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View of a near empty Ittihad Road in Sharjah as people respect the call for social distancing. Image Credit: Gulf News

Stay home, stay safe and save the UAE. And the world too. Given the stunning speed of infections caused by the new coronavirus, it won’t be a surprise if much of the world goes into lockdown.

Many countries are on lockdown and some others have declared national emergencies. That gives us an idea of the danger facing the world.

The fatalities resulting from the COVID-19 is minuscule (3.4 per cent) considering the massive number of infections. Yet the stats are scary: more than 16,000 deaths and over 375,000 cases in 195 countries and areas. These numbers are rising every day.

The COVID-19 is a contagion. It may not be in the league of the Spanish flu. But it’s a pandemic nevertheless. We have to be worried.

There’s even talk of a looming global recession. That’s not at all comforting.

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Look around you. Look at the UAE. Look at other countries too. Everything is closed. Well, almost everything.

Schools, colleges and universities are shut in the UAE. Distance learning may keep education going, but the skills gained from social interaction can’t be acquired online.

Malls, cinemas, restaurants, parks and public facilities are no longer open. So where do we go? Whatever happened to hanging out at the malls.

Consider the economic consequences. People don’t travel anymore. They've stopped buying cars, real estate and other non-essential stuff. Job losses and salary cuts will follow; some companies have already wielded the axe.

If we have to turn the clock back, we have to stop the pandemic. The march the virus has to be halted. Only then can we put the economy back on track.

How can we contain the spread of the virus? The best solution is to break the chain of transmission. It can only be achieved by limiting our exposure to the pathogen. That would mean remaining indoors. Which is why all affected countries are asking people to stay home. We in the UAE too have to remain indoors.

Staying home makes you safe. Your family too. Your community becomes safer. The country and the world will soon return to normality.

Staying home is a sacrifice. For a mobile generation like us, it is painful to remain indoors. That’s why it’s a sacrifice. But it’s no sacrifice like the ones our grandparents made. They left home and hearth to fight the Second World War. Some of our parents or their peers wore the uniform to fight for their country. Our sacrifice pales in comparison. It’s still a sacrifice.

Let’s stay at home. Watch TV. Read books. Cook food. Or order home deliveries. Chat online and talk to each other. Our family bonds and friendships will grow stronger.

It will help stop the virus. And heal the Earth.

Then we can return to the streets and parks. Our economies will flourish. Jobs will return. And maybe we would have saved the world too.

So stay home. Stay safe.