Good followers, not just good leaders, matter in a pandemic response

The Covid-19 experience offers lessons on what Singaporeans can do better in the next public health emergency

Residents queuing to take Covid-19 swab tests at Redhill Close, after viral fragments were detected in wastewater, on June 22, 2021. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
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The government White Paper on Singapore’s response to Covid-19 outlines lessons for the next pandemic, based on the country’s efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic over the past three years. The report was debated in Parliament this week. I read the 92-page report with interest, and thought it was a fair, and quite candid, report on what Singapore did well in, and what we could have done better as a nation.

But reading the report got me wondering: what about citizens’ response? What did we, as a people, do well in and what could we have done better in? Or, to put it more constructively, having gone through the experience of Covid-19, what should we, as citizens, remember to do better in the next public health emergency?

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