Why is it that we continue to be divided in the name of politics?

Questions, debates and even anger abound on social media these days with the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic taking centre stage – for many reasons, it would seem. First, there are politicians on either side of the dreaded divide who have done their utmost to hurl insults at each other ahead of voting day.

Then there are politicians among the people who by and large have resorted to the same tactics – for them, it is a case of whether they voted for the incumbent head of state at the presidential election in November last year or not.

Those who did, turn a blind eye to the shortcomings there have been while the opposition dares not commend him for leading the battle against the virus.

It is therefore, a thankless task… thanks to politicisation on all fronts!

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka continues to be among the nations that have so far managed to contain the pandemic even though the recent spike in reported cases – attributable in the main to two rehabilitation centres rather than widespread community transmissions – has put the nation on notice… that COVID-19 is unlikely to be eradicated until there’s a vaccine to reverse the trend; at the earliest, early next year it appears at this time.

Also on the radar of debate and outrage is the million dollar question: should life take precedence over livelihoods or vice versa… or is this catch 22 best handled as a delicate balancing act?

It is a given that without livelihoods, life as we know it will be all but lost. On the contrary, the need for livelihoods will be lost if lives are sacrificed to feed the living. A conundrum it is, across most of the world mind you.

If one were to add one more twist to this sorry tale, there’s also the state of mind to consider. From schoolchildren to working adults and elderly retirees, the ‘stay at home’ diktat is taking a toll on mental wellbeing – or so we’re told by many an expert in many parts of the world.

That there’s no right or wrong in this mindboggling equation is unlikely to be contended especially since even the best medical practitioners and experts on Planet Earth concede they’ve yet to truly understand how the virus works or spreads, not to mention that its many strains make matters even worse.

One wonders therefore, why we’re not united in backing the decision makers and playing a part in containing the spread of the virus – i.e. in addition to hand hygiene, abiding by guidelines such as physical distancing, wearing masks in public places and staying at home as far as is practicable?

Bickering over this and that won’t get us to the finish line. A united front might do the trick.

– Editor-in-Chief