People vs The Shutdown | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:30 AM, June 11, 2020

People vs The Shutdown

When defence is perhaps your best offence

As the country reopens to life pre-pandemic in a strange turn of events, what should you be expecting? The restrictions have eased but the threat still remains out there lurking on surfaces or multiplying in humans. Since businesses are permitted to resume, there are some things you need to look out for. At this point, there would be numerous sources of transmission; being judicious about your well-being is the least you could do to protect yourself and those around you.

We cannot revert back to life BC (Before Corona) in a snap of a finger. This is the "new normal" and it is high time we follow the health code drummed on our ears. So, do not throw away the masks and gloves. Wipe off counters, desks, door knobs, switches, keyboards or anything that requires contact, before use. Nonetheless, do not forget to wash hands throughout the day—the ultimate save.

It may be enticing to travel given cheaper fare rates. However, the prime reason why the virus has spread globally is travel, along with the fact that transmission is very much possible via asymptomatic individuals which brings us to people showing symptoms of undiagnosed disease. Hence, postpone any plans to travel whether it is within the country or beyond. The last thing you want is catching the virus and getting quarantined in an unknown land.

It is also emphasised to not mingle in large crowds or social gatherings. It is prudent to not go visit your friend or an elderly relative just yet. And it goes without saying that parties (even home parties) are a no-no. Non-essential businesses such as malls, gyms, salons etc. are expected to get back on track. It is best advised to avoid these places for now. If living without these has been possible up till now, find alternatives and make do for a few more months. Restaurants, on the other hand, might allow customers to dine in small groups. However, the risk is still huge as there is no evidence of transmission via ventilation systems in closed spaces.

Reoperation of organisations implies commute. Stick to your personal mode of transport. Do not carpool. Public buses are to reinforce social distancing by blocking out seats as unavailable. Walk the distance, if possible. Take care of personal hygiene all the while. Some organisations have decided to let employees work in the premises for a set number of days. As before, temperature checks will be done. Perhaps, disinfecting stalls will be installed as well.

In other parts of the world, countries are opening up gradually in planned stages. Most plans intend to resume small businesses with limited opening hours. Some have chosen to keep recreational spots like theatres, parks and such closed while others have adapted strict guidelines regarding social distance by putting up shields, boundaries and opting minimal capacity. Social gatherings are prohibited. In stages, all businesses are to open, moderate gatherings will be allowed and physical distancing is to be maintained, especially for elderly citizens who have been in shelter prior to this stage. Educational institutions are likely to continue online.

In the end, it boils down to survival. Weigh the pros and cons before you make a move. It may be absolutely essential for you to step out. But this only means you adapt to an even stricter hygiene code in any ingenious way possible.


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