Why is everyone panicking?
Everyone has probably read a thousand articles about the coronavirus by now ("125,000 tested for coronavirus in the UAE", Gulf News, March 16). So, for a change, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves: Why are people reacting like this?
We’ve all seen movies like World War Z, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and what not. Perhaps it is a certain romanticising of these post-apocalyptic type scenarios, or a sudden influx of excessive nihilism, that in these times, whenever a slightly challenging situation is put across to mankind, our first and quickest response is – “Well, we’re all going to die anyways. Might as well needlessly stock up on canned food like Brad Pitt did in that one movie.”
It is rather comical. However, fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitiser was never part of the scene. These are times we haven’t seen before. So maybe this is instinctive? Will we listen to scientists and health organisations and band together as a people? Or will we act like reckless bunnies, being chased? Guess we’ll find out.
From Ms Amisha Bansal
Social distancing and cleanliness is very important at this moment. Containment is the priority at this moment till we find the vaccine.
From Mr Sudip Dey
Keep calm and carry on
Being prepared does not mean you have to be scared ("Coronavirus: No parties or weddings at home in Dubai", www.gulfnews.com, March 16). Being concerned doesn't mean you have to panic. And being both scared and panicked doesn't mean you can't seek an avenue to cope with the uncertainty that Covid-19 is undoubtedly causing.
This is not a contest between the complacent and the reactionary nor between those who "care" and those who are allegedly indifferent to the suffering this virus has delivered and will continue to in weeks and months ahead. How about we focus on deciding how to support each other even if we disagree about the best way to get through this ride?
In the coming weeks there will be countless public meetings and events that will be postponed or outright cancelled owing to concerns regarding the potential for a germinating seed of Covid-19 to spread to unsuspecting masses. Some of these decisions will be rational and thoughtfully arrived at. Others may seem unnecessarily formed. I am of the opinion that in the interest of the public trust and sense of security, a more cautious approach may be the better route, at least until we see what lies ahead more clearly. I won't predict when that will be, nor can anyone. Here's what I do know: Watching the news hourly and cringing at the numbers of cases that continue to mount won't help. Hoarding anything and everything from supermarkets and groceries won't help. Blaming others of a certain race, ethnicity, state of wealth or poverty won't help.
Here's what: How about making a commitment to understanding that 95 per cent of all respiratory viruses cannot be transmitted if your hands are clean? How about sanitising that mobile phone that is likely teeming with more viruses and bacteria than your toilet bowl? How about being kind to others in your family, your schools and work environments and trying to support one another? This virus is serious. Make no mistake about it. We will have difficult decisions ahead in but we can do this. The decline in rate of spread in the most devastated core of this crisis, the Wuhan province itself, has already been witnessed. I choose pragmatism. I choose optimism. I choose altruism. Keep breathing everyone. Instead of falling apart, let's come together. Even if it's not in a crowded room, we can bond in our collective fight.
From Mr Nishi Chatterjee
What has coronavrius taught the world?
The world has been hit by the coronavirus. It is a major threat that has not only infected hundreds of thousands of people around the world, but many people have also died from the virus.
With over 100 countries at risk, what lies beyond this is not the fight of these individual countries, but humanity against this deadly virus. Seeing the rising counts of people infected, health professionals working tirelessly day and night, governments taking several measures and ways to protect ourselves from this virus, I also noticed how we as one global society have come together to lend our support to those in need, in such an emergency. We are not fighting as a single nation but, as a global community who is in solidarity with each other. We are singing one anthem of unity beyond boundaries and nationality. Authorities and governments of various countries are helping those in need, irrespective of nationality.
The UAE has set a good example in this light and has, in the name of humanity and brotherhood, evacuated 200 people from the city of Wuhan, China who were not only from the UAE but form neighbouring countries as well. As one family it is important to realise that we become stronger when we stand as one in such a crisis. The UAE is built on the foundation of love for one another. Let us not forget that our fight with coronavirus is through the weapon of proper sanitation and hygiene, not through racial discrimination against certain people. Let our actions work towards keeping ourselves and others around us safe rather than hurting people’s sentiments. Stay safe and spread love.
From Ms Abigale Kyra Fernandes
The world needs to work together
The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in his regular briefing, has declared coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic ("Coronavirus: Why are people running away from quarantine in India", Gulf News, March 16). The virus is spreading at an alarming rate, and affecting people from around the world. It has spread to more than 100 countries and has caused many deaths around the world. Respective governments have taken strong measures and are continuously taking precautions to prevent further spread of this deadly coronavirus. Even media organisations are playing their role with all seriousness.
The COVID-19 virus infects people of all the ages, hence best course of action will be to cut the transmission chain of spread of the virus. Other measures like a restriction on international travel, closing of cinema halls, schools and more, are needed restrictions. If the number of cases in India rises, it will affect the country very badly. With a large population, I hope the healthcare facilities available in the country would be able to cope with the numbers. The world should unitedly fight this menace by sharing the latest medical advancements.
From Mr Ramesh G. Jethwani
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