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Keeping a foot on the brake

  • Published at 12:00 am June 2nd, 2020
Dhaka Lockdown used
File photo: Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

A lax attitude right now could prove to be catastrophic

Yes, the lockdown has been lifted. No, the danger is not gone.

In fact, we are right now dealing with our highest ever fatality numbers. Therefore, while we can gradually restart aspects of our economy in order to save people from the jaws of poverty, we absolutely cannot afford to let our guard down at a time like this.

Other countries which have eased their lockdowns -- like Germany, Singapore, South Korea, China, and Malaysia -- all have had to step on the brake when they observed new surges. This is being practical, realistic, and adapting to the data of the moment.

Lifting lockdown, therefore, cannot be a black and white matter where the lifting is perceived as being completely past the required measures. In fact, a lax attitude right now could prove to be catastrophic, and another surge could prove that our efforts have been for nothing.

This is, therefore, a time to exercise great personal responsibility. All the precautionary measures we were taking before lockdown ended, such as hand-washing and sanitizing, wearing masks, or maintaining a safe distance from others and avoiding physical contact, still apply, if not more so.

While such behavioural and lifestyle changes are the responsibility of all citizens, it is incumbent on the government to keep an eye on the big picture, and act decisively if necessary. During a global pandemic with such a staggering death toll, it is not enough to leave things up to individual responsibility.

Prevention of further spread must come from the policy level, and we should be ready for strict measures again as circumstances demand.