There is good news and bad news.
There is only one Covid-19 active case in the country. The patient is recovering, and very soon, hopefully, we will not have a single Covid-19 case. It will be yet another achievement in our effort to prevent the virus.
The bad news is that we are setting the conditions right for another outbreak or even a lockdown. It’s just been 29 days since we returned to work from the 43-day lockdown, the second nationwide lockdown. But we have already forgotten everything — the risk of an uncontrollable pandemic, the inconveniences, panic, confusion, and hardship posed by the two lockdowns.
It is good to return to normal routines. Life has to go on, but the way we are doing is leading us the wrong way. The gatherings are getting bigger, physical distancing has become a joke and many of the preventative measures are just a showpiece. Hand washing stations outside shops are dry, hand sanitizers are not refilled and many are forgetting their face masks when going out.
It is good to remind ourselves that we are as vulnerable as we were in December last year. We forget quickly until we are reminded the hard way. Nobody likes lockdown. Going by the way we behave, we will soon see lockdown 3.0.
Many believe that all we can do is pray and hope, but a lot more is in our hands. We should not let complacency set in. The experience from the two lockdowns, as we know, means each lockdown can last longer than the first. Ignore the risk and the virus will bite us harder.
The evidence is there for all to see. In neighbouring India, even as the vaccination programme is rolled out, new cases are being reported. On Sunday 15,510 new cases in eight states were detected, making it the highest daily surge in the last two weeks.
From our experience from the last outbreak, we have seen how quickly the virus can spread. It takes only a single case in the community to trigger a nationwide lockdown. We have successfully controlled a complete outbreak. All that effort will go in vain if we are already feeling that we have gotten over the risks.
We are in a better situation now. The vaccination programme is being readied to roll out. We could be more cautious for another few weeks or a month. The presence of Desuups, for many, is only a reminder of the pandemic and the lockdowns. In some places that attract crowds like monasteries on auspicious days, the crowd behaviour is proof of how complacent we have become in just a month.
It is too early to celebrate our fight against Covid-19. And each one of us must play a part in preventing a disaster. A simple solution is to remind ourselves of the risks and the dangers.