Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is now in quarantine having been exposed on election night, August 10, to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr Rowley was advised to remain in quarantine “out of an abundance of caution” until Monday, August 24, which would end the fourteen-day period.

Coincidentally, former UNC MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh who served as this country’s Education Minister under the People’s Partnership government has tested positive for the virus and is now at a state facility.

The scare to the PM and his family, who must also be in quarantine, and the case of Dr Gopeesingh, must serve as yet another wake-up call to everyone in this country, that no one is immune from the virus which continues to run rampage not just here in Trinidad and Tobago, but across the globe.

Taking to his Facebook page yesterday to announce that he is in quarantine, the PM urged citizens to do their part to fight the virus. He wants everyone to follow protocols and guidelines from health officials and is also advocating the wearing of a mask. Something that Dr Rowley and his government are now pushing as they seek to stem the COVID tide.

It is only with “discipline” that is expected of us he said can we fight and beat the “uncontrolled expansion” of this virus.

While they are on opposite sides of the political divide, it is clear that in this COVID fight, the government and the Opposition must send a unified message to both sets of supporters and to the national community that COVID can affect anyone of us.

If the numbers keep growing, the health care system may burst at the seams. Persad-Bissessar added her voice in the face of this pandemic urging citizens to “stay vigilant” and to adhere to recommended health measures to protect themselves and others.

These are challenging times for all of us. It is now the new normal for us to look suspiciously at anyone we come in contact with as no one knows who has this virus. There are super-spreaders who are making things worse. As we heard last week, two people pushed the numbers up by the hundreds having come into contact with unsuspecting persons.

The only thing we can do to protect ourselves is the right thing.

How difficult is it for your own protection to wear a mask? How difficult is it to continue to sanitise, physical distance, and stay home if you are not well?

These are simple enough requests meant not to compromise or infringe your rights, but more importantly, must be viewed as measures that can save your own life or that of your loved ones.

The reality is that the numbers are growing exponentially. Health care facilities are swamped. Health care front line workers are overworked, and they too have their families.

Let us as a country show that we are indeed disciplined people and heed the advice of both the prime minister and the Leader of the Opposition who at this most critical of times seem to be speaking with the same voice. Let us be vigilant and do our parts to fight this virus.