By the time this is published, the Luzon-wide quarantine will have been extended until 30 April.
Let’s all have a moment of silence (and a collective groan).
There’s no doubt that this will take a toll on everyone. At this point, boredom is nothing compared to the imminent threats of hunger, disease, and financial ruin facing a lot of people. Having to choose between risking exposure to covid-19 and risking having nothing to feed your family with is not a choice at all.
On the other hand, failing to contain the virus would lead to consequences that are too painful and devastating to think about. I certainly don’t envy the people in charge. They have very tough decisions to make in the coming days, and whatever they decide, there will be tumult.
It’s all too easy to feel helpless these days, but if those of us who can would abide by the social distancing guidelines, that could go a significant way towards #FlatteningTheCurve.
So, now, three, four weeks into the quarantine, let’s review the most important ones, shall we?
1. As much as possible, STAY AT HOME.
This is obvious, but it is worth repeating. Sad as it sounds, now is not the time for gatherings, whether it’s at a restaurant or at a friends’ house. This applies to all ages as well, so, yes, the ban includes playdates.
If you’re in need of some socialization, stick to calling, texting, or even teleconferencing with your loved ones. Zoom, Messenger, and Skype are all great options, and they’re free.
Should you come down with mild symptoms like a headache or a runny nose, stay home until you recover rather than immediately going to the hospital. Why? This won’t just keep you safe, but will also keep the facilities from getting unnecessarily overcrowded.
2. If you absolutely need to go to the grocery or the pharmacy, observe the proper precautions.
That said, you might have no choice but to go out for essentials at some point. When this happens, don’t bring family members along for company. Furthermore, don’t linger longer than you should. Write up a list of everything you need to get and leave the store once you get all of them.
Also, stay at least 6 feet away from other people. Unless you’re going to buy something, don’t pick it up to take a closer look. If you need assistance from grocery staff, call their attention from a safe distance.
Lastly, observe no. 3.
3. Put on a mask whenever you leave the house.
For yours and for everyone else’s protection. You wouldn’t want to inhale some potentially contagious droplets if someone sneezes in your vicinity, as well as vice versa.
Another thing you should always have on your person these days is a small bottle of ethyl alcohol or hand sanitizer. This is so that you can always keep your hands clean even if there isn’t any soap and water around.
You should also have a pack of tissues with you, in case you need to sneeze or blow your nose. It goes without saying that you should dispose of used tissues properly as well (i.e., into a trash bin).
4. Dispose of your PPEs responsibly.
Word of advice: surgical masks and gloves should only be used once. When you’re done with them, you should throw them away. DO NOT REUSE DISPOSABLE MASKS AND GLOVES.
Again, do not leave them lying on the ground or mix them with your other garbage. Instead, have a separate garbage bag for all the soiled and used PPEs and tissues. Label this accordingly and help protect our garbage collectors on the front lines.
5. Use cashless options whenever possible.
Unfortunately, we can’t sanitize paper bills as easily as we do other things. Don’t be like that woman who literally burned money when she microwaved bills to disinfect them.
It’s precisely because of this that we should avoid using cash these days. All sorts of germs and bacteria lurk in paper bills and coins since they pass through so many hands. To be safe, go for contactless payment options whenever you can. Credit cards, debit cards, payment apps, and online banking are all great options.
As a bonus, going cashless means no one has to fret about coming up with the correct change. Win-win.
6. Avoid physical contact when greeting people.
If you really must meet someone face to face, refrain from shaking their hand or bussing them on the cheek. Stick to safer, contactless forms of greeting, such as bowing, waving, or nodding.
7. Wash your hands regularly and properly.
Here’s how to do it properly:
On second thought, you should still practice this even in the absence of a pandemic.
It’s undoubtedly a strange time to be alive. These days, a hug or a kiss is a potential weapon, and staying away from the people we hold dear, such as our elderly parents, is an act of love. Covid-19 has indeed turned the world upside down.
Still, all storms run out of rain. Let’s ride this one out by doing all we can to shelter in place.