Until there is a vaccine for coronavirus, the only way to protect ourselves and to stop the spread of the disease is through preventive measures. Research shows that as of today the best defence against this deadly virus is to wear masks and observe social distancing.

In the absence of any vaccine, the only way to restrict the spread of COVID-19 is to wear face masks and adopt other preventive measures. When the federal and provincial governments imposed strict lockdown, the coronavirus declined, and Pakistan was able to flatten the curve. However, the virus did not disappear and still poses a grave danger. With the onset of winter and resurgence of the second wave of COVID-19 across the globe, we must be extremely cautious before it gets out of hands.

However, our leaders seem oblivious to this fact. Political leadership acts as role models for society, which in our country is failing us. Instead of being good role models in following the SOPs, our politicians from the government as well as the opposition are exhibiting reckless behaviour in public with total disregard for precautionary measures. They are not wearing masks and if a few do, they do not do it properly. People are not maintaining any distance and shaking hands in their rallies, corner meetings, and social gatherings.

This I am afraid is setting us up for a disaster in near future. Our leaders who enjoy the riches they extracted from this poor nation are not only well protected but also well served with world-class healthcare if they ever get sick. Unfortunately, their followers who follow their role models are becoming careless in following necessary precautions and are in grave danger on two counts. First, they are more likely to get sick because of the unsanitary and poor conditions they dwell in. Second, if they get sick, they are at the mercy of a system that is unable to provide them with even an iota of decent healthcare services.

Perhaps, they deserve it for being the followers of a self-serving lot. I appeal to our leadership from the government and the opposition to have mercy on the people of this poor country. We already have enough problems such as excruciating inflation and ever-increasing unemployment than to face a second wave of the deadly virus. If not for themselves, they should try to follow the SOPs to set an example for their followers. Working to gain power is all but natural, but they must realize that it would only be good if the country is able to survive. What good would it be to make marginal gains in personal power at the cost of a huge national catastrophe? It is time we all work together to strictly enforce preventive measures or be prepared to face another crisis.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.