As I write this piece, we are facing a historic and unprecedented situation. The Corona Virus, which originated in Wuhan, China has now been declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Across the world, countries and governments are doing their best to help reduce the number of infections. Whilst the governments are doing what they can to see the world through this crisis, we, as responsible citizens have a certain duty towards ourselves, and our loved ones. Simple steps we can take to ensure we survive this.
Social Isolation Physical Distancing: Social Isolation is the word that’s being spoken about by everyone. Without dwelling too much on semantics, what we need to practise is physical distancing, as opposed to social isolation. As humans we can’t isolate ourselves socially. Even this piece I am writing will be seen by you via one of the many social media. Let’s stay social but from the protected physical isolation of our homes.
Information from Unverified Sources: In this era of connectivity, I am sure all of us are seeing a lot of information on the various social media channels. Some of it is verified, and from reliable sources, but some of it is unverified and someone’s personal opinion, more than anything else. Before we spread these messages, let’s ensure that what we receive is indeed verified, verifiable and fact. We don’t share any information that we receive that we can’t verify.
Opinions, Ideologies and Affiliations: All of us have a desire to be heard. We have opinions. We also have our own political, religious, economic and social ideologies and affiliations. Depending on where we stand, things have the potential to quickly escalate into a case of ‘us versus them’. The virus will not distinguish between a socialist and a capitalist, it won’t differentiate between a right-winger and a left-winger, it doesn’t distinguish between various skin colours and races, it doesn’t distinguish between Hindus, Christians, Muslims or Sikhs or Buddhists or any other religion. Similarly, all I am saying is, let us park our opinions and our ‘us versus them’ attitude for now, and unite for a common purpose, which is to defeat this pandemic and survive as humankind. We can renew hostilities (if we find the energy amongst other things that we will need to do to get ourselves back on track) once this is behind us. But for now, let us be united in our response to this crisis.
Compassion and Cooperation: Whilst most of us are being asked to practise physical distancing, there are amongst us, those, that cannot, due to the nature of their tasks. From doctors and nurses to supermarket employees, whose job is to ensure the wellbeing of the rest of us. Let us show them some compassion and cooperate with them. They are here to ensure we are safe, let us make sure we make their lives a little bit easier.
To summarise, three things I want to leave with you today are:
- Let us practise physical distancing, whilst continuing to support one another socially by being responsible in our social media interactions
- Let us put our differences aside and be united in our response to this crisis
- Let us be compassionate towards our fellow people, who are on the front lines, and cooperate with them