Editorial

Fearlessness needed to battle COVID-19

An illustration of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

IT is important for money to keep circulating, and this is the mindset of most of the leaders at the top and managers of businesses locally and internationally. This might be the reality for the way forward beyond COVID-19, but for many people all over the world, panic seems to have far outweighed logic.

Since COVID-19 started spreading in Wuhan China, all eyes have been on the progression of the virus which has since been declared a global pandemic. Governments everywhere have taken measures of different magnitudes to prevent or slow the spread of the virus in an attempt to keep local health systems from being overwhelmed, but in some parts of the world where the virus has hit hard, news has begun circulating on which patients need to be given priority for treatment, and which ones do not.

Medical experts around the world have suggested based on the pattern that has unfolded that the elderly and persons with weak or compromised immune systems are the ones most often seriously affected. This has caused many presumed healthy individuals to breathe a collective sigh of relief, which in turn has sparked all kinds of debate on and off the internet with many people labelling it as “inhumane” the suggestions by some that COVID-19 is “not a big deal” as it only affected a more vulnerable segment of the population. The reality of that trend of thought is that those who deem themselves less likely to get the virus or get severely ill as a result have a responsibility to ensure that they do not pass it onto the more vulnerable.

In the wake of COVID-19 all sorts of events imaginable have been cancelled, and certain industries and companies have come into focus based on how compassionate they have been or otherwise in their dealings amid the crisis. The cruise industry in particular was under fire this month with several articles being published relating to how the industry pressured Caribbean islands to allow tourists onto their shores despite coronavirus concerns. The Intercept and the Business Insider both published investigative articles on the subject which have been widely circulated.

Around the world supermarkets have received an influx of business as people bulk buy out of uncertainty as to how long and how bad the pandemic will really be. Essential items like toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and other common household items have been missing from the shelves in countries around the world, to the point that some stores have had to limit the number of in demand items per person. With the elderly and more vulnerable sections of the population being most affected by this type of selfish buying, some supermarkets have implemented separate hours for the elderly. This is great news considering the stories that have emerged of elderly people who have been brought to tears in some countries, going from place to place and not being able to get the goods they need. In stark contrast to people thinking only about themselves and their needs (and price gougers), have been people who’ve unexpectedly found themselves in the spotlight for doing simple things like giving strangers goods from their own carts or buying items in bulk just to later give them out for free to those most in need.

As the coronavirus saga continues to unfold, some key countries like Taiwan are coming into laser focus for what they can possibly teach the world about how to handle situations like what obtains currently. Despite their proximity to China (81 miles and a short flight), they have managed to keep their cases low. Taiwan recorded only 50 cases and one death as of Friday night. Cuba has also come into focus for their advancements in the production of an antiviral drug to combat COVID-19.

Disasters have a way of bringing the world together, and COVID-19 is one of those unexpected happenings that has the potential to do just that if people are able to take ahold of their fears.

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