The world marked another grim milestone today with 10 million confirmed Covid-19 infections resulting in more than 500,000 deaths. Four large countries – the United States of America, Brazil, Russia and India – account for 50% of all cases reported globally. Indeed, the epicentre of this pandemic has shifted from Asia to Europe, North America, and now to Latin America.
Many people around the world wrongly believed that the worst of Covid-19 was behind us back in early May. Unfortunately, the surge in the number of new infections and deaths continues relentlessly. Behind every death there are many more grieving family members and loved ones. This contagion has upended literally billions of human lives in unimaginable ways. Such is the uncertainty in life – Aniccā.
Previously, the Coronavirus was thought to have severe repercussions on older people especially; but more recent studies have shown it to be potentially very damaging even to healthy young adults. The swell in infections among younger people in the United States is testimony to the catastrophic consequence of ignoring this dangerous disease.
Thus far, Malaysian authorities and society have done a remarkable job of containing Covid-19, with just under 9,000 confirmed cases of the disease resulting in 121 deaths. However, we cannot afford to let down our guards and live carelessly as long as there is no cure for the virus. With further easing of social gathering likely, it is up to all of us individuals to ensure our own safety as well as the safety of others by not getting infected with Covid-19.
Washing frequently, avoiding crowded places and unnecessary gatherings, wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distancing and other precautionary measures should be continued into the near future even as society starts to normalise. We should not be overconfident and callous in our actions so as to risk our health and that of others. In essence, taking good care of our health and thinking of other people’s safety is an act of compassion in such extraordinary times.
Let us also continue to pray for the whole world – may all beings be free from physical and mental suffering. May all sentient beings be well and safe. In overcoming the negative impacts of Covid-19, the combination of healthy physical, mental and spiritual measures is often the most effective way.