An Indian businessman keeping a close eye on the development in Bhutan had three questions when he contacted Kuensel to verify some information he gathered. None was about business.
Is it true that the King is leading the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic?, is it true that half the population is engaged in protecting the other half? and if government officials are delivering, at the doorsteps, tobacco and alcohol? There may be some exaggeration in engaging half the population working on the frontline, but this has been the Bhutanese story so far.
With His Majesty The King at the helm providing guidance and leadership and three doctors in the cabinet leading the fight against the pandemic, the enemy, the novel coronavirus, is well contained. The enemy is invisible. That is our biggest threat. But we have the blessings of the omnipotent guardian deities, which the whole clergy has been invoking.
The enemy has entered our soil, how much havoc they wreck depends on how we hold the fort and derail their plan. We knew it was coming and we were prepared. There are arms and ammunition, there are food stocks and there are plans to protect the weak and the vulnerable.
However, the generals need foot soldiers. Soldiers not only in the blue, green or orange uniforms. Soldiers who could play a part by staying home, following some easy rules and cooperating with the generals and the commanders out in the field. The enemy finds an easy target in crowds on those who disobey rules. In short, those not understanding the extent of the crisis.
Fighting a battle is no ordinary time. There are risks and there are inconveniences caused. It is two weeks into a full-fledged war and given the complexities of the enemy, it could prolong. In two weeks, the citizens, the biggest weapon, have understood the strategy, the simple strategy of rendering help to those on the frontline by helping ourselves.
Citizens know the risk and the cost of the battle. They know together we shall overcome. They know it is our Genkhu. So the spirit of togetherness is at display whether it is in simple gestures like cooking a different meal for volunteers or contributing to the war coffer.
Yes. The King is leading the battle. It is not planned overnight. It is in the noble wisdom. In our King, we have a parent, a brother and a son who gives everything and keeps nothing, whose only personal goal is to fulfil our hopes and aspirations by working day and night.
The only worry, may be an exaggeration, some citizens say, is not being able to manage the household budget as they are getting pampered by having goods, not only essentials delivered at the doorstep, whenever or wherever. All, in times of a pandemic.
The battle is well fought, but not won. The spirit should not wane. We should not let our guards down. We don’t want to lose the shoe for want of a nail.