The world including neighboring India are witnessing a rising second wave of COVID-19 infections.
This second wave is led by new strains and mutations of the virus that are spreading faster and stronger.
If there is one thing that the pandemic has shown, it is that societies that have trust in each other and follow expert medical advice do much better.
Where as, those places with lack of trust and an attitude of knowing more than the experts can lead to COVID-19 disasters, like in USA and even Europe.
There is no coincidence in the fact that USA and Europe are the source of anti vaxxers propaganda and they are also the worst hit with the pandemic in numbers of deaths.
In the early days US and European governments and health officials pleaded with their citizens to stay home and practice social distancing and mask wearing, but the people felt they knew better and now they are paying the price.
There are actually protests in USA and Europe against wearing face masks and social distancing apart from anti-vaccine propaganda.
The Western mindset of enquiry, criticizing and individualism are just fine when things are going well and things have been going well for the West for the last 70 or so years.
Unlike African and Asian countries’, they have not had to face poverty, diseases, conflict and other issues and so they have lost touch with the ability to come together as a society to deal with an all of society threat when one lands on the door step.
Bhutan cannot afford to lose its collective group intelligence and natural instincts in the face of a real threat just because some people or countries are doing it differently in the West.
The WHO and European Medicine Agency (EMA) have gone blue in the face saying there is no proven link between the Astra Zeneca vaccine and rare blood clots after 40 such cases emerged after 17 million vaccinations.
However, many European countries paused the vaccine and as a result contributed to large scale delays in vaccinations and a global vaccine hesitancy.
Now the EMA after a detailed investigation has said there is no link and the EU countries that paused the vaccine are again continuing with the vaccine.
If many Bhutanese do not choose to get vaccinated then two things will follow.
The first is that we will have to keep our doors and economy closed for years to come and the economic and social impacts of that will be catastrophic.
The second reality is that without adequate vaccination COVID-19 will one-day breach our defences and then not only will you get sick but you will also pass the virus to your loved ones.
The choice is stark and clear and there is no middle path in this one.
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.