Lockdowns mean difficulties. There are many who cannot go to work to earn their daily wage, completion of buildings are hampered, businesses are affected and losses are piling. It also means inconvenience. We cannot visit our relatives, take our children to the park or organise an archery match.
All of us are asked to make some sacrifices as we fight the Covid pandemic. Small sacrifices could make a difference in containing the spread of the virus. This is the call in a pandemic time. There are frustrations and we can understand it.
As we calculate the loss from the small sacrifices, it is good to remind ourselves of the bigger sacrifices made in ensuring the safety of the people and making lives comfortable.
Recently, the Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS) building in Phuentsholing was converted into a public hospital for Phuentsholing residents. RIGSS is a brain child of His Majesty The King. It was in His Majesty’s wisdom to create a premier institute to promote excellence in governance, leadership and strategic studies. The need of the time is public health. RIGSS now operates as a public hospital with mother and child healthcare services besides ultrasound services, antenatal check-ups, pregnancy-related blood screening tests, child immunization services and many more.
The premier institute became a Covid-19 control centre for Phuentsholing and the Southern Covid-19 taskforce. Its hostel, the Coronation Hostel in Rinchending became an isolation centre for Covid-19 positive cases. In Mongar, on the command of His Majesty The King, the Royal guest house was converted into a Covid-19 hospital. After the pandemic, it would become a mother and child hospital for the eastern region.
As many calculate their loss, it is good to remind ourselves how His Majesty resorted to selling shares held for Sungchob and Kidu funds to raise money and replenish the National Resilience Fund under the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu and other programmes related to Covid-19.
The fully-funded quarantine facilities are draining government resources. Not having to feel the pinch, we complain of food quality and of boredom, not realising that every single day spent in a quarantine costs money to the state. No country has done this since Covid became a global health disaster.
Covid cases are rising despite all the measures put in place. Some blame the highly infectious Omicron variant, others think we are letting our guards down. Both are true. While we have no control over the virus, we can control our behaviours. From the many lockdowns so far, it is understood that we panic only when a relative, a friend, a colleague or a tenant test positive for the virus. Rest of the time, we forget the risk and the effort put in place, the resources and the sacrifices made to contain the virus.
With daily cases breaking previous records, the sacrifices made to contain the virus is quite visible. The man or woman in orange (de-suups) and blue (police) staying up 24 hours in make-shift tents outside our buildings is evident of the sacrifices made to protect us and the country.
Each one of us can take part in it by staying safe. This is not a big calling.