Bhutan has dealt with the Covid-19 infections impressively. For the past 100 days or so, there has not been a single positive case.
But the danger is growing—we are becoming more complacent.
In Thimphu, for example, all the Covid and health protocols are being taken very lightly. Thankfully in the schools there are some signs of seriousness.
Led by His Majesty the King and the government, through various initiatives and kidus, we have been able to keep ourselves safe. Our economy is in a bad shape; recovery will take a long time. All these must be understood as a worthwhile investment.
It has been a long journey with the unrelenting virus, which is known to evolve rapidly. If we fail to appreciate the scale of investment we have so far made and strengthen our efforts to protect ourselves, we could easily throw a spanner in our achievements.
And winter’s coming. According to some well-placed studies, winter may be the best environment for the Covid-19 virus to proliferate. Imagine a cozy fireside gathering! With less regard to Covid and health protocols, the chances of the virus spreading are very high.
Countries around the world, especially where winters are severe, are preparing for the bad days. The virus is expected to be more active, which means that given the way most countries treat the threat, new variants could be at the door.
Security and vigilance along the borders have been given special priority in Bhutan—so it must be. Because the cold season is already in, we must be more careful—we must be more stringent with Covid protocols.
How do we do that?
Simply put, we make the protocols absolutely necessary—masks should be mandatory wherever one goes; at the very least shops, offices and service centres should insist on basic protocols such as physical distancing and sensitisation.
These are simple things that we can do. But going by experience, we need orders and threats. So, let there be orders with threats. We need them now more than ever.
Complacency has no place in our society today. It should never find a place of comfort, whatever the case.
Covid-19 is still a major threat facing us today. Beefing up the efforts to protect ourselves from the virus should be given extra importance.