Every day we are flooded with various news and stories of COVID-19 pandemic transmission in Malaysia. Press conferences, announcements and special messages are often made with the noble intention of delivering the latest information and data to the general public. True, in the blink of an eye, COVID-19 has changed the landscape of our daily lives. As such, we must all be united in breaking the COVID-19 pandemic transmission chain.
We can certainly recall vividly, at the beginning of the development of COVID-19 pandemic, we were often reminded by the government and the media to comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and practice self-control. Before entering the supermarket, for example, the temperature was taken and the QR code was scanned using the MySejahtera app to record our data. We were indeed diligent in washing our hands with disinfectant every time stepping into home from the outside. In fact, we are eager to change clothes several times a day then.
However, the scenario has changed now. Shopping malls are getting crowded, and recreational activities no longer adhere to physical distancing. The use of face mask became optional for some of us. We began to overlook practicing one-meter physical distancing. The feeling of comfort has made us careless, hence leading to a three-digit entry of new COVID-19 cases.
While Malaysia is now reported to be entering the third wave of this pandemic, self-discipline is indeed crucial in breaking this COVID-19 chain. As the virus grows vigorously to kill, we have failed to discipline ourselves to obey brief instructions and the said protocol. We must continue wearing the face mask, wash our hands and maintain physical distancing. Most importantly, self-discipline is more meaningful and effective for protect ourselves and our families from this pandemic. Obviously, self-discipline is very important to severe the chain of transmission of this catastrophe.
As a matter of fact, when our self-discipline is strong, we do not have to lash out when the government is acting more decisively against those who violate the SOP. With self-discipline, we will be in a better position to safeguard ourselves. We have to ask ourselves: Is it necessary for us to be out of the house if there isn’t any urgent to attend to? Maintaining self-discipline and acting wisely will certainly save ourselves, our families, our community and our country in the future.
Some comply with SOPs when in public just because they feel observed and feared fined. This is an unwise and temporary act. By practicing self-discipline, we can train ourselves to comply with the SOP at all times. When self-disciplined, even when alone, for example in the elevator, in the parking lot, or anywhere, we can move with confidence. As a result, self- discipline will certainly benefit us in the longer run.
In fact, all our actions are based on discipline. Discipline trains us to wash hands regularly and not re-use the same face mask. When every individual is disciplined in every aspect, the potential for infection can be reduced. So self-discipline must continue to be strengthened for the sake of universal security. Let us together play a positive role, and, ultimately work hand-in-hand with our frontliners in fulfilling the task entrusted upon them. Remember, as loyal Malaysians, we must continue to be disciplined and have social responsibility in practicing the new norms culture in breaking the COVID-19 pandemic transmission chain.
Dr. Amerjit Singh L S. Bhag Singh is the Director of Media and Corporate Communication Division at Department of Information Malaysia. The Malay version of this article, entitled ‘Disiplin Kendiri Kunci Putuskan Rantaian Jangkitan’ appeared in Berita Harian on 13 Oct 2020.
(Asia Samachar, 23 June 2020)
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