Don’t give in to pandemic fatigue


IS wearing masks becoming a wearisome habit?

Some say yes. They say that this requirement, coupled with the movement restrictions and other anti-Covid-19 SOPs imposed since last year, is taking a toll on people. It is causing a burnout that has led to lackadaisical social behaviour, resulting in a spike in Covid-19 infections. From a double-digit increase in the number of infections last year, the numbers have since increased four-fold, or 400%!

Those who are now flouting the rules must consider the following facts:

> The virus is no respecter of persons, or of a class of people, or of race, or age, or persuasion, or location or time of day.

> The virus can be anywhere, anytime. If unchecked, it will be everywhere, every time.

Those who claim that fatigue and boredom are causing them to ignore safety rules must remember that Malaysians previously underwent more restrictions, for a much longer period.

From 1948 till 1960, Malaysia (then Malaya) was under Emergency rule due to the threat posed by Communist terrorists operating mainly from jungle fringes and preying on the nearby population.

To cut off food and other supplies to the terrorists, the government of the day imposed what became known as the Brigg’s Plan under which 50,000 people were resettled in fenced-up New Villages all over the country.

For the next 12 years, the residents of these villages faced restrictions of every kind, cut off as they were from regular supplies of food and other necessities, and deprived of recreational facilities. But they learned to survive through their own ingenuity and even thrived.

There is a lesson here for us.

Nobody is expecting the new generation of Malaysians to suffer similar restrictions but a plea is made to adhere strictly to the current restrictions in behaviour and movements, hopefully for a much shorter period.

Malaysians must be resolute and forbearing because lives are at stake. Psych yourselves up to build fortitude and emotional resilience and be resolute about never compromising safety. Once you do, that’s it. Spare a thought for your loved ones if you’re tempted to be careless.

There could be those who need counselling, and that is available for whoever needs it.

We note that some people in leadership roles are not paragons of virtue and have been seen flouting the very regulations that they helped to formulate. These people should lead by example and be seen to be doing so, in private and in public.

TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE

Chairman, Alliance For a Safe Community

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letters , covid-19 , SOP , restrictions

   

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