As the dread continues

IT is back to the numbers game. There are whispers, there are murmurs and there are also sighs of exasperation looking at the numbers multiplying irately.

To add to our woes, we had experts predicting that the numbers are likely to go as high as 20,000 with up to 200 daily deaths.

It is scary and gloomy, and as of now the future looks like a tangle, with both ends missing.

It as if you are locked up in a dark room with the keys thrown away.

In the midst of this, I have had the invaluable opportunity of visiting several vaccination centres set up independently or at hospitals and all I can say is that the frontliners are our saviours, without whom I may not be writing this and you may not be reading it.

At the private hospital in Kuala Lumpur I took my mother for vaccination and it was a pleasant surprise to find everything set up to the comfort and convenience of the public.

The day was reserved for senior citizens who came in wheelchairs mostly and others who needed aid of some sort.

No doubt, most of them came with a family member, there were others who were able to move without aid but needed help with various things from the time they entered the hospital.

The hospital staff, doctors and nurses were ever ready to help and they looked after each of the seniors with so much warmth and patience that I was overwhelmed with gratitude for these frontliners.

They have probably been on their feet for hours already and had many more hours to go before clocking out, yet they marched on, with dedication and fortitude.

I had both my AstraZeneca doses at Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre and on both occasions it was a breeze.

There were a huge number of frontliners offering assistance from the time I entered the premises.

They didn’t show any sign of weariness and looked their cheerful selves, with a ready smile to ease us into the process.

For the past week, I have been in and out of University Malaya Medical Centre attending to my mother who has been admitted for a minor ailment.

Again, every staff member is scurrying about with their hands full. How do they find time to ease themselves or to even have a meal?

The scene at Emergency appeared chaotic at first glance but I was wrong, there was a system that determines who attends to who and how the reporting is done.

The doctors and the nurses at the wards too, are working with a lean team doing everything under the sky, from washing, cleaning, administering meds in addition to their core medical duties.

The lines between people and work scopes have diminished with organisations pooling resources to stay afloat.

If one is a multitasker, your job is more secured than the one who is rigid with what he/she can do.

I am sure the medical fraternity is waiting with exasperation for the world to return to at least near-normalcy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented changes to our lives.

The enforced switch to virtual work, changes to our travel and consumption patterns, and bans on social gatherings have generated a seismic shift towards virtual activity.

Anything that can be done virtually is now done virtually. The lockdown has us thinking about what the future will bring.

Increasingly people are getting comfortable doing everything virtual and face-to-face interaction will soon be out of fashion with the pandemic here to stay for some years.

We have new variants with the virus mutating at incredible speed and efficiency. The battle between humans and the virus is intense and the latter is unrelenting.

While each of us solider on sharing what we have and caring for the people around, the country’s political situation has marred the lovable country Malaysia once was. Here is a rhetorical question, can politicians be virtuous?

Well, Aristotle argues that politicians should conceive happiness not primarily as an exercise of virtue in private or with friends, but as the exercise of virtue in governing an ideal state.

The best states are knit together so tightly, he says, and that the interests of one person are the same as the interests of all.

Hence, a person who acts for his or her own good must also act for the good of all fellow citizens.

The reality is, Aristotle’s altruism and egoism are misconceived where politicians are concerned.