Pakistan is struggling to contain the third wave of coronavirus infections, reporting close to 4,500 new cases in the last 24 hours, the highest number of daily infections in nine months. The rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 had alarmingly risen to more than 10% from a low of about 3% a couple of weeks ago, suggesting the actual number of infections is likely much higher than the reported cases.

The overall number of infections and deaths from COVID-19, however, remains under control in Pakistan, a country of about 220 million people.

COVID continues to threaten and kill, and at any time it can evolve to wreak greater havoc, or another pandemic threat may emerge that is worse. The most powerful way to prepare and respond to this and many varieties of threats is to empower local communities everywhere to provide for their own essential needs sustainably. In this way, communities can minimize danger from disaster by protecting their members and borders, with empowerment to care for each other locally, and still offer employment in the local development of goods and services.

For example, every community in the world would have been able to employ local people to produce quality face masks for local use and for export. Everyone wearing face masks soon after COVID started would almost certainly have ended the pandemic a year ago.

Goods and services may or may not be able to be exchanged safely between communities, so local access to essential commodities such as food and water must be ensured, and can be with this approach, which is self-funding, self-managing, and self-scaling.

To accomplish local resilience and self-reliance, with the ability for communities to survive self-sufficiently if necessary for extended periods, and to provide vital employment, and even the ability for communities to produce essential commodities to export, there is this tested and proven strategy.

The coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person. This can happen between people who are in close contact with one another. Droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into their lungs.

A person infected with coronavirus, even one with no symptoms, may emit aerosols when they talk or breathe. Aerosols are infectious viral particles that can float or drift around in the air for up to three hours. Another person can breathe in these aerosols and become infected with the coronavirus. This is why everyone should wear a mask when they go out in public.

Coronavirus can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects, though this is a less common way for the virus to spread. An increasing number of cities in Pakistan are embracing this recommendation: "Stay in place, keep your space, and cover your face."