Letter of the week: Are people psychologically prepared to live with Covid-19?

I am surprised and disappointed that Covid-19 restrictions have been tightened again due to fears that hospitals might get overwhelmed by rising cases.

Singapore's vaccination rate, at 82 per cent, is among the highest in the world. Other countries have opened up despite much lower vaccination rates.

All governments have to look for a balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods. Complete lockdowns save lives but destroy businesses and jobs. Completely opening up would save jobs and businesses but the country would have to accept a higher death toll.

So the key is vaccination, which is very effective in preventing severe illness and death.

I think the Government is cautious about opening up because our people are not psychologically prepared to live with Covid-19.

They get upset when they see the infection numbers rise. Compounding this is the widespread distribution of antigen rapid test kits which encourage testing. People panic when they test positive and rush to the emergency departments, and the more people test, the more positive cases will be uncovered.

All this panic may be putting pressure on our leaders and has slowed down the reopening of the economy. We need to teach people that if you are vaccinated, and you get infected, it is no longer an emergency.

More than 98 per cent of infected people who have been vaccinated now have mild or no symptoms (Unvaccinated patients at 12 times higher risk of dying, needing ICU care, Sept 25). ICU admissions and deaths have been kept low.

We need to educate the public not to panic if they get infected, as the majority of them will not need hospitalisation.

If you have only mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, just isolate yourself at home to avoid infecting others.

Also, get vaccinated if you have not already done so and are medically eligible.

It is socially irresponsible not to be vaccinated because if you are infected, you are more likely to take up valuable hospital resources. Tan Keng Soon

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