Editorial comment – Some lessons for us all

Vatani villager Josaia Tugonedau speaks to The Fiji Times this afternoon. Picture: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

It was encouraging yesterday to see villagers in a part of Tailevu adhering to social distancing.

As COVID-19 continues to take a grip in much more developed countries around the globe, it is truly inspiring to see Fijians playing their part in the fight against the pandemic.

At least seven villages in Tailevu yesterday had placed a ban on visitors, and had put up roadblocks to control the flow of people.

Some villages had huge banners hoisted at the entrance, with committees set up to monitor and enforce measures agreed upon by the people.

In some villages, hand washing areas were set up, mandating those returning from work to sanitise themselves before they entered their homes.

One village had gone to the extent of identifying an isolation centre for those who showed symptoms of COVID-19.

Such reports are encouraging and reflect the importance many people are placing on safety.

We are all in on this fight. COVID-19 isn’t going to just disappear because we hope it will.

We must be part of the effort to keep COVID-19 at bay.

That means adhering to advice. Once again, the World Health Organization yesterday reported no new countries/territories/areas reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

That in itself should be a positive factor.

It does not mean though that the global pandemic is already on its knees.

The fight continues to rid humanity of this virus.

It’s not going to be a stroll in the park.

That, in itself, is going to be a huge task.

On the home front though, a herculean effort is needed to manoeuvre our way past this episode.

That means cutting out handshakes, hugging and adhering to social distancing.

It means washing our hands often with soap and water, or using hand sanitisers.

It means sneezing and coughing into our elbow, or into tissues and disposing them immediately.

It means staying home and reducing unnecessary travel.

Now that we know the school holidays have been extended, our work is cut out for our children.

That will mean keeping them occupied and engaged in doing something constructive over this period.

It allows us to also keep everyone home and safe.

There are lessons to be learnt here.

Some villagers are certainly not been left out.

They are aware.

Now that is a positive sign.

What we need now is to continue to get the message across of how to keep COVID-19 at bay.

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