It’s time to think outside our 500sqm homes about Covid_19

Viruses mutate. We need to learn to live with Covid_19 and its variants. Going in and out of lockdown every time someone gets infected by the virus is not the only solution. Aiming for zero cases is impossible. Even if everyone wants to get vaccinated, there is not enough vaccines at the moment. Likewise, while vaccines give some level of protection, the current vaccines are not guaranteed against other mutations and ones that will likely emerge in the future.

Since we are worried about the possibility of existing hospitals being inundated by Covid_19 patients if we don’t put the community in lockdown, then the best solution is to build a hospital dedicated solely for people infected by the corona virus. If the government can build football stadiums, then surely, the government can build a hospital. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But the government must at least start with the drawing board.

It is time the government treat this pandemic like a war. We are at war against The Virus. People around the world have been locked in, unable to live freely for more then a year now. They may have been saved from the virus, but they have suffered one way or another from other issues as a result of the lockdown. There will be a generation of kids who will find it difficult to deal with the real world after spending too much time indoors and living in virtual reality. It’s akin to hiding in a bunker and living in fear of bombs over a prolonged period. That’s just one problem. There are other psychological and physical problems associated with people being locked indoors indefinitely.

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It is time to take this lockdown seriously and put money where it matters to win this battle against this invisible enemy.

In addition to its short term goals, the government should start thinking of long term goals to get back to “normal” or pre-Covid state. Short term goals should include fining establishments that do not ensure their patrons comply with checking in to the contact tracing apps.

A lot of retail shops and restaurants become slack and forget to ask their patrons to check themselves in. If that is happening during a lockdown, what more come the time when there is no lockdown? Only the idea of getting fined for not ensuring patrons are checking in will keep shop owners compliant with contact tracing apps.

Those who get infected by COVID-19 should be isolated not just from the community, but also from their relatives until they are free of the virus. This is only possible though if there were enough quarantine facilities available. This is why it is imperative that the government start working on long terms goals.

Here are a few long term goals:

• Construct or have a dedicated hospital just for patients infected with COVID-19 or its variants. That was what China did in Wuhan in response to the pressure on the country’s medical facilities at the start of the global pandemic.

• Put more money into research for battling infectious diseases like viruses. If we can raise money for cancer research, we can put more money into Covid research.

• Each country should develop and manufacture its own vaccines against viruses. We cannot rely on other countries to supply our entire population.

Those are just some suggestions the government can consider in order to get off this endless loop we have found ourselves in. The government can partner with the private sector in building the needed medical facilities to ease the pressure on the existing ones. After all, it is in the best interests of businesses to keep the economy going.

As foot soldiers, we can all contribute to winning this war by taking more accountability for our actions. The government cannot police everyone. We all need to protect each other by staying home when we are sick and by complying with health regulations. Like Jon Snow, we know nothing. We knew nothing about the virus and we won’t know anything about its variants until it infects someone in the community.

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