Doesn’t it feel like a horror movie? What made me feel like I was in one of the characters when my best friend’s wedding was called off because of coronavirus? I wanted to cater her emotionally and be there for her physically but I could not as I could not get any flight to her. It was that time when I felt I was stuck here. Our world has been hit by a huge rock like a glacier that hit titanic killing lots of people.
This Situation actually is like a movie where everybody has a character to play. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease whose symptoms include coughing, fever, flu, chest pain and difficulty in breathing.
Pakistan has been suggesting lockdown in an effort to prevent the coronavirus pandemic. Many schools, universities, restaurants, shopping malls even mosques have been shut down. These precautionary measures are to promote physical distance from people which is a proven way to slow pandemics.
Health experts all over are suggesting social distancing. It is also one of the top trends in twitter that many high profile personalities and celebrities have been endorsing. Still, people in Pakistan are out in parks, malls and roads in large numbers without taking pandemic into consideration at all.
— Deep Halder (@deepscribble) March 25, 2020
This is deeply worrisome as those who are even mildly ill or are maybe infected but are unaware, can transfer the germs of covid-19 to a large number of population.
What exactly “Social Distance “Means?
Here it is important to understand what social distancing is and why am I being suggested by experts and government. Social distancing is just a physical separation between people, ideally, at least 6 feet distance is considered safe. 6 feet distance is considered safe because that’s how far one’s droplets can go while sneezing, talking or coughing.
While I am writing this awareness article, the stats for this pandemic in Pakistan has crossed altogether 908 cases.
- Sindh – 399
- Punjab- 265,
- Balochistan – 110,
- Gilgit Baltistan- 80,
- KPK- 38
- Azad Kashmir – 01
- Islamabad – 15
This pandemic is engulfing mankind.
Governments have strongly suggested, “Social Distance “means minimizing physical contact with people avoiding going to public gatherings, limit non-essential traveling, promote work from home, avoid going to malls and drives.
This is the only strategy that saved thousands of lives during “Spanish flu” pandemic in 1918, and in Mexico City during 2009 pandemic.
Since coronavirus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets (especially when people sneeze, cough or talk) maintaining a 6 feet distance can prevent those droplets from reaching it. Social distancing means to carry out day-to-day activities while keeping themselves safe in a house.
How can you make “Social Distance” Convenient?
Social Distancing can be lonely and you may feel disconnected from the world, but since this is the need of the hour to help fight pandemic.
People ask questions like
Can I go to the Park with kids?
Yes, you can go to less crowded parks with sanitizers and gloves for a limited time and after getting home have a warm bath and using sanitizers like Detol to sanitize your body.
Can we go for dinner?
Throughout our lives we have been dining out, this is stupidity to eat in a crowded room full of germs and eating food. What you can do instead is order your food online and receive it with sanitizer and gloves.
Can friends come over?
It only depends on the health condition of your friends and their travel history. Avoid meeting a friend who has travel history in last 15 days. At least, for now, we must stop gatherings.
How long will we need to practice social distancing?
Well, it all depends on how long you have been doing it. The only way to keep yourself safe from Coronavirus is social distancing .the longer you are practicing it, the sooner you will have your freedom and life back
Why people are avoiding SOCIAL DISTANCING?
We need to understand that social distancing is not just for your own safety but for others too. You’re staying at home would reduce risks of developing this disease in other people as well .
For over a month now our health officials have been suggesting to stay inside and avoiding physical contact, but many younger people seem to be ignoring their advice. Coronavirus is now a rapidly growing pandemic that is putting countries into state of emergency. While most people tell you that COVID-19 is bad, most would be able to tell you just how bad it could end up being. Following are the few reasons why people feel inconvenient to practice “Social Distances”
1) Lack of awareness
Yes after so many efforts of our government I feel there is still lack of awareness. There is massive population in our country that is still illiterate, and we can’t deny that, who are not on twitter or follow twitter. The long queues outside mosques for their food would drag them every day to mosques in search of food. We need to supply them food and aware them boldly about repercussions of coronavirus.
