COVID-19 Aggregate of our joy and suffering!

When there was the temporary lifting of curfew few days back in Colombo, most people were seen adhering to public health guidelines of keeping distance and wearing face mask while shopping for essential items, is as reflected in the above cup cakes with faces covered in mask!

In Sri Lanka, with the believe of the authorities that the COVID-19 virus spread could be contained with a lock down for fourteen days, a curfew was declared to prevent movement of people. The objective is to prevent the public from gathering at public places so that the health sector’s efforts to combat the corona virus could be a success. Therefore, for the same reason people must adhere to government guidelines, as the virus is not spreading, it is the people who are spreading the virus.

However, the lock down at home gets broken every time the curfew imposed is lifted after few days to enable people to get their provisions. In theory a fresh 14 days lock down should start from the time curfew is resumed. This puts heavy pressure on both the people and the shop owners in market places to adhere to the health guidelines and for that reason the authorities have decided to keep the imposed curfew in the high risk regions of districts Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Puttalam for longer period.

Further as it is imperative to maintain the day to day life of the public for continuous supply, operation and coordination of services that are essential in the battle against COVID – 19 in line with the virus control initiatives of the health sector. In order to prevent uncontrolled gathering of people at market places amidst effort to combat COVID -19, a special mechanism is expected to be established by the authorities to deliver essential food items to homes, to be implemented through a local system in collaboration with cooperative societies and super market chains.

The economic effect of this is really dramatic as seen in the war zones during the civil-war years, that pushed the economy by as many years was seen in our lifetime. So people will have to take the pain in the economic dimension a huge pain in order to minimize the pain in the diseases-and-death dimension. While economic activities slows down due to the corona virus the authorities can not ignore the problems faced by the citizens.

All relevant authorities in Sri Lanka are fully alert to keep under control the movement of people to prevent spread of the infection; however, the battle is far from over. People must display self-control to assist the nation to come out of these difficulties, sooner the better; failure to do so will only bring more pain and miseries. At present, for all citizens irrespective of their location in this small island, aggregate of joy and suffering is the same; joy is from good governance and suffering is from COVID-19!