Sunday, March 22, 2020

Five fake health tips on COVID-19 we should ignore

We know that COVID-19 is a new virus and there is no known treatment. Yet, there are lots of fake health advice being circulated on social media. The worst thing is that people are falsely attributing the sources of such information to UNICEF or medical doctors to make them sound genuine. I have looked at some of the most widely circulated health advice and verified with official sources. Here are the five fake health tips we should ignore.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The fight against COVID-19 calls for national unity and collective responsibility, not blame game

At around 05:00 in the morning on 6th March 2020, I was skimming through my Facebook Newsfeed when I suddenly came across the news of the first positive case of Coronavirus in the country. It instantly sent a chilling wave of panic and fear along my spine. I immediately went on to check the official Facebook pages of concerned agencies to verify the information and when I realized that the report was true, I was left shaken. Within no time, the news stirred up the entire population and triggered all sorts of debates and discussions on social media, mostly blaming the Hon’ble Prime Minister for not shutting down the tourism industry. This sudden shift from panic to hatred was more worrisome than the actual situation. More than the virus, I began to worry about our social harmony and national unity as Bhutanese.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Clean hands can save lives

Washing hands with soap is one of the easiest and most effective ways of protecting ourselves from common diseases. It is said that if we wash our hands properly everyday, we can prevent more than 50 percent of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses. Yet we often tend to take things for granted and forget to wash our hands before and after carrying out critical activities. Handwashing is perhaps one of the first lessons we have learned from our parents but even today, we hardly care to know how to do it in a proper manner. Since we use our hands in almost everything we do in our daily life, it is important to keep them clean so that infectious germs and bacteria do not find their way into our body.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A reflection on death and impermanence

Life is like a burning butter-lamp in the wind. We never know when it will be blown out. Yet we live as though we would never die. We hardly think of death and impermanence in our everyday life. Clouded by our desires, greed, ego, anger and ignorance, we often get carried away by momentary sensual pleasures and materialistic comfort the world provides and forget the very purpose of being born as a human being, the most intelligent and capable species of all. It is only when we are born in the human realm that we have the opportunity to practice Dharma and change the course of our afterlives. No other sentient beings have the opportunity and capacity to seek enlightenment like human beings. This is the main reason why human life is considered so precious in Buddhism.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The widespread misinformation about the new coronavirus outbreak calls for responsible use of social media

A woman wearing protective mask in Beijing, China. Image source: BBC World News

As the global community is struggling to cope with the new coronavirus outbreak that has originated in China, our social media platforms are overloaded with information that are often misleading. Since the day the news of the outbreak made international headlines, we have been seeing many social media users sharing their own theories about what could have caused the outbreak and how it can be controlled. I feel that it is not only the virus that is spreading across the globe. The rumors and misinformation about the outbreak are travelling even faster, spreading unnecessary fear and panic amongst the general population.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Waste management awareness onboard public buses

On the morning of 28th December 2019, I was pleasantly surprised when the driver of the bus I was travelling in from Thimphu to Phuentsholing played the onboard announcement that requested the passengers to take care of their own wastes during the journey. The public announcement which was recorded in three languages: Dzongkha, Sharchhop and Lhotshamkha talked about the importance of maintaining pristine environment and advised the passengers to make use of the garbage bin that was placed on the aisle. We were warned that we may be subject to penalties as per the relevant laws and policies if we are ever caught throwing our wastes outside the designated areas.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Happy New Year 2020

Poster of Happy New Year 2020. Image source: freepik.com

As the year 2019 draws to an end, it is time for us to once again revisit the path we have walked with our friends and families over the past 12 months and cherish the beautiful memories we have created together. This is the time to look back at the footprints we have left behind and pick up the lessons we have learned from our mistakes so that we don’t miss a step and trip off into the same pitfalls as we move forward. We should be grateful for the blessings that have helped us survive so many challenges during the journey and reach where we are today. Not all who had started this year’s journey with us have been lucky enough to make it through the darkest tunnels of life. We have lost some of our friends and loved ones on the way. Let us remember them in our prayers as we stand at this juncture of time breeding new hopes and dreams for the coming year.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Relishing memories from the 112th National Day celebration in Thimphu

Photo of His Majesty the King about to address the 112th National Day event at Changlemithang, Thimphu. Image courtesy: Facebook

As the people of Bhutan came together to celebrate the 112th National Day on 17th December 2019, the atmosphere in Changlemithang stadium in Thimphu was filled with the glory of our past. Thousands of people had dared the freezing temperatures of the winter night to be at the stadium for the event as early as 01:00 in the morning. As the sun rose up in the horizon, the valleys below began to brim with life and music. The beautiful tapestry of people in uniform, Desuups and scouts marching to the sweet melody of our national song: Gawa Dugo Kiba Dugo and the spectacular display of our national flag in the air added so much color to the event. As the helicopter flew over the valley carrying our national flag behind it, I prayed in silence for my country to be blest with peace and harmony forever.

Monday, December 16, 2019

The biggest disability lies in the mind, not in the body

When I first became blind, I felt as though I was shoved into a tiny cocoon, totally cut off from the rest of the society. The thought of having to live in the dark for the rest of my life haunted me deeply and shattered my dreams. I was alone, pressed on all sides by the weight of the tragedy. The love and sympathy I was showered by people at the time did not make me feel any better. I wished to be left alone. I wished to remain in my own cocoon, far from the hues and cries of human civilization. But as I spent days and nights in tears, trying to re-adjust myself in my tiny world, I realized that life has to move on with time. The journey of my life had just begun and I knew that sitting back and crying wouldn’t get me any farther. It was this realization that gave me the strength to pick up the broken pieces of my life and continue my journey. It took months and even years for me to completely break the walls of my cocoon and re-emerge in the society.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Integrity and honesty: the greatest virtues of mankind

A woman was walking home from office one late evening when she suddenly thought of buying a chicken for dinner. She walked to a meat-shop and asked the man at the counter if there was any chicken left for the day. The man went to the refrigerator and pulled out the only chicken he had. The woman watched as he placed it on the weighing scale. It weighed 1.5 KG. “Do you have another one slightly bigger than this?” the woman enquired. The man took the chicken, put it back into the refrigerator, groped around as though looking for another one and took out the same chicken. While weighing it, he gently pressed it with his thumb and this time, it weighed 2 KG. “Perfect!” said the woman. “I want to take both. Can you pack them up for me?”.