In the wake of Coronavirus (Covid – 19) relentless momentum at its pinnacle, every country in the world has shaken over how the pandemic has crushed the global economy, more severe than the ‘Spanish flu of 1918’, ‘oil crises of 1973’ and ‘Ebola outbreak of 2014’. 

The epicentre of an outbreak of Covid – 19 has shifted from China in Asia towards Europe and now spiking in the United States of America, while the cases are sharply increasing in our neighbouring country India on a daily basis.

Though the Covid – 19 cases in Bhutan are contained at the moment, with the return of Bhutanese studying and working abroad in particular from Europe, the USA, and other countries, the chances of Covid – 19 cases are likely to increase in the current situation.

His Majesty the King, the Government, Hospitals, Health Professionals and Health Experts are stretching to the breaking point to transform the course of this pandemic in our Country. It has been succeeded thus far following the footsteps of severe measures that countries like South Korea, Japan, and even China have followed and achieved to break the chain of Pandemic. It is achieved mainly through rapid testing, quarantine, and isolation of patients in addition to an early lockdown of the outbreak epicentres.

During this situation, while the Government is taking every measure to contend the Covid– 19, let we wholeheartedly support every effort of the Government gracefully and undergo quarantine for the safety of oneself, for the safety of our own family members, for the safety of our society, for the safety of our community and for the safety of our Nation.

As we are all aware of a high cost and economic burden to the Government during this isolation, quarantine and lockdown period. Still, we are standing behind glaring at each other and leaning towards the Government to completely fund us rather than taking initiatives to fund ourselves for our family members or kinsman in the quarantine units instead.  What a shame? I opine that more than 80 percent of the parents of the students and the people who are in the quarantine unit today can afford to pay on their own. Our fellow communities and friends, can we take ‘One Step Forward’ and grasp this as an opportunity to serve Tsa-Wa-Sum by sharing the cost and reduce the economic burden to the Government. 

Your small contribution and a sacrifice could pile up a huge to make a difference in curving the current situation as to Julia Carney’s immortal line “Little drops of water, little grains of sand, makes the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land”.

No doubt that the economic downturn caused by Covid – 19 has brought hiccups in our business communities too, like elsewhere around the world and often we hear loud voices for the economic stimulus plan from the Government to support them immediately. Consider the current situation in Business as a regular phenomenon as there are always ‘boom and bust’ in business and prepare to absorb this momentary shock.

Our fellow business communities, can we wait for a moment and gaze carefully on the timeline of our business rather than jumping and asking for support from the Government during this most difficult time. Look carefully at your business trends on the windfall of profits of the past, take ‘One Step Forward’ and utilise a percentage of your past profit to sustain your business during this current situation.

The John F Kennedy, the 35th US President’s said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Let us not ask rather serve Tsa-Wa-Sum wholeheartedly.

There is no time to waste and this is not a time to stand still and lean towards the Government for support. This is the time to come and take ‘One Step Forward’, follow the footsteps of His Majesty the King, the Government, the People, and the Nation to fight collectively against Covid – 19 during this most difficult time.

Your ‘One Step Forward’ can break the chain of this Pandemic, together as one we can succeed, we can win!

Contributed by Nar Bahadur Khatiwora,