The numbers are on the rise. Daily positive cases has been crossing the hundred mark for the last few days. As of last evening, there are 2,235 active cases.  The rising number is not helping both those who are planning a way forward and the rest waiting to return to work and continue to earn a living.

In the meantime, there are cases being reported from the community every day. This is uncomfortable and people are questioning why this is happening when there are strict restrictions in place. Some are even doubting the official figures released. This is because before the health ministry’s dashboard is updated, detailed information of how and where a case is reported is circulated. Some are wondering if the figures are manipulated.

Timely information on  how many new cases are reported or where is important as all eyes are on the cases when in a lockdown. However, more important than that is helping ourselves and authorities to contain the spread of the highly transmissible virus. By now we know that nobody is safe until everybody is safe. Our approach is that one case in the community can result in a blackout, albeit duration.

Going by the numbers, especially community cases, possibilities of prolonging the lockdown is more realistic than opening up. The frustrations of getting locked up is real, but we are not helping ourselves. The slightest relaxation results in people flaunting all protocols. We wear mask and not crowd to prevent the virus, not to escape the de-suups or police on duty.

There is only one way to help contain the virus and thereby ease the restrictions. Following preventive measures still seems to be the only way out. We have done this before, exactly a year ago. And had a year without a lockdown. We have learnt what is successful and we know that the variant of the Coronavirus spread faster than the one before. The symptoms may be milder or hospitalization not needed, yet as long as the virus is spreading there will be inconveniences caused including long lockdowns.

There are thousands of frontline workers working around the clock even when the winter is harsher with heavy snowfall. For inspiration, we have the guidance of His Majesty the King who is again leading at the front touring the country and consoling people for the loss and inconveniences caused by the pandemic.

The current concern is the increasing cases in the community whether in Punakha or Phuentsholing. What we can do to help is let authorities concentrate and establish how community cases are still being reported. Without it, there are doubts including blame on frontline workers for spreading the virus.

By now we are more aware of the virus and what to do or not. Testing positive for the virus in isolation or quarantine centres is not a concern. It can be contained. The danger is letting them out in the communities. Until and unless we get the community clear of the virus, we are all at risk and lockdowns will be a part of our lives. All of us can play a part.