From today we begin a new phase of relaxation. In Thimphu, movement across mega-zones is allowed and the use of private cars, taxis and city busses resumes. Likewise, sporting events are permitted providing they are held without spectators. Most offices open from today. Most significantly, carriers of goods can from today commute without having to “switch or quarantine” providing one produces antigen negative test result.
As we forge ahead, more cautious relaxations will come; starting April 4, even schools and colleges will open. But what does it all mean, as we navigate through still a rough journey with continued positive cases in the communities?
There are questions, as expected, but there are also answers that must be drawn from the right context and environment. Not all things will make clear sense because not everyone is going through the same difficulties and challenges. What has been initiated by the office of the prime minister is to let the people feel more relaxed after a “protracted” shut-in. But it also means that now the responsibility of oneself, others, and the communities falls on us.
The State and the government have passed the responsibility of care and protection upon the people because that is the most sensible option given the unrelenting attacks and evolution of the Covid-19 virus. It’s not coping out because we still have a robust case management system in place. In fact, we now have a much more organised and better managed system to handle the eruption of Covid-19 cases in the communities.
What is more important is that we now have the confidence to deal with surprises and complications. The structures that we built in response to the rising cases—informed by an acute sense of our vulnerability—are there to fall back on if things turn out badly. This system of welfare and care from His Majesty the King and the government led by a prime minister who is himself a medical doctor has secured us from one of the most painful ravages of our time.
But the country cannot forget its economy and we cannot let talents and opportunities go a-begging. Covid-19 has taken much from us. Now is the time to reclaim them in full. That’s why the responsibility of care unto oneself and others is vitally important.