Before the pandemic era, having to wear a mask wherever we go, keeping a safe 1-meter distance from each other or being required to register before and after entering a premise seems like it’s a scene from a science fiction movie. We never had to worry about any dangerous infectious disease because we thought we were advanced enough to face anything, and there is no way a leader of any country will suspend any business because economic breakdown is a worldwide nightmare.
Unfortunately, in 2020, the world was shaken as the lockdown was implemented and staying home was the only option to stay safe and away from a deadly virus called Covid 19.
Fast forward to now, the final quarter of 2021, a lot has happened. We are slowly accepting that this pandemic is heading towards an endemic status, and we have no choice but to live with it, and adapting to the new normal seems like the best option. But what is the new normal? Let’s take a look at some of the practices that we need to ensure the safety of our health and others around us.
In an online article by CNBC dated the 7th of September 2021, CNBC, who interviewed The World Health Organization (WHO), said that Covid 19 is likely to stay with us and will continue to mutate, especially in unvaccinated countries across the world. It is true that vaccines cannot guarantee a hundred percent protection against the virus. Still, studies in the US have shown vaccination can have a strong impact in handling COVID-19 outbreaks, even with limited protection against the infection, which leads us to what herd immunity is and how it works for us to go back to doing most of the things we love pre-pandemic.
A lot of times, especially since the vaccination campaign has been introduced, we have heard the phrase “herd immunity”. The rate of vaccinated people greatly influences these 2 words. WHO supports achieving herd immunity through vaccination and not allowing disease to spread through any population cluster, resulting in extreme cases and deaths. Herd immunity against COVID-19 should be achieved by protecting people through vaccination, not by exposing them to the pathogen that causes the disease.
The economy is one of the collateral damages resulting from the Covid 19 spread. Business owners are among the ones who suffered the most, especially small-medium enterprises. The government always finds ways to create severance packages and monetary assistance to help sustain their businesses, however, as we all know, the best way for a business to survive is by being able to run it, yet it is not an advisable option.
Luckily, every business has the chance to open up a store online. This may not be the same as having a physical store because some people prefer to purchase items physically, but the next best thing any business can opt for is a website that enables the customers to browse and buy online.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Covid 19 had forced the consumers to shift to online shopping as it was the only buying and selling transaction available. Luckily, humans are born with the strength to adapt to change as the economy shifts to a digital world and triggers changes in online shopping behaviours that will most likely have a long-lasting effect.
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Cambridge Dictionary describes SOP or Standard Operating System as ways of achieving things. SOP is basically a list of terms and conditions to contain the spread of Covid 19 that everyone must adhere to enjoy the benefits of certain things allowed by the government. For example, starting on the 19th of August 2021, fully vaccinated citizens of Malaysia (after 14 days or 28 days from the date of the 2nd dose of Pfizer and AstraZeneca or 1st dose of Johnson & Johnson and CanSino) are allowed to dine even in Phase 1 states under the National Recovery Plan. Of course, this comes along with existing SOPs, like wearing a mask except when eating and checking in and out via MySejahtera.
It seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel, after all. We may never be able to feel the freedom before Covid 19 existed. But with positive changes and a healthy mindset, soon, we’ll be able to enjoy the things we used to in a much safer environment, and that is undoubtedly something to look forward to.