By Abdellatif Sharaa
It was not long ago when we learned the word “herd immunity” when some countries and their officials were talking about controlling and containing the spread of coronavirus. Then many of those countries started imposing restrictions to the point of partial and full curfews in some parts of the world, which was relatively effective in reducing the number of infections.
Now it seems we are being warned about the so-called second wave, which I personally do not understand, because the virus is still here and did not go anywhere, to Mars for example, to return in the form of a second wave!
It is true that it is we who have to act now following all the effort that was exerted by authorities who informed us about the virus, how it is transmitted among people and what are the steps that we have to take to avoid this lurking enemy in all corners of our cities and towns.
It is obvious now that the steps that were taken initially such as lockdowns and curfews are not to be re-implemented, at least not soon, because of economic reasons that are true in every country in the world, because they took a heavy and dizzying beating during the start of the pandemic back in February. Governments are highly aware that any interruption of the economic movement means deep recessions that are almost impossible to climb out from.
Already some companies are closed or downsized, and the number of the unemployed is worrying, so why don’t we contribute to our own protection? Is it shameful to wear a mask in public? Is it hard to wash our hands more times than what we are used to? Why not maintain social distancing and refrain from shaking hands, which I still see taking place among some people. Again, all this for our own safety.
Speaking about contributing to our own safety, just one example that expresses our lack of cooperation: I was at a government authority that is frequented by thousands, and as people were in line waiting for their turn, they were very close to each other, to the point of almost touching, which is something that should not happen under normal circumstances. Officials and security men tried their best to make sense of the situation, but the sheer numbers made it impossible to organize, so it is us people who should understand and cooperate.
I still meet people, as life must go on. But I do not think full control over the virus can be attained without us acting. We must consider ourselves as infantry soldiers in the field as the war against this invisible enemy rages. Lines were drawn long time ago and it is high time that we join the battleground and behave as we should.
Don’t think the virus will disappear – we have seen many epidemics and pandemics caused by several types of viruses, and by time they became forgotten, but they are still in existence among us and will always be. God bless you.