Can we in the UAE help bring the numbers down again without any restrictions on movements coming into place?
The Covid-19 pandemic has been raging for almost ten months now. More than a million lives have been lost, and close to 40 million people infected. Can we still call it a hoax, or dismiss it as a mere flu as some political leaders have been suggesting?
Our collective failure to give this new viral infection the seriousness it deserves has pushed a number of countries to the edge of a colossal economic and social loss. Even if we defeat the virus, or build anti-bodies or immunity against it which could take another several months, the impact of this pandemic will be felt for years to come. What’s amply clear thus far is that we the people haven’t been able to make realistic trade-offs or sacrifices that were critical in taming the rising infections. How many of us have been maintaining social distance, or wearing masks at all times when outside? Do we not know of people who throng public spaces without maintaining social distance or hold gatherings for the need of some fun? A little bit of fun would not do any harm, we tell ourselves. But it surely does.
With the advent of autumn in the northern hemisphere, the fears of an anticipated second wave of Covid-19 are becoming a reality the world over, including the Middle East where countries have been registering a resurge in Covid cases.
The UAE, for instance, has consistently recorded more than 1,000 new cases daily since October 6. It can be demoralising for policymakers and people in countries that had navigated the first wave relatively well, sacrificed all social meetings, and hunkered down to prevent getting infected. Arguably, infections had been tamed by mid-July and August in many countries, including the UAE. But now, we are at a crossroads again.
The Sars-Cov2 virus is mutating and threatening to erode all the successes attained thus far. The authorities have been trying to appeal to the better sense of people and negotiate with them for their safety and security. Is it hard for us to follow Covid protocols and make trade-offs we have been avoiding in last few weeks, for the sake of our families and communities? Doctors and researchers are warning us against the long-term impact of Covid-19 on our health. We should take this seriously, and not dismiss it as a flu, at least until the vaccine is in place.