Effective communication, clear road map needed to help Malaysians live with Covid-19

History has shown that every pandemic will run its course. Yet, for many, Covid-19 is the only pandemic they have ever experienced.

In her latest column in Malay news website Getaran, Twentytwo13’s Pearl Lee said as Covid-19 is set to become endemic in Malaysia next month, conditioning the people and changing their mindset on how to live with the virus must begin now.

Pearl said while the population has become accustomed to ‘fighting’ the virus over the past 18 months, a road map on how we plan to enter the new phase must be put in place to ensure we can adopt and adapt to a new way of living.

The endemic stage is when the population learns to live with the virus.

Dengue is endemic in Malaysia.

“With a ceiling retail price of RM19.90 being set for Covid-19 self-test kits, frequent testing will become easier. There may even be those who want to carry their test results with them when they enter public areas,” said Pearl.

“In the beginning, Malaysians may find it awkward to go about their activities alongside the virus, but life has to go on.”

She said essentially, social responsibility will play a big role as people need to be honest about their health status. They must also be open and frank about their health to their employers, co-workers, the administrators of their children’s schools, relatives, neighbours, and friends.

“Simplifying Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) alone is not going to help make living with the virus easier,” Pearl said.

“What is more important is having an effective information communication strategy to ensure the population understands what it will be like to live with Covid-19 for the next few years, at least.”

Policymakers must not lose sight of the time in ensuring citizens and non-citizens of this country are ready to get out of this pandemic.

To read the column, visit Getaran.my.

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