Don’t derail our recovery

Each and every one of us must wear a mask to protect ourselves and others. — Filepic

SINCE Covid-19 hit early this year, leaving the house has become a calculated risk.

At the start of the movement control order (MCO) in March, compliance with safety guidelines such as wearing face masks and physical distancing appeared high from my observation.

But as the weeks went by, public attitude in observing the standard operating procedure (SOP) slacked as the number of infections dwindled.

Many thought that the country had scored a victory against the virus, and that life could go back to normal.

Some, including international bodies, praised the way Malaysia handled the crisis.

Fast forward to the present and the country is grappling with even more Covid-19 cases than before with no vaccine in sight.

And while we are on the subject of vaccines, there are some logistical hurdles we would need to overcome even if scientists manage to produce one.

This includes securing sufficient supply for our citizens, preparing facilities across the country to store and administer the drug and scheduling vaccination sessions for some 30 million Malaysians.

Should we extend operating hours of hospitals and clinics or stagger sessions to limit foot traffic and ease the burden on our health personnel?

If we do, which groups do we prioritise first?

These are questions the government must consider when drafting a plan to ensure the mass vaccination exercise goes smoothly when the time comes.

Until then, we must keep in mind that the virus is still out there and that we are nowhere near eliminating the threat it poses.

And should you get infected, bear in mind that family members and people close to you will be put in danger, not to mention inconvenienced.

It could mean that loved ones will need to undergo quarantine, and may not be able to work, go to school or attend to their daily activities.

With many barely coping amid the challenging economic situation, the last thing anyone needs is being prevented from going out to earn a living.

And before you say that working from home is an option, keep in mind that not everyone is lucky to have a job that affords this flexibility.

Although you may survive the virus if you get infected, your parents and grandparents may not.

So before you decide to step out of your home for non-essential business, pause for a minute and ask yourself if it is worth putting the people you love at risk.

At the time of writing, the number of cases had hit three digits but the government had dispelled talk of a nationwide MCO, saying that it would only place affected areas under enhanced or conditional MCO.

This was despite the announcement by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on July 27 that the MCO would be reimposed if cases hit three digits again.

With many companies struggling to balance their books and some resorting to laying off and retrenching workers – it is clear why the government is not keen on a full-blown MCO.

It is simply not viable economically as stated by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin in his televised address.

Muhyiddin had announced one relief initiative after another to cushion the economic blow, but with each announcement the government’s fiscal deficit grows.

As citizens, and yes, that includes politicians and ministers, we must not take the

SOP lightly as doing so will derail our recovery.

Understand that the way out of this pandemic is still far ahead and the journey will be painful.

In the meantime, limit your non-essential trips outside, wear a face mask and do not stand too close to each other.

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