The rumours doing the round is that there could be another lockdown soon. Scuttlebutt can’t be helped such as we live in these testing times but what ought we to make of it? Should we be rattled again and run helter-skelter to stock up on supplies and essentials?

Due to the unpredictable and relentless nature of the pandemic, fears and worries are only to be expected but the health ministry and expert groups tell us that second lockdown is not at hand. That such a situation is not on the horizon is reassuring but it should not make us complacent.

If we have learnt anything from the recent experience, lockdown can bring untold challenges to the people, especially when it is imposed at a stroke, without prior warning. Lack of seamless coordination and service delivery systems add to the difficulties. We are yet to streamline the systems so that in times of disaster and national emergencies we are not left stunned and out of commission.

What we must bear in mind is that coming out of lockdown doesn’t mean that we have defeated the pandemic. In fact, we are more exposed, which means if we go back to our reckless nature after lockdown the risk of getting infected is high.

With the restriction on movement of people and vehicles now relaxed, schools have opened; dzongkhag to dzongkhag travel has resumed; crowding and gathering is now back; and sporting events are taking place. That we do not have new Covid-19 positive case is comforting but we must never lose sight of the dangers.

Health protocols are important, as is wearing face masks and hand-washing at all times. Compliance monitoring should be stringent, especially in education and transport sectors. How this is done and how frequently and with what competence levels should be audited strictly by the authorities concerned. Carelessness and complacency is what we can ill afford.

There may not be another lockdown but we should be worried. Could it be that the rumours are stemming from the seeming ease with which we are facing the threats? So it appears. Therein lies the rub.