Covid-19 in the endemic stage – Time to live like The Jetsons

Children these days will never understand the joy of waking up on Saturday mornings, and running to switch on the television to watch all the cartoon series.

As an 80’s kid, I remember couching in front of the idiot box just catching up on the incredible cartoons after school.

There were so many, from He-Man and the Master of Universe, Voltron, ThunderCats and Care Bears, just to name a few. But the one I felt made a profound impact on the way we would live “in the future” was The Jetsons.

The Jetsons was an animated series about a family (George, his wife Jane and their children, Judy, and Elroy) who lived in Orbit City and is set in the year 2062.

They have flying cars, smart cities, a robot housekeeper and use technology to go about their daily lives, very much like how we live today (except for the flying cars).

They have home consultations and use capsules or pods to move from one place to another. They use video calls (like our never-ending Zoom calls, be it for work or pleasure) and even exercise at home (like how we use YouTube or other live streaming platforms).

Who could have imagined The Jetsons had ‘predicted’ the way we would live today in adapting to the new normal in surviving the pandemic.

Let’s face it, the coronavirus is here to stay and instead of hoping that it would go away, we should learn to live with it.

Sarawak’s Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian had said that the state is entering its endemic phase. Despite the rising number of cases (due to the Delta variant), the deaths have dropped compared to the other states due to the high vaccination rate here.

As of Aug 31, 88.2 per cent, or 1,821,499 out of the two million eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine in Sarawak have completed two doses.

“Sarawak is moving from the Covid-19 pandemic into an endemic stage where the people are learning to live with the virus (like Singapore and the United Kingdom),” he said recently, adding that the state is to reopen its economic sector, slowly and safely.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had also said: (With) “Vaccination and immunisation, as well as efforts for behavioural change, and by following new SOPs (standard operating procedures), we can usher in a new period of living with the virus as endemic.”

And I couldn’t agree more. It has been 18 months since the virus hit our shores, turning our lives upside down.

The mental health of many have been affected by the constant isolation, families separated, businesses closing down, and the lost generation of our children today, living and growing up in the shadows of the pandemic.

We need to relook at how to deal with Covid-19 and re-evaluate the way of reporting the daily cases to reassess the outbreak – moving away from the number of cases, to focusing on the fatality and hospitalisation rates, instead.

This is where the importance of vaccination and the new normal comes into play, to prevent the risk of severe illness.

Only then would people feel safer to move around and slowly go about their daily lives. Hopefully, in the near future, Covid-19 will just be like the common cold.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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