The Straits Times says

Covid-19 fight is everyone's business

The uneven results of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic which emerged last year hold an important lesson. Societies that are rational, scientific, reject fake news and are well-organised, disciplined and united have the best chance of emerging more intact from Covid-19 outbreaks. That is compared to societies where fear, superstition, paranoia, public credulity towards sensational information and administrative disorganisation prevail. This gulf certainly is not an East-West issue. Western societies such as the United States, which faltered badly initially, have turned a bad situation around, while Asian societies such as Japan, Vietnam and even Taiwan - a territory whose initial successes were remarkable - are struggling now. Covid-19 presents an evolving challenge which societies need to meet by honing their instincts for survival on both the epidemiological and economic fronts.

The new normal being created by the outbreaks will test nations on the fundamentals of their social organisation. Those whose citizens work together to uphold sensible safeguards put in place by responsible governments will be able to reopen their economies, reconnect with the rest of the world and prosper. If anything, the experience of Covid-19 would have toughened societies and made them more confident of their inherent strengths and more resilient to adversity.

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