We do not know how long the Covid-19 pandemic will last. And that means, besides the current disruptions across the sectors, we have no way of knowing what challenges await us.
We can only prepare. We have done well so far; the glitches that we are faced with today are lessons. Post Covid-19, it is going to be a different world altogether. But that is future we are talking about. Tackling the problems of the present is more important. Sometimes though, unwittingly, we could get it dangerously wrong.
However the message went on to the people from the recent press conferences in the capital, the government is not “hoarding”. The government is stocking up essential items, food reserves among them. In fact, schools’ multipurpose halls are being used as reservoirs.
There is no reason to panic, far from it. The government has and will ensure that there are stocks of food and other essentials enough for six months at all times. If the people want to hoard, they can do so—the real message ought to have come across this way.
Bhutan will not face food shortage. Essential items will be made available. Our people will not have to deal with hunger and desperation. What is important is to not let the country and the government be crippled by the power and the dangerous capriciousness of the pandemic.
Bhutanese from abroad are coming back home. This will continue for sometime. A strong quarantine system is still our best weapon, if we can call it that. We do not have a single local Covid-19 positive case still because our screening and quarantine systems have been very effective.
These systems must be strengthened. At the same time, we should study the changing dynamics of the disease very closely. Otherwise, we can fall short in our actions to prevent the pandemic from creating more disruptions in our society.
We are small and that is our advantage. What is reassuring is that a growing number of volunteers are coming forward to help the government in these difficult times. We haven’t lost it all. This goodness in us will see us through these dark times.