID-19 infections. And it is not that their plans or strategies have been perfect or without loopholes. But can’t we at least do our part, too? Through a little adherence to the rules and self-sacrifice, if not for yourself, the larger good? Agreed, there are economic and social costs. But we are not being asked a hefty price beyond reason. We are being asked to follow COVID-safety protocol and that too for our own good. So the least we can do is comply. And yes, complain less.
The Straits Times has reported that South Korea which had managed the first wave pretty well due to expansive tracking rather than pre-emptive measures like lockdown has already reported a third wave.
The country reported 382 cases on Wednesday – the highest since August, when gatherings at a church and a public rally triggered the second wave of infections.
Experts have attributed it to falling temperatures, young asymptomatic spreaders and small social gatherings where people tend to take off their masks.
Each patient currently infects 1.5 people, but experts fear this figure will grow as winter arrives and plunging temperatures confine people to cramped indoor spaces, where viruses thrive.
The global tally of COVID-19 cases had reached 60mn on Wednesday. The US saw 1mn new COVID cases in less than a week with 12.5mn total reported infections and a death toll of 260,000, according to Reuters data.
There have been 1.4mn global deaths so far. Compared to the 21 days it took for the number of COVID-19 cases to reach 50mn from 40mn, it took just 17 days to increase from 50mn cases to 60mn.
Europe has reported 1mn new cases in just five days with a total of 16mn cases and 365,000 deaths so far. Brazil, India and the US are the worst affected countries with more than 6mn cases.
And India is the second-worst affected country with 9.2mn cases.
Should not these figures be cause for concern? If we are wise, and if we believe in the dictum that it is better to be safe than sorry, we will try to prevent the infections before it is too late.
Right now, we have not seen any local transmission or fatalities due to the COVID-19. But, this is certainly not the time to turn complacent. Instead of being immune, we are the most vulnerable because we are a small country with limited resources and our geography puts us at risk as well.
If the leaders are doing their best, so should we.