Three weeks have elapsed since the new coronavirus threw my life into disarray. What has changed? A lot. I was cautious, to begin with, but I was unafraid to go out: to parks, restaurants and shopping malls. Now I’ve become more of a homebody. My only trip daily is to the office.
Spontaneity has gone out of my life. Every move is carefully planned. I don’t do things at the spur of the moment. Maybe, life has become a bit boring. But I’m fine with it. When you are faced with a global pandemic, you have to make compromises. You don’t want to mess with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
I no longer hang out with friends or call on relatives. And I absolutely hate anyone visiting us. Who knows where they have been. Call me a hypochondriac, I’m not willing to take chances.
I still go to the office, because my job requires it. And I’m home before the curfew kicks in. I do work from home when the situation demands. That’s mostly on the weekends.
These are extraordinary times. So we have to take every possible step to protect ourselves and our families.
Thursday’s tennis was a major casualty. That was my only sporting activity. I’ve also stopped by daily morning walk on the Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah and replaced it with yoga in my living room.
Eating out on weekends, that’s not happening any more. We order in food, these days. It’s working out cheaper. So no complaints on that score.
As for shopping, it’s limited to groceries. That’s done mostly on afternoons when there are fewer people in shops. Maybe, on an odd occasion, you might find me nipping into a supermarket in the evening. That’s only if it’s urgent.
It’s only prudent to take precautions
I don’t think these measures are extreme. My decisions are solely driven by logic and common sense.
I’ve always said I’m not scared of the new coronavirus. I’m still not afraid. That’s because of the very low mortality rate — it still hovers slightly above 3 per cent.
Then why would I go to such lengths to protect myself? Given the alarming speed of infections — around 640,000 cases in 202 countries and territories have been reported — it’s only prudent to take precautions.
I don’t know how good is my immunity. I certainly don’t want to find out. Not when a virus is running amok.
I often ask myself: Do I miss anything? Yes, of course. I have always been an active person. I miss the outdoors. I miss its sights and sounds: the birds tittering in the parks, the undulating waters of the Khalid Lagoon, the swaying palms on the Buheirah Corniche. I miss travelling too.
These are extraordinary times. So we have to take every possible step to protect ourselves and our families. When we protect ourselves, we are safeguarding the community and the country from the rampaging pathogen.
In this fight, we are the soldiers. Let’s all take precautions and follow government guidelines to keep everybody safe. It’s our responsibility. I'm doing my bit. Do yours, please.