Pakistan is currently going through a crucial time; the government has decided to make the difficult decision of easing the lockdown to let the poor section of society earn their livelihoods, and to keep the economic wheel of the country running. Though the state-issued strict SOP’s, we as members of the public have failed to abide by them. Cooperation was expected from the citizens, unfortunately, those expectations were not fulfilled. Furthermore, the amount of people who view the pandemic as a myth is shocking.

Ultimately, the main factor of this behaviour can be illiteracy. It is said that if you want to destroy a nation, you must first destroy its education. According to the UNESCO report 2020, the literacy rate of Pakistan, compared to other countries, is extremely low, and the quality of education substandard. Expecting the public to abide by the SOP’s is almost a utopian task.

There are various conspiracy theories flourishing within public opinion regarding the existence of the novel coronavirus. The most popular of these conspiracies is the widely believed theory that the virus is targeted at the Muslim world - that western powers want this virus to drastically reduce the number of Muslims, through imminent production of its vaccine and its application on Muslims.

Therefore I request policymakers to make education a top priority; more importantly to ensure quality education for all, irrespective of class, caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, and race. In the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world’.

SOHAIL AHMED SOOMRO,

Sukkur.