10 Things That Sri Lankans Will Have To Give Up During COVID-19 Outbreak.

New cases of COVID-19 are unfolding every day in Sri Lanka, and as of now, it has climbed up to 52. Every citizen in the country has a responsibility to help prevent it from spreading, and while doing so, there are a few things that we'll have to give up, just for a little while.

Sharing A Meal

Sharing a meal, or group-style dining is something we enjoy very much. It gives the opportunity to share stories and bond over them while showing how much we care for each other. Even strangers can become friends after sharing a meal.

You can still do this at home under proper sanitary conditions, but not as much at work because it can expose you to a contaminated person/environment.

It's not about just sitting at close proximity, but also the risk of sharing cutlery. Like we explained in one of our previous posts, you absolutely should not share utensils, and bring well-sanitised forks/spoons from home if you're eating out.

Buffeting

Buffets are self-serve, which means you'll be using utensils that have been touched and handled by many people. Plus, it includes standing in a queue with other people too. None of the above help self-distancing, and therefore you'll have to give up buffeting for a while. 

Day Outing/Trips

Awurudu holidays are right around the corner, and most of us were making plans to go on trips, or at least a day outing with the loved ones. But, the number of infected is rising by the day, and there can be thousands of cases that haven't been tested or traced yet. The government has imposed curfews and travel restrictions as a method of limiting people's capacity to go out during this pandemic, and it is our responsibility to follow them strictly, until this risk is properly mitigated.

Visiting Relatives

The life of Sri Lankans always revolves around the concept of family, which is why we have this habit of visiting relatives every now and then, even when you're not the biggest fan of them. With all the special holidays given by the government, you might feel like you have a lot of time in your hand to visit and hang out with your relatives, but always keep in mind that they were granted to keep you in your home, not theirs. 

Eating Out

Despite how much we love homemade food, we have a tendency to go out for a bite every once in a while, at least for a piece of cake. However, avoiding public places, including restaurants is highly encouraged these days to minimise one's risk of getting exposed to the virus. Which is why a lot of restaurants in the country are not catering to dine-in anymore, but they're open for delivery and takeaway for your convenience. 

Hugging Friends/Family

Hugging used to be a way of comforting someone, and showing your support and affection, but not anymore. The COVID-19 virus transmits between people who are in close contact with one another, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You might not be infected with the virus, but you can be contaminated. So, if you do care about someone, you absolutely should not hug that person during this epidemic. 

Bona Party

COVID-19 outbreak brought up a lot of myths, including the one that says "drinking vodka can kill the virus." The constant stream of news reports about the growing number of COVID-19 cases, and how we are at a risk can make us feel worried. It's a stressful time for everybody, and some of us try to find comfort in the anxiety antidote of alcohol.

However, the health experts state that consuming excessive amounts of alcohol could cause damage to immune cells in the lungs and upper respiratory system. So having drinking parties (home or somewhere else) doesn't put you at risk only because you're at a public place or with a group. Your immune system is at stake even when you chug down glasses and glasses of booze at home. A weakened immune system is the last thing that one would want during a global pandemic like this.

Working From Office

Following the rapid rise of COVID-19 positive cases in Sri Lanka, the government has been declaring special public holidays, and to align with that, most of the companies in the private sector have granted working from home facilities to their employees. The numbers are still increasing and if that goes on, there is a slight chance that we'd have to forget about working from office for a little while longer.

Awurudu Shopping

This year's awurudu festivities, including shopping, will have to be kept to a minimum. Shopping involves going to public places using public transportation and it's not worth the risk. You'll be open to contaminated surfaces and walking among crowds who have been sick or exposed to the virus (and have no idea about it). Let's keep it simple this year and help to contain this epidemic, so there will be two reasons for us to call for a celebration later.

Going To Salon/Spa

Looking your best is important at all times, and of course, relieving stress and anxiety is much needed these days. But, you might have to put these plans on hold for a bit and let your hair grow a little longer as avoiding human contact as much as possible is highly recommended during this pandemic. 

However, we also noticed that there are a few salons and spas that have been taking very serious sanitary precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. But, it's a tricky choice that you have to make here, given that it is still the period of self-quarantine.

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