The COVID-19 pandemic has caused suffering to millions of people worldwide. For many in our community, the past 18 months (and the last eight weeks in particular) have been a time of hardship unlike any other in their lifetime. In these challenging circumstances, it's very easy to feel powerless to help those around us - but there are many things each of us can do to help others.
We can help by sticking to the public health rules. This isn't just about protecting your own well-being. It's about caring for everyone and ensuring we can all get out of this lockdown as quickly as possible.
The Delta strain of the virus is far more infectious than previous variants. One person's poor decisions can have catastrophic consequences for millions of citizens' health and happiness.
We can help by getting vaccinated as soon as possible. In addition to following the stay-home orders, this is the most important thing each of us can do to get us back towards normality. Vaccination will give you around 90 per cent protection against serious disease or death from the virus and will also help curtail transmission. Unvaccinated people account for the lion's share of patients in intensive care or on ventilation. Both vaccines are safe, effective and free.
We can help by reaching out to the isolated and the vulnerable. "Social distancing" is a misnomer - we should practise good hygiene and physical distancing, but pick up the phone or FaceTime others. This pandemic has reminded us of humanity's enormous capacity for kindness. But sometimes it triggers unfortunate behaviours that reflect people's heightened emotions. We see that today. Negative emotions can impede our decision making and alienate us from others. We can help by caring for each other, to give ourselves the best hope of moving beyond lockdown.
We can help by exercising common sense. Don't leave home unless it's absolutely necessary. Don't mix with people you shouldn't. Do shop with purpose. Do get tested with the slightest symptoms. Do get vaccinated.
Careless errors of judgment, as we've now seen time and again, can have untold consequences for everyone. Let caring - for others as well as for yourself - inform your every move during this lockdown. We'll get through this.
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