This is not a one-man job, anybody who can help by providing them food and sanitizers should step up and provide them necessities. Another way of awaking them is announcements in IMAM Bargah and mosques in Under-privileged societies. Putting up banner would not help these people as they are unable to read.
Word of Mouth can help in making underprivileged aware of the intensity by providing them necessities.
2) Religious Rigidity:
Religion is supposed to bring calmness and support in times of sufferings. Religion is the fundamental source of spiritual healing and hope. It’s considered a remedy against despair, providing emotional support. Yes, this pandemic is also affecting us religiously. As we are avoiding the crowded places in such emergency conditions, we are also suggested not to go to mosques. Saudi Arabia said it was preventing foreigners from reaching to Kaaba and Madina hence stopping them from performing Umrah which indeed was alarming for all Muslim Ummah.
We still have a huge number of people who are not taking the advice of social distancing seriously by believing “death is inevitable “if our deaths are destined from coronavirus it will happen as we Muslims believe everything is written for us which indeed is true. Nobody is denying it.
But our Islam has also preached “Prevention is better than Cure”. If you are suffering from a disease and not taking medicines or going to hospital for cure this is insane, Islam does not preach this. Islam teaches us to both put our trust in Allah and utilize all the possible means to protect ourselves and our bodies.
The Qur’an teaches us, as told by the Prophet,
“Say: Nothing will afflict us except what Allah has decided for us.” [Qur’an 9:51]
“During the lifetime of the Prophet, some people thought that using medicine may go against the concept of relying on Allah [tawakkul]. Those people asked, “Messenger of Allah, should we use medicine?” The Prophet replied, “Yes, you may use medicine. Allah has not created any disease without also creating its cure, except one: old age.”[Abū Dāwūd #3855, graded ṣaḥīḥ by scholars] The Prophet clarified that the use of medicine is permissible and even encouraged and that this does not violate the concept of trust in Allah.”
The Messenger of Allah said, “An ill person should not mix with healthy people.” [Muslim #2221b] The Prophet also said, “Avoid a [contagious] disease the way a person flees from a lion.” [Bukhārī #5707]
This shows that taking all precautionary measures to avoid any pandemic is prescribed in Islam. Anything that harms other people is prohibited in Islam.
3) We are too comfortable with ourselves
One of the main reasons why people are not taking social distancing seriously is because we are reluctant to come out or our “comfort zone”. We think coronavirus can’t happen to us and it won’t come our way. Why do we think that? It’s because it has still not touched us or any of our family members. The Day it touches our Family or anybody who we know, we will start practicing aggressive social distance. But the question is why do we need it to reach us why can’t we prevent it?
Above mentioned are few reasons that I could conclude for ignoring social distances.
If you still doubt whether washing your hands really helps, take some time and watch this. More importantly, if you can, stay at home!#CoronavirusLockdown
— Dennis Kiplimo™ 🇰🇪🇰🇪 (@_ItsShark) March 25, 2020
This is serious Guys!
We need to take social distancing very seriously, avoiding all unnecessary risks that can out us in close contact with other people. Wearing a mask, sanitizing your hands, keeping yourself Germ-Free is not a tough job to do. Is it too hard for us to amend our concepts to fight a disaster? We need to stop blaming government and start doing our part to fight this pandemic. This blame game will take us nowhere but would worsen the situation.
Keep yourself safe.
Nabya Shahid is a Producer of Nadeem Malik at SAMAA TV. She was also working as a Copywriter at HUM Television Network. Prior to this, she completed an internship in Publication and Advertising at Subway in Pennsylvania US. She has also worked with Army Welfare Trust. She has been an RJ at Fatima Jinnah University’s radio channel, where she studied Media and Communication. She also worked as an editor of her university’s magazine. She has been published in Daily Times and Fortress Square Mall Magazine.