If you're going to engage in pandemic politics, at least wear gloves Firdous Ashiq Awan

Published 27 Apr, 2021 11:53am

Images Staff

Administering vaccines to unsuspecting elderly citizens without gloves isn't a good idea, pandemic or not.

On the political playing field of unregulated showmanship comes another name, one frequently in the spotlight for her antics — Firdous Ashiq Awan. But this time, we're considerably less amused than when she broke a stack of tiles with her bare hands.

The former federal minister personally administered a Covid vaccine shot to a senior citizen in Sialkot.

The man is seen leaning away from the special assistant to the Punjab chief minister on information and culture in fear, and for the right reasons. She had no technique, and as she stabbed the man in his arm, it must've hurt. The special assistant wasn't wearing surgical gloves, which, as a trained doctor, she should have known to do.

Without being too wordy about it, we must address this behaviour, not just of Awan but of all politicians. Now is not the time for you to one up each other. Especially not like this, when we have trained professionals to administer the very few vaccines that the government has successfully procured. Don't make the vaccination drive into a joke in a country where very few people are going to get vaccinated.

Awan completed her MBBS and was in the process of completing her house job when she joined politics in the 90s. But a house job in the 90s does not a doctor make, or else she would have at least worn gloves while administering the vaccine.

We can imagine a future press conference or jalsa where this investment is used to gain profit. "When Pakistan was struggling, we were on the streets" or "We personally went and gave shots to people!"

But this is not the time for politics of showmanship (showwomanship in this case). This is a time to encourage people to get vaccinated. The only show we want to see is our politicians getting vaccinated when their turn comes.

There are more pressing matters for the government to cater to, and for its officials to be seen doing, even in the domain of vaccines and the pandemic than administering vaccines to unsuspecting elderly citizens. It would probably do more good for Awan and her fellow politicians to post videos of themselves getting the vaccine instead.