By Isha Sadiq Haider
14 million victims and counting…
Over half a million fatalities…
And we are in cognitive combat with the belligerent question of HOW has this minuscule yet sadistic virus ubiquitously taken over the world!?
Things got worse after 239 experts in 32 countries have asserted in their research paper the ‘airborne’ nature of the virus. The virus can linger in the air for three hours and can infect those nearby, claims the study.
Despite the alternative claims, we are not in a position to deny that there is yet a lot to be revealed about this conniving virus, which is why it becomes a non-negotiable imperative for us to remain diligent and vigilant for the securities of ourselves, our families, and our community.
That is exactly what we are doing… right?
No! We are not, and I’ll tell you why.
Not to be misunderstood here, yes, many amongst us are dutifully endeavouring to abide by the guidelines and resources published by regulatory bodies on combatting this indomitable contagion. Yet, there remain a few adamant characters who are taking this global pandemic like some run-of-the-mill drill!
Without conscientiously adopting the preventing measures as provided by the respective Ministry of Health, for instance wearing masks outdoors at all times, responsible physical distancing, or sanitizing periodically, some individuals are wandering out of their homes without paying heed to any of these necessities. I believe that THIS precarious disposition is precisely what is causing such a drastic increase in the numbers worldwide and primarily in countries leading on the spectrum.
Oh, please! None of my friends are wearing one! Nothing’s gonna happen…
The surge in overall recoveries is acknowledged and appreciated, BUT it is critical that we are mindful of how a single strain of virus initially identified in a minuscule city in China has transcended its way across the map destroying communities in its path.
And what is deterring it from doing it again?
Also Read: Let’s think outside the Corona Box
In that light, the intellectual adult must comprehend that they are not only jeopardizing their own lives but also the lives of those surrounding them whenever they chose to take off that mask or overrule the distancing guidelines.
Until a vaccine is developed and administered to the last of the populace, all of us must act as responsible citizens and prevent the transmission, whereby protecting those with increased risk of severe illness following COVID19 contraction.
This ‘high-at-risk’ segment is not only confined to older adults with a declining immune system, but as per Janet Lord, the Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham in England, the risk group also includes overweight individuals, those consuming an unbalanced diet, and those with a Vitamin D deficiency. In that light, the risk of serious illness after Covid19 transmission is not just limited to the elderly, as is currently the perception of many, but rather is a mammoth threat facing a majority of our community.
I don’t need to wear a mask with my friends or relatives outdoors… What will they think?
Fear of pervasive apprehension is blanketing almost all of us. It, however, needs to be evaluated in the light of logic in the present milieu.
When meeting friends or extended family outdoors is concerned, the risk of transmission becomes even greater as we overlook major physical distancing protocols due to the ‘false perception of security’ introjecting our subconscious psyche.
This ideology is eccentric because due to the proximity of relation, rather than ardently endeavoring to protect our loved ones from any possible contraction, we choose to expose them to a loftier threat to their lives by overlooking preventive guidelines such as physical distancing and conversing through a mask!
“The more masked people in public, the less opportunity for the virus to spread… Much of the spread comes from asymptomatic hosts… A cloth mask decreases the amount of virus that can spread from person to person, and is better than wearing no mask at all,” clarifies Dr. Henry Redel, the Chief of Infectious Diseases in the United States of America.
That’s not all, innumerable studies and research reports evidence the meaningful impact of wearing masks outdoors at all times, more so because experts agree that the capricious COVID19 virus can travel in small droplets in air for three hours, rather than simply falling to the ground. Consequently, the significance of wearing masks becomes all the more fundamental.
It is understood that we are hesitant to wear masks due to our culture of meeting and greeting each other using our facial expressions, and that the past couple of months have been a mighty challenge for all of us in terms of social congruence, but we must realize that we are all in this together.
In such times, our personality does not only define OUR personal reality but also that of others. It is high time that we extend ourselves to put our community ahead of us to fight this battle as ONE. So, let us restrain our laconic attitude from spreading this contagion any further, and for the wellbeing of each other, recognize that a responsible attitude is quintessential to our triumph against this pandemic and for achieving the tranquillity we are all seeking.
A contributor for The Dispatch and The Eastern Herald, the writer is the owner of two K-12 schools in India, one of which has been granted CBSE affiliation. She is an MBA in Information Technology & Finance with several years of work experience in KPMG Tax in Kuwait. She is also a published poet and writer.