The land border re-opening is just around the corner. Just less than two weeks to go, a lot of us, who have not the fund for air travel, are eagerly awaiting the day that we can finally cross the international borders again.
However, a recent experience has gotten me thinking about the risk of travelling in these pandemic times.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to a mass gathering event. Given the health authority’s persistent reminder to comply with the guidelines, I attended the function with a lot of faith that all present would be responsible individuals. I did the necessary steps, such as screening myself prior to the event and ensuring I was masked the whole time.
However, a few days passed before words got to me that one of the attendees was infected with COVID-19. She had joined the event knowing that she could potentially infect the whole venue.
I was furious, but thankfully, despite having had a brief contact with the person, I was spared from the virus.
My point is, while it angers me to know that there are people who would intentionally hide their COVID statuses for selfish reasons, it is not beyond comprehension. After all, we are talking about a populace that has been cooped up in the country for over two years. Until the pandemic hit, it had been a tradition for Bruneians to cross the borders for a day’s break or a night stay at a neighbouring Malaysian town.
I’m sure comes August, the excitement will hit fever pitch. Droves of locals will be crossing the borders in search of a respite from all the COVID stress and anxiety or to reunite with family members on the other side.
While I’m certain that most of us will abide by the standard operating procedures, there will be a few who remain blind to the purpose of these precautionary measures.
Thus, I want to use this letter to reach out to those who think hiding a positive test result is not a big deal; because it is. Like the vast majority, I don’t want to see restrictive measures being implemented again.
Now is the time to be responsible, no matter how inconvenient the timing seems if we test positive for the coronavirus just before the borders re-open.