Don’t let your guard down

By Shakir Reshamwala

Life seems to be on the mend. Yes, the health situation in Kuwait nowadays makes one wax lyrical, as optimism – and not the coronavirus – is in the air. The turnaround has been fairly swift from only a few months back, when Kuwait was ravaged daily by thousands of new COVID cases and tens of deaths. The bad old days of lockdowns, curfews and closures had returned as the Delta variant menaced the country.

But things seem to be looking up now. Despite all the shortcomings regarding the implementation of health measures, there has been a return to a semblance of normality. After a slow start with a waiting period of months, around 100,000 messages are sent out daily for appointments at more than 100 vaccination centers. Nearly 70 percent of the country has been vaccinated, the magic rate when “herd immunity” supposedly kicks in.

New COVID cases and deaths are at an all-time low. People have also returned to work. The airport is open to all. Schools are set to reopen next month after more than a year of students sitting at home, plodding their way through arduous Zoom sessions. Malls and cafes are back in business. Even shisha – which looked headed for extinction – has made a comeback.

But before we get all tipsy on this euphoric change of fortune, the situation in some neighboring countries – where new records for infections and deaths are set daily – should be a sobering reminder that the virus is still a raging beast. Even countries with a high percentage of fully vaccinated people are seeing a worrying rise in cases, prompting some to reintroduce health restrictions. Caution is the need of the hour here.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to continue wearing a mask, maintain a distance with others and avoid gatherings. A little bit of common sense is all that’s needed to remain safe.

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