In the wake of the recent and rapid outbreak of the coronavirus, and the World Health Organisation’s declaration of the disease COVID-19 as a pandemic, various countries have taken precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus. The most widely recommended and followed precautionary measure has been that of self-quarantine and self-isolation.
While we are fighting the spread of a potentially deadly mutated virus, people have been coming together figuratively to practice social isolation – the practice of staying at home and limiting our movement outside the house only for essential tasks. Many have voluntarily cancelled their travel plans. Public and private organisations providing travel services have also cancelled flights, trains and busses to do their part to support prevention measures.
Educational institutions were among the first organisations to declare holidays to support social isolation as a preventive measure for their students and staff. Other workplaces soon followed suit and switched to options of working from home and working together on various online platforms to complete the day’s work and keep the economy going. Hospitals and health care workers, on the other hand, are working overtime to ensure that everyone who is need of medical attention gets it swiftly.
Self-isolation and self-quarantine are not just ways of preventing the contraction of the virus, it is also a way of being considerate towards those around you. Based on one’s general state of health and immunity, anyone could be a passive carrier of the virus, i.e. one could be carrying the virus and yet not show any symptoms or contract the disease as one’s immune system is able to fight the virus. It is heartening to see the unity with which people across communities have adopted this practice to do their bit towards the wellbeing of all of humanity.
While self-isolation is an option for many, there are also daily wage earners whose work and income suffers due to self-isolation. Rickshaw drivers, vegetable vendors, grocery store owners and many others have been silently supporting the basic functions of our lives as well. Let us continue to practice self-isolation and other precautionary measures such as washing our hands regularly and wearing masks so that we can support those who cannot entirely self-isolate.
Together, we can.