Since the start of 2020, when the coronavirus emerged, humans all across the globe have been hoping for it to magically disappear like SARS.
One-and-a-half years have passed, and we’re still hoping.
But we may have to abandon all hopes of such a thing happening, as it seems our worse nightmare is coming true: COVID-19 will be here to stay.
At least that’s what our gahmen thinks.
S’pore is Planning for Life With COVID-19 Where COVID-19 Would Be Like the Flu
That’s why they’re preparing Singapore for life with COVID-19 as a recurring, controllable disease.
As our COVID-19 task force explained, the coronavirus will soon be managed like other endemic diseases such as the common flu and hand, foot, and mouth disease.
The ultimate goal here is to find a way to live, work, shop, and travel without quarantines and lockdowns, even while COVID-19 is still on the loose.
As the task force said: “The bad news is that COVID-19 may never go away. The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst.”
So, what steps are required to shift to this new normal?
More Vaccinations Means More Restrictions Can Be Relaxed
The first and most obvious step is to get as many people in the country as possible vaccinated.
According to the task force, vaccination appears to be effective in reducing the rates of infection and transmission. What’s more, fully vaccinated people show mild or no symptoms even if they contract the disease.
By early July, two-thirds of the population in Singapore will have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The next milestone is to have two-thirds of the population fully vaccinated with two doses around National Day, if we have enough supplies.
“We are working to bring forward the delivery of vaccines and to speed up the process,” the task force said.
With enough vaccinations, more COVID-19 restrictions can be eased.
For one, people with COVID-19 may be allowed to recover at home, which will unburden our healthcare system. Close contacts can also buy test kits from pharmacies to test themselves.
Testing will also no longer be a tool for ring-fencing and quarantining people, but used more in screening processes when entering public places, offices, and schools.
In time, large gatherings may also be permitted.
Lastly, and most importantly, with a vaccination certificate in hand, people may finally be able to travel again to countries that have controlled the virus.
Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? We hardly notice or pay attention to the flu in everyday life, even when we get it.
Hopefully, one day, we’ll look at COVID-19 like that.
Featured Image: Miguel Vidal/ Shutterstock.com
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