“This ain’t the first time you’ve come to haunt us
And it won't be the last either.
You thought you could break the species,
But all you did is to bring us together.”
The ongoing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, christened as COVID-19 broke out in December 2019 originating in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The contagion responsible for the transmission and spread of this deadly virus is respiratory droplets produced during coughing and sneezing. Its symptoms are akin to flu and pneumonia which are dry cough, high fever, chest pain and breathlessness.
Unprecedented is the word that will define this period. On 11 March,2020 the WHO officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Ever since, we have witnessed a variety of reactions across the globe. The medical fraternity is working relentlessly and untiringly to help all the victims suffering with the disease. They have stepped up care giving to the point of being exhausted themselves. Selflessly they work despite being the most vulnerable people in the frontline.
People all over the world are faced with an odd crisis of physical isolation. Countries like China, Italy, Spain, France etc which are badly hit have had to resort to a complete lockdown. Many are confined to their homes and “Work from Home” has become the norm in order to stop its spread. The fear of an economic slowdown and recession too has gripped the entire world. Countries all over have closed their borders thereby bringing trade, tourism and travel almost to a grinding halt. News channels and social media have taken the Herculean task to inform, educate and update people. Their effort to avoid panic and chaos are laudable.
The SCS fraternity too has shown its solidarity in adhering to and carrying out government orders. The last exam for classes 4 & 5 had to be cancelled. Furthermore, the administrative, teaching and non-teaching faculty have been working from home since 20th March. Luckily before the lockdown the teaching faculty was empowered with an important tool “blogging” to facilitate the online teaching-learning process.
Are we doing something concrete or are we mere spectators? A question each country and each individual have a different answer to. But what I know is that everyone is in it together so we all have to act responsibly. While there isn’t currently a vaccine or cure for coronavirus, there is a lot that we can still do to protect ourselves and our health. Many of these are common practices that we already do every day.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, avoid crowded locations like malls, theatres, and sports venues.
Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places—elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Avoid Nonessential travel.
Bill Gates says the COVID-19 is a reminder that all of us are equal, regardless of culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. It is reminding us by oppressing us for a short time, of those whose whole life is spent in oppression. It is reminding us how precious health is, that we are all connected, of how important our family is, the shortness of life, of how materialistic we have become, of our true job of looking after and protecting each other, to keep our egos in check, that the power of free will is in our hands, that the Earth is sick and we need to look after it.
The time is NOW, the place is HERE and WE are the people. Let us choose to see this as a great corrector instead of a disaster. Let’s unite to fight the invisible enemy and emerge victorious. Till then Stay Home, Stay Safe.
Mrs. R. Gabriel
St. Columbas (MS)