IT is getting extremely challenging to keep Covid-19 at bay these days; just like having to differentiate between fake news and what’s true in Whatsapp messages we receive daily.

We “hear” of Covid-19 infections; people Whatsapp to ask “Is this message true? Can you confirm it?” Unfortunately, we’ve had to be honest to tell the people seeking answers that we do not know and it is best they ask the person who sent them the message if what was sent is true.

Irresponsible parties and probably those who are up to mischief have been sending out fake or unverified information via social media to cause mass panic. This is made worse by people who receive and immediately forwarding it without even thinking if the information is true or fake. Over the last month, we were inundated with messages claiming this and that to the point several business owners had no choice but to lodge police reports over such malicious and fake news.

Let me put the record straight – the Ministry of Health does not provide a breakdown of where the individual cases are happening. Public data only goes as far as providing numbers at the district level. It does not provide information on which shop or house has Covid-19 and how many people in those shops or houses are infected. We even sighted a chart that broke down infections by the roads in Subang Jaya. Can this be true?

Let us keep our head on our shoulders and use our rationale to differentiate between what’s fake and fact. Manage your outings to get provisions and other matters done; and head straight home. Limit your outdoor activities. Jogging and cycling is allowed in the neighbourhood but many have opted not to head out because you cannot spot your “enemy”.

August 2nd marks the end of the Proclamation of Emergency. Unfortunately, Covid-19 infection numbers are at an all-time high with no signs of improvement. What does that mean for us? For me, it means continuing to “self-lockdown” and continuing the practices that have kept us safe thus far. It means I should not be letting my guard down. It means I have to keep to my personal SOPs to the best I can.

For this month’s edition, we went up close and personal with our three paramedics who are manning the Community Ambulance. We see them and we hear them when they are rushing to attend to an emergency. They have put their best foot forward to help save lives but we have hardly heard about their worries and challenges. We dug a bit deeper into their thoughts and apprehensions; and why despite all the odds stacked up against them they continue to do what they do for the community.

They are our frontliners who see things daily that we do not encounter probably in our whole existence. In this pandemic, they rush in when everyone else rushes out. They assist patients with breathing difficulties and they race against time to get patients to hospital. They see death almost daily as they backup the Ministry of Health’s role of confirming deaths when it occurs in homes. And these days, they are “alone” when they have to carry a patient from the scene to the ambulance; as many Good Samaritans shy away for fear of Covid-19.

It is our hope that more effective strategies will be introduced and implemented in the fight against Covid-19 from this month onwards. While vaccinations are being carried out at breakneck speed, more needs to be done to balance between lives and livelihoods. More people are suffering from the inability to work to earn a living; and businesses are suffering from the restrictions that have been in place too long without a bubble for them to come up for air.

People used to say it will get worse before it gets better. I am wondering – are we already at our worst or are we just beginning to get worse?

#SubangJayaKitaPunya – let us work together to help one another get through this challenging times. Together, we can!