Are we getting closer to win over COVID-19? Not really.
While some governments are gradually relaxing their quarantine measures, some have extended the lockdown phase. Relaxations being announced should not mislead us. Given the huge economic impact, the pressure to get the economy moving again is the main compulsion behind these decisions. New cases are being reported every day. We can’t be complacent. The risk is still around.
There are several lessons that seem to be emerging.
First, COVID-19 has reminded us about the importance of personal and public hygiene. We can break the chain of infections by continuing with good hygienic practices. We should wash hands frequently and avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose. These measures adopted in past few weeks have shown a positive impact, not just on COVID-19, but on other infectious diseases as well. Let’s stay committed to these practices.
Second, COVID-19 has revived the humanity. Social distancing has enhanced social interaction. It has shown that we can be in touch with each other and take care of each other without actually meeting in person. We are touched by the amazing acts of kindness, care, and compassion that we are seeing in this time of crisis. Distributing food parcels to the needy; doing grocery for elderly neighbours; expressing gratitude to health care workers; and setting up online support groups are just some of the many acts we see around us. People are sharing whatever they can. Let this spirit continue.
Third, we can live with less. Being homebound for over six weeks now, we have realized that our basic needs are actually very few. We can stay without shopping for clothes, perfumes, watches, and other things that we keep buying even though we may not need them. We can cut short on expenses over marriages, birthdays and anniversaries. We must do this to be able to generate resources to help those who have lost their earnings during COVID-19. Can we not use some of these savings to help others?