Brenda… back in the spotlight – The Island
These are indeed tedious days when a state of cataclysmic pandemonium reigns supreme. The nasty little spot of a coronavirus is wreaking absolute havoc and untold misery around the world. In fact, he has been in total control of the world for about eighteen months and there is no respite in sight. Instead, there is enormous uncertainty, rampant anxiety, and absolute doubt about the future. People are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel but for all intents and purposes there is none to see; not yet anyway. As for us, desperation reigns throughout this island nation.
1. There are disturbing stories of all kinds; viral mutants and variants, the blck fungus and the language of Covid, our closest neighbor India reeling from a hitherto unseen assault, our local politicians blaming each other, health workers advising on many aspects of the control measures that need to be taken to curb the uninhibited spread of CORONA-19, the paradise island’s economy crumbling, our inability to obtain adequate stocks of effective corona vaccines, education of young people being a poignant picture of a debacle, the government in a dilemma being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea .., and the list goes on and on. Add to all these misfortunes the spectacle of a few recalcitrant legislators, and the eternally hostile picture is a little complete; well almost.
The buzzwords, TOTAL LOCKDOWN, CURFEW, and COMMUNITY-SPREAD are anathema to many, including policymakers. They avoid using them, especially the latter, as much as possible. However, as to those words which many of our powers hate, we can only say with sincere apologies to the great bard William Shakespeare, to paraphrase what he wrote in Romeo and Juliet; even feces under any other name would smell just as bad.
The common man, every citizen of our beautiful island, is unfortunately and sadly caught in the crossfire. They suffer mentally and physically, for they have never been called upon to hesitate before. Their difficulties are endless and there does not seem to be a decent future for us. Perhaps it is time for this writer to try to let go of his medical inclinations and step into the shoes of the common man who was responsible for the societal position the writer occupies today. What can we do as a nation? How can we, even as individuals, do our part to save our homeland?
It is entirely pertinent to remind our people of the iconic words of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th and youngest head of state of the United States of America, as he proclaimed during his inaugural address on the January 20, 1961. These immortal words were “So, my fellow Americans: don’t ask what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. Well … replace the expression “Sri Lankan” with the word “Americans” and voila. What can we ask for and what can we certainly do for our small island?
Indeed, there are many things that we, ordinary citizens of this resplendent island, can do at this time. We simply need to do everything in our power to prevent the spread of the virus, avoid untold suffering, reduce the increasing demands on medical services to keep them from being completely overwhelmed and, most importantly, prevent deaths.
Currently there are selective lockdowns and the ban on all kinds of unnecessary human movement imposed on the island. It is the first duty of each of us to meet these requirements. Is it really necessary that the police have checkpoints, arrest violators of the strict instructions issued by the authorities? Should compliance with instructions be undertaken only because of possible punitive measures that may be taken by the forces? Shouldn’t it be through our dedication to Mother Lanka? Let’s face it, respect should come through voluntary cooperation rather than forced coercion. Shouldn’t it be because of the belief that it is for the greater good of the whole nation? Where is the public spirit of our people? Where is our social responsibility? There you are, Sri Lankan; it is for each of us and our children.
Vaccines will come in sufficient quantities on time. The State is making a committed and determined effort to obtain vaccines and vaccinate the entire vulnerable population. However, this will likely take some time and once the necessary doses are administered it will take months to achieve the necessary quantum of herd immunity. Yet for all that, what about the dastardly batch of queue jumpers, the influential and the wealthy who have managed to sidestep all the principles of prioritization based on clinical and epidemiological needs? So far, they have behaved with a degree of selfishness that is deeply contemptible to say the least.
It is essential and absolutely vital that each of us take it upon ourselves as a sacred duty to adhere to all sanitary guidelines in trying to win this war against an invisible enemy. We can’t help but shout even from the rooftops about the undisputed importance of the benefits of social distancing, hand washing, and proper mask wear.
These should be the immediate measures that must be implemented by everyone, no matter what, rain or shine. There is compelling evidence from the countries that have been successful in controlling this pandemic that these public health measures are working, very well in this area.
In fact, under the circumstances we are currently in, even double-masking, the most effective mask being worn to be in direct contact with the skin of the face with the less effective ones like cloth masks worn over them, would be a step. effective in the right direction. Even those who are properly vaccinated should follow these basic preventive measures as it is well known that even those who are vaccinated can still contract the virus and thus contribute to its spread.
The 32nd President of the United States of America, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in the speech accepting his nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for the Democratic National Convention of 1936, said: “To some generations a lot is given . From other generations, we expect a lot. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny ”. At this crucial moment, we in Sri Lanka do have a date and a date with our destiny. We are called to frame our future. It is entirely up to us to decide whether we survive this disaster or whether we perish. Let us each resolve to put our house in order BEFORE we try to distribute the blame fairly and squarely on the doorstep of others.
We have gone through three periods of occupation and domination of our land by Western powers, we have endured the vagaries of two world wars, we have survived civil strife and insurgencies time and time again, and most of all, we have withstood 30 years. assault and civil war by a terrorist group that has an unrivaled reputation for being the most ruthless and ruthless our planet has ever known. We have shown our resilience in the face of adversity time and time again. It is time, once again, to let our history repeat itself.
All it needs is our dedicated and unbridled commitment to the cause, as well as, of course, censored and unyielding leadership of the highest bravery to guide us.