The crucial few months

Complacency and COVID fatigue seems to be setting in as people abandon COVID-19 protocols and increasingly flout the very conditions laid down after the second lockdown.

Archery played a major role in the spread of the virus during the second outbreak and so the government limited it to only 10 players, but a visit to archery ranges during the weekends show a large number of players not following COVID protocol.

In town, shops are full of shoppers crowding and not maintain distance.

People are forgetting to use the DrukTrace app and alarmingly there are increasing numbers of people moving out without face masks.

This is absolutely the wrong time to let our guards down as the virus already has made an entry into Phuentsholing despite all the measures.

This is also a time when neighboring India is the world’s most impacted country from COVID-19 with record cases and deaths and it only seems to be getting worse by the day.

Neighboring West Bengal is seeing a major uptick in cases as it ends its long elections with many mass gatherings. Assam is also seeing an increase.

The spread seems to be powered by infectious variants in India that are going after the young too.

It is no coincidence that His Majesty The King is once again patrolling and visiting our southern border areas given the grave risk to the nation.

If there ever was a time to keep our guards up then this is the time. It will take a few months for cases in India to hit the peak and then start stabilizing as it carries out mass vaccinations and other measures.

This is also the time period when those who are vaccinated in Bhutan have got only one dose which is not full vaccination. We also have a large number of youth yet to be vaccinated. If we can cross the next few months safely and vaccinate our population then we will have better herd immunity too.

The main lesson from India is not to declare victory early and to give the virus a lot of respect as it can wreck havoc.

Our authorities should enforce COVID-19 protocols more strictly and this should include a stricter monitoring and improved protocols for quarantine centers.

Our borders also need to be guarded well. We all must pitch in together or we will all suffer.

“With COVID-19, we’ve made it to the life raft. Dry land is far away”Marc Lipsitch

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