LIBERTY, freedom and independence. Three related words with different meanings to different people.
As Malaysians celebrate 62 years of independence from colonial rule on Aug 31 and upcoming Malaysia Day on Sept 16, Covid-19 reminds us that infectious diseases still threaten the basic liberties and freedoms we took for granted, such as travelling beyond the country’s borders, or breathing air unfettered by masks.
Dr Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah is senior lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Universiti Sains Malaysia, and an affiliate of Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia. She is active in science communication and infectious disease biomedical research. She was the first female Asian champion of FameLab, the world’s longest running science communication competition, in 2018. The writer’s views are her own.