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There are things we should have done, as citizens, when we were called upon to be responsible for our and others’ safety, but we didn’t.
The novel Coronavirus, apparently said to rise from a small wet market of Wuhan has now spread itself across the globe, crippling most countries. India reported its first case in Kerala, and within no time the entire country was in the clutches of a major pandemic!
At this point of time, while the entire medical fraternity, from doctors to clinical staff to workers are slogging day and night to get us out from the situation, what should we as responsible citizens be doing?
Simple, stay at home! Social distancing! Is that so tough to understand?
Let me share with you some undeniable stupidity that I witnessed while I and my family, like most of you people, under complete quarantine.
Initially, when the first case was reported in Kerala, people underestimated the situation by saying, “It won’t happen to other states, remember Nipa?
A number of assumptions were thrown at the situation until cases started emerging from other states as well. Still, people around our neighbourhood were travelling to and from other states.
Schools were completely shutdown from 16th March. Parents, however seemed utterly oblivious to the entire situation. I saw quite a few kids playing on the streets as if there is no difference between a shutdown and vacations. Some of my neighbours even said I was being ‘too harsh’ on my kids, keeping them at home all day long. However, I continued to keep my kids under quarantine!
With utter foolishness, some of them were busy attending social gatherings. One of my colleagues attended a wedding that had almost 50 to 70 attendees. Do they really need a dictionary to learn the meaning if ‘social distancing’?
The government and authorities are every minute telling people the necessity to isolate yourselves, for you and your family. Doctors and hospital staff working are around the clock to get the nation out of this crisis. What are we as responsible citizens doing? Partying and socializing? Really?
Every morning when I check my mobile, the first thing I come across are messages filled with coronavirus health tips, self-made prescriptions, and rumours in the air. Superstition-filled with WhatsApp messages. Some believed the real number of affected people are concealed by the authorities. COVID-19 memes and jokes have started floating on social media platforms.
Is a pandemic a situation worth laughing at?
As soon as schools were shut down in March, I noticed that people in my society were inviting relatives to their place to stay. Infection is a possibility even if you don’t have any overseas travel history. You may get exposed to coronavirus while travelling in autos or cabs in which infected persons may have travelled.
It takes almost 14 days of infection to have symptoms. How would you possibly know if your guests or hosts have already got infected?
Social distancing is need of the hour and act accordingly. For some time, don’t allow anyone to visit you, and don’t go visit someone else.
PM had announced a one day shutdown on March 22, and a three week shutdown starting from 25th. As soon as the news went on air, there was chaos. Malls were crowded with people, so were the vegetable and grocery shops. People on the rampage to store essentials failed to understand that all essentials like groceries, medicines and vegetables will be available. But no one listened, and people gathered around in panic forgetting the entire purpose of social distancing.
The pandemic is an unfortunate disaster, and we cannot do much about it, but let’s at least respect what authorities working at ground level have to say. Do consider this lockdown as a phase to slow down, spend time with family, teach kids the essence of minimalism, and induce creativity in them. Make use of every bit of time and don’t forget to stay at home!
Image source: YouTube
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Sheeba Vinay is a writer by profession and an aspiring Criminologist. Her write-ups have
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