The Covid-19 is a complex virus. We do not have experts. We won’t have experts for a long time. The virus is mutating fast. That means with every significant mutation, the transmissibility and virulence of the virus increases. In other words, with each new mutation of the virus, the level of severity grows. We are, helplessly, steps behind the highly variable nature of the virus.

Why is the virus claiming lives in unprecedented numbers in the regions and beyond? This is the first question. The second, perhaps more important, is how are we preparing to face such a potentially devastating challenge?

The WHO had this to say about the virus and transmission when it began killing people: the Covid-19 virus primarily spread through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of infected persons. Now the organisation points to the airborne nature of the pandemic—SARS-CoV-2 virus can hover in the air for hours in indoor spaces, infecting people as they inhale the air.

Now, do you go out to breathe or stay in to breathe? This could get more complex in the coming days as we face the onslaught of the new Covid-19 variants.

What do we do? Panic doesn’t help.

We don’t need anything extra, really, to fight the virus and their mutating selves. We wear face masks at all times; we wash our hands; and we maintain physical distance. The strong tracing and quarantine system, in the meanwhile, must be strengthened. That’s about all there is we can bring ourselves to do given the circumstances.

But the danger is clear—we are becoming more complacent by the day.

Face masks should be made mandatory at all times. If it takes imposing penalty on defaulters, so be it. In fact, punishments should be both heavy and hefty to encourage the people to adhere to sensible and effective health protocols.

Yet, even as we speak, some entertainment hubs and facilities are inviting crowds in the name of someone who is influential. This must stop. All the entertainment hubs and facilities in the country must stop their business. No special orders and allowances should be welcome.

We have numerous committees and officials to manage Covid-19-related  problems and complications. It is incumbent on them now to act swiftly and with authority. Every wasted minute must be calculated in terms of their perks and privileges. There is something called responsibility and also accountability that we do not often see weighed against the greater public good. Officialdom is a disease; giving it a fecund ground to grow can be cancerous. Somewhere there is a yawning gap that needs fixing urgently.

The danger is at the door, some might say, but we are already facing a difficult challenge what with new positive cases every day and the threat of the virus overwhelming our health system.

This can get worse if we do not act sooner.