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Why should we not normalise the COVID-19 situation?

Don't normalise the COVID-19 situation

When coronavirus broke into a pandemic on 11 March 2020, fear ran high in every country. Every nation authorised full lockdown and some countries declared emergency shutdown. News channels, public announcements, and social media platforms highlighted COVID-19 essentials. India witnessed the first biggest lockdown in history. Absence of people and vehicles on once-busy roads marked the terror of coronavirus running amidst people everywhere. For more than a month, people religiously practised the vital steps of keeping safe from the pandemic: wearing masks, using sanitisers, frequently washing hands for more than 20 seconds, and maintaining social/physical distancing.

 

Are we letting our guards down in this pandemic?

With both the pandemic and numerous lockdowns not seeming to end anytime soon, people are becoming casual with the situation. They are triggered more by social influences, politicians, and celebrities do not conform to the pandemic regulations. For instance, one or two actors caught outside of their homes without face masks are spreading an unintentional social message. The message is that COVID-19 is not ending. Nor any drug seems to be available yet, so let’s normalise the COVID-19 situation. People are easy to influence, and so they start to think the same way. Many of us are quite subtly leaving out the practice of washing hands for more than 20 seconds.

Why must we not normalise the COVID-19 situation?

An assistant professor of Health Management and Policy at Saint Louis University, Michael Rozier, fears if the majority of people start normalising with the COVID-19 situation, the pandemic may never end. Of course, everyone is craving for a sense of normalcy now, Rozier explains, but it doesn’t mean that we forget the precautions and start living life as it was before. He applauds the work of people at the service industry who are critical in spreading this awareness of precautions.

 

He says, “A lot of it does come down to relationship. A lot of change happens at that individual level, [for example] an Uber driver kind of explaining why we do this thing for each other, or a restauranteur explaining that, ‘No, this is to keep everybody safe so you actually can enjoy your evening.’”

 

We are social animals, and so we thrive in societies. We must put out solutions to help each other and come out better together.

 

Dibyasha Das