Letters To The Editor

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – J.R.R. Tolkein

Eradicating corruption

“Corruption is the mother of all vices”. I constantly hear that if governments in developing countries would solely focus on eliminating corruption without doing anything else, these countries would be much better off. Personally, I believe that corruption is what transforms a leader into a common thug. In my country, we have a large quantity of corrupt individuals operating as politicians. But this must be put to an end, otherwise our economy would be demolished in no time. Here are five ways that citizens and governments can make progress in the fight against corruption. First, by ending impunity. Effective law enforcement is essential to ensure the corrupt are punished and break the cycle of impunity, or freedom from punishment or loss. Second, by reforming public administration and finance management. Reforms focusing on improving financial management and strengthening the role of auditing agencies have in many countries achieved greater impact than public sector reforms on curbing corruption. Third, by promoting transparency and access to information. Countries successful at curbing corruption have a long tradition of government openness, freedom of the press, transparency and access to information. Access to information increases the responsiveness of government bodies, while simultaneously having a positive effect on the levels of public participation in a country. Fourth, by empowering citizens. Strengthening citizens’ demand for anti-corruption and empowering them to hold the government accountable is a sustainable approach that helps build mutual trust between citizens and government. Fifth, by closing international loopholes. Without access to the international financial system, corrupt public officials throughout the world would not be able to launder and hide the proceeds of looted state assets. Major financial centers urgently need to put in place to stop their banks and cooperating offshore financial centers from absorbing illicit flows of money.

Irtaza Zaidi,

Myths about coronavirus

There are several things we know that can protect people from getting or transmitting the novel coronavirus: washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds frequently, cleaning surfaces in your home with disinfecting products and social isolation. But according to posts all over social media, there are many more ways to protect yourself. But those ways are just myths and they do not prevent coronavirus in any way. So, in an effort to get the facts straight, I would like to bust these common coronavirus myths that have taken over our feeds. Myth 1: If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you don't have a coronavirus infection. Truth: While it's possible for the coronavirus to cause fibrosis, holding your breath is not a suitable at-home "test" to determine if you have lung damage. To get a proper diagnosis, you'd need a variety of tests performed by your doctor. Myth 2: Drinking water will flush the virus from your mouth. Truth: It's always smart to stay well hydrated, whether you're sick or not. But, according to the WHO, there's no evidence that drinking water can protect you from getting the coronavirus. Myth 3: Warm weather will get rid of the coronavirus. Truth: According to the WHO, the coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas of the globe, including hot climates. Myth 4: Spraying alcohol or bleach on your body will protect you. Truth: The WHO says that not only can spraying bleach or rubbing alcohol on your body harm your mucous membranes, it won't protect you from getting the coronavirus. Myth 5: Using a face mask will protect you from getting the coronavirus. Truth: Surgical masks can't block airborne viruses. They're specifically designed to prevent fluids from someone else's cough or sneeze getting into your mouth and nose, or prevent fluid from your coughs and sneezes from getting into someone else's airways.

Atia Nadeem,