The world could not take a break from the strain of the pandemic since the first virus outbreak from Wuhan, China. Our health is not the only worry that is at risk to be imposed with the threat of COVID-19, but our moral principles and judgements are also at cliff edge. As we are required to put to the ultimate test of humanity, not everyone is successful enough to bring goodness to the situation due to how bleak and gloomy the situation is as a whole. Yes, we are talking about the active operations of politics and how some of their methods have negatively affected the nation with the pandemic as a weapon for power.
Here are the negative consequences of political activities in amidst of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Rate Of Infections And Deaths Went Exceptionally High
Leaders of the world may receive the votes and position, but so as the general public receives unwanted guests into their bodies. The lack of compliance to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from joining campaigns physically has formed clusters and spiked the number of COVID-19 cases overnight. Back in September when Malaysia was all set to wave their red flag to celebrate their victory on defeating the pandemic, the heated Sabah state election has shred it into pieces as the campaign involved public rallies, home visits and inter-district travel which posed higher threat to the virus widespread. This resulted in a sudden escalation in the number of clusters and what was flattened before, the curve has changed its shape for the worse.
Besides Sabah, Turns out, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are among the red zones in Malaysia, including districts such as Mont Kiara, Bandar Puncak Alam, Cheras and Puchong.
People’s Trust For The Government Falls Through
With the pandemic hovering and unseen in the naked eye, the public is living in fear at the possibility of getting infected with the lethal virus. Despite that, politics remain at the very core of the COVID-19 pandemic. Citizens place their utmost trust in the government for a quick and decisive response to put a stop on the epidemic from further infection before it becomes uncontrollable. One good thing coming out of it is the government’s decision, though varies on the countries, set an immediate order to enforce strict lockdowns policies to keep case numbers in check (implemented by Australia and Argentina) or loose policies to prevent economical damage (Brazil, Sweden and the US).
However, what contradicts their actions is some politicians who may care less about the people and only think of power or position to ascend. Take the Sabah state election situation for instance; the failure of complying with the SOP as well as the leaders not wearing masks in an event which requires physical presence unquestionably led to a crowd in the area. This increases the probability to create clusters of the infected and a rise in the number of cases (44 new COVID-19 cases from Benteng LD cluster in Tawau and Lahad Datu). The leaders also set a bad example to the people for taking the SOP lightly. This causes an uproar on social media for the double standard occurred, where the citizens are fined RM1000 for not wearing a mask whereas politicians who did the same are able to walk away. The lack of consideration has affected those who work as hard and loyal to flatten the curve, only to be disheartened and lose their trust in their leaders.
Health Versus The Economy: Which Is Worth More To Spare?
To choose between the population’s health or the nation’s economy is a widely debated discussion in the recent months. Some leaders were particularly keen on restoring the economy at the cost of public health, which baffles the people for being a mere scapegoat in exchange of wealth. Although the public may disagree with the statement, this still raises insecurities whether the tradeoff between the lost lives and lost livelihoods is worth it like it is with complete lockdown versus zero restriction. Or, if balance will ever be reached at some point.
The mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic has done more harm than good despite the effective methods the Ministry of Health has advanced. Without cooperation and awareness among the higher ups and citizens alike, all energy spent on flattening the curve will fall into vain.