By Sarawakian

I guess we have been grappling with so much uncertainty the past year and a half that we begin to forget how it felt like to be the same. I cannot even remember how many rounds of SOPs we have gone through. The MCO, CMCO, RMCO, FMCO, NRP are all getting a bit blurry. The current NRP promises a Phased release from 1 to 4 based on an assessment by the government.

As usual, we have got used to the trials and tribulations of the ever changing SOPs that we begin to question the reason for them. The worst part of this exercise is the constant last minute announcements and changes. More so today when cases are still high, we have an easing of social activities in the name of economic recovery. I presume it is safe enough for these to open.

Many of us think that being vaccinated means that you would be invincible. It is a fallacy that we must counter. It has been advised by the health authorities here and even at the level of WHO (World Health Organization) that we need to still be cautious and careful.

We also see many businesses start discriminatory rules against those who have not been fully vaccinated or not vaccinated. You must remember that there are many who have not got their appointments just yet. Some are unable due to existing medical conditions. Those up to 17 years of age would also not be eligible for vaccinations. I find the callous rules of not thinking properly by business owners stupefying. I understand that some are doing this because they think this would help push up the vaccination rate amongst those who have yet to be registered. However, some tact must be used in order to help them agree with the process.

Punishing people just because you think you belong to the majority against the minority makes you no better than those whom you despise. In this case, the majority are those who have been vaccinated. I feel we have lost our own humanity and only think so when it benefits our own selfish needs. These needs span from commercial greed or one born out of the need to be in the part of those who were fortunate.

I do not agree with this. Educating and helping them become aware makes better sense as a united family going forward. Otherwise, it is just lip service. The medical profession battle daily with the indiscipline of those who have been both fully vaccinated and those who have not. No one is safe until everyone is safe together.

I applaud Namewee who has thoughtfully highlighted the plight of the hospitals and the huge costs of medical consumables. I applaud his dogged attitude to help where he can. He managed to obtain sponsored financial assistance to purchase as much as he could for the hospitals. This was not the first time he did something noble. Only last year he even aided homes and animal shelters. People like Harith Iskander and people like Uncle Kentang are also heroes in doing as much as they can. There lies the real humanity devoid of the corporate limelight.

I sincerely hope corporations rethink their existence in this time of need. It is very important to look at ensuring the medical care has access to affordable consumables. We would also need to have every medical practitioner on board willing to step forward. Treat them as well as your own permanent staff. Most of them do this voluntarily. Dentists, GPs, healthcare workers and countless nameless individuals have done their part and continue to do so.

This pandemic is not relenting and the situation could either get worse or it would get better. There is no in between. The vaccination process and the individual discipline of care remain the only weapons for now until more data is obtained. Within the South East Asian region, we have seen a rise in infections and death rates. Singapore, being fully vaccinated has surpassed 80% and yet there have been cases of infectivity even among the vaccinated. This proves that being vaccinated does not equate to 100% immunity. It only helps cut down your risks in being critically ill. This again relates to the availability of beds and facilities to care for them. It is a math game. The real focus is to keep the critical cases low in order to manage health care.

Have we forgotten on how to be compassionate? Are we lost in the situation that we lend our support based on our own narrow interpretation of recovery? No recovery can happen with success without everyone being part of it. It is up to each of us to help encourage those who have not registered to do so. Personally, I have done with quite a few. It was not easy but in the end with constant understanding of their fears and changes in their beliefs, it was done.

Those who are only too eager in shooting from the hip in chorus with the masses are not going to help the situation. Instead, you would drive them to the corner. Incessant berating and mobbing the other just because they have a different opinion due to their own beliefs is not going to help. I found that only being compassionate and the use of empathy helps. No one likes to do this because it takes longer. It takes patience. Think again, why do you need to be so impatient? Reach out to them. Do not start being a hypocrite.

Let us work together to protect each other. We should not work with the majority to oppress the other. Everyone needs help. Do not push one into a corner. It only fuels hatred and suspicion. Are we lost? We would be if we go towards this trajectory. Change your mindset. Look at every angle.

God Bless