Lim: Not just yet

Wide Awake

WE HAVE flattened the curve. Is it time to celebrate? Not just yet.

Don’t knock yourselves out drinking in the bars when they’re not supposed to be open yet. And when they do reopen, just don’t. Even when sober, people flout or forget safety protocols. What more, inebriated? If you must drink, drink at home.

Support the restaurant industry by buying food from them but eat the food at home. Don’t dine out. Many of our restaurants are designed for air conditioned comfort with little ventilation.

Until the day all our indoor dining establishments have been outfitted with the safety infrastructure necessary to ensure public safety, eat at home. If you must dine out, dine outdoors at a safe distance from the next patron.

Don’t socialize. Don’t chat with your work colleagues at lunch. It is still safer to eat alone. Remember that when you eat, you take your mask off. You are most vulnerable, unmasked. If you must chat, do it after you eat, with your mask and shield back on. When riding public transit, don’t chat.

Take note that distance and duration matters. So close contact and/or spending a prolonged period of time (more than 15 minutes) with others outside of your household must still be minimized.

We can’t eliminate risk but we can mitigate it. If you are ill, see a doctor. Go to the hospital. Take the diagnostic tests as required. Don’t skip your annuals. Do what is essential for your health.

But skip the non-essentials. Don’t party. Don’t see friends. Don’t get on a plane and go on a vacation. Not just yet. But if not now, then when?

Perhaps even the eminent Dr. Anthony Fauci cannot answer this question. The virus continues to evolve and rage around the world. New facts are unearthed each day. Let’s just be prepared to adapt to changing new normals.

It’s easy for second waves to occur. We only need to look at what’s happening around the world right now to see how fast cases rise after communities relax restrictions and reopen businesses that encourage people to converge.

People are suffering. With continued restrictions, they will go hungry. We have the power to reverse hunger. Those who have more can feed those who have less. Death, however, is something no one can reverse. It will be a greater tragedy to count cadavers.

The economy is bleeding. We can revive the economy. But we cannot revive corpses or the sickened bodies of long-haulers who survive this virus but continue to suffer its long-term consequences.

We all want a robust economy as well as a healthy citizenry. But we can’t have both at the moment. Let’s be grateful for our gains but let’s celebrate with caution. We have flattened the curve but it’s not time to take out the champagne. Not. Just. Yet.


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