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Exercise caution to avoid second wave of Covid infections even as the fun begins

30 Jun 2020 / 09:22 H.

NEXT on the list of places that will start welcoming visitors again are theme parks.

Along with cinemas and clubs, they will resume operations tomorrow.

On the outside, it looks like a good sign. After all, the number of new cases among Malaysians has mostly been in the single digit for at least two weeks now.

We are finally winning the battle against the dreaded Covid-19.

We cannot help but consider ourselves lucky, and why not? We have managed to keep the number of infections below 10,000, far below our immediate neighbours Indonesia and even squeaky clean Singapore – once the poster boy of everything right in the Covid-19 fight.

Of course, things will not, in fact never, be the way they used to be. For instance, everyone may still have to put on a mask when they sit down for the next James Bond flick or a ride on the Ferris wheel.

The need for social distancing will mean fewer people will be admitted at any one time.

That is the ideal situation. But then again, when has anything ever been perfect?

When the fun begins, people do not remember the rules, especially those rules that seem absurd in normal times. It is not in our nature to interact while sitting or standing a metre apart.

Can anyone say with any conviction that children will observe social distancing when they are having so much fun in the theme park.

After all, it is the presence of children that makes the theme park world go round. For every adult, there are probably three or more children.

In the cineplex, it is a norm to see cinema-goers crowd the door to exit the hall once the credits start rolling.

Social distancing is forgotten.

From experiences from other countries such as South Korea, we have learnt that the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 infections is almost a certainty.

The Koreans showed the world that tackling the health crisis is possible through strict discipline and making the right decisions.

The country declared itself safe for social interaction again after months of lockdown. Pubs and bars were opened. It was then that a second wave struck.

There is a bitter lesson to be learned from the north-east Asia economic superpower.

Even all the resources you have at your disposal cannot stop this unseen enemy if you let your guard down.

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