The Pandemic is still here

The Ministry of Health which used to share the weekly dashboard with the number of COVID-19 positive cases quietly stopped doing so more than a month ago.

There is no longer much advice on avoiding unnecessary mass gatherings, and most indoor meetings are occurring without facemasks.

The talk of getting vaccines for those still not vaccinated under 5 has only remained as talk.

In the meantime, we are seeing large crowds gather and again mostly without masks.

What has worked for us is the three to four doses of vaccines in our body and a so far comparatively ‘mild’ COVID strain in Omicron.

However, for the many who have fallen ill with Omicron they will know that it is anything but ‘mild’, and one wonders what would have happened if we got hit with the deadly Delta without vaccines.

There are many Bhutanese showing clear signs of long COVID from fatigue to brain fog, but again there is no data being provided on this.

Until it is safe or the WHO declares the pandemic is over we cannot let our guard down.

We are now heading into flu season and our vaccine immunity will not last forever. If there is a nasty new variant, then we could be in trouble.

It must still be our main duty to protect the vulnerable in the form of the comorbid, the old, the disabled and unvaccinated children.

The MoH must continue to advice people to wear face masks and there must be an emphasis on people getting their booster dose of the vaccine.

Bhutan under the leadership of His Majesty was a global COVID success story in seeing the worst of the virus off.

Now the government authorities and we as a society must ensure that we protect the weak, keep up our vigil and stay prepared.

“When things go right, much can go wrong.”
Frank Sonnenberg

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