JUST when we thought the dust had settled on the Covid-19 battlefield with Malaysia the triumphant victor, an ominous cloud seems to be forming in the distance.
New daily cases have reached double digits more than once recently, a worrying sign of what we may come to see in the near future if things don’t take a turn for the better.
At the moment, I feel the ideal outcome may not yet be within our grasp.
It just seems that some of us aren’t disciplined enough to obey the guidelines put in place for our own benefit.
Some of us are complacent, some ignorant and some simply selfish.
A massive gathering of hundreds with little to no social distancing lacks wisdom from whichever angle you approach it.
Choosing not to wear a face mask in a crowded place because it’s uncomfortable for you isn’t acceptable.
Sending your sick child to school instead of the clinic will only create panic and fear in the community, even if you are sure it’s just a common cold.
The sad truth is that in the fight against Covid-19, it only takes an irresponsible few to unravel the noble sacrifices of the many.
That is a scary thought.
We may not survive another lockdown economically, socially and even mentally.
The only way is forward, and to get moving we need to achieve the fine balance of caution and confidence.
I speak of confidence because cooping ourselves up at home is not only financially unfeasible, but mentally and physically unhealthy.
We should not be paralysed by fear or anxiety, or we will never regain a sense of fulfilling normalcy in our lives.
Therefore, we have to find a healthy amount of confidence that will allow us to simply put, get on with our lives.
On a personal level, good hygiene practices, social distancing, wearing a mask and seeking treatment when unwell are boxes that need to be checked.
Next, we need to trust what our health officials are saying.
Now is not the time to drown ourselves in the tempting waves of conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19.
Look out for the facts and do your own research before disseminating information.
Armed with solid information and good habits, we can have the needed confidence to step outside once again without becoming overly stressed.
Confidence wisely placed will guide us toward a brighter future, and prevent us from becoming our own crutch.
At the same time, however, confidence is not enough.
Caution is its partner that will guide us safely to the other side.
Caution is not fear-driven, but discretion and wisdom in action.
In this ongoing fight against the pandemic, our greatest weapon is proceeding with caution.
This means making decisions not just for ourselves, but for others as well.
It means thinking about the greater good, and how we can contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment for all.
So yes, do go out for your favourite chicken rice or hit the mall with friends.
The difference now is that there’s just more to consider, such as social distancing and hand-washing.
Over time, it will become normal and until then, we must act with intention.
It truly feels like we are at a crossroads.
If we want to turn the tide and prevent a new wave of Covid-19 while enjoying the benefits of a reopened economy and staying healthy in mind and body, we must play our part.
Yes, it may be inconvenient, time-consuming and energy-sapping at first.
But as history has shown us, human beings have an uncanny ability to adapt.
Armed with confidence and caution, the ideal outcome is possible.