Getting Back To Normalcy; Dos and Don’ts.

We're trying not to jinx it, but for the first time in weeks, the residents of COVID-19 high-risk zones (Colombo, Kalutara and Puttalam districts) heard some promising news. While the curfew is in force, the Government has decided to resume civilian life and state and private sector activities in these districts, from the 11th of May 2020 (Monday). 
 
It's still too early to make assumptions or jump into conclusions about how this would affect the number of COVID-19 infected in Sri Lanka, but, we all have a responsibility in mitigating it from spreading. Therefore, despite the fact that we have an opportunity to get back to normalcy, we need to take it one step at a time.

Be Vigilant

We're still at the beginning of this pandemic so it can still take a turn for the worst if we're not careful. If we make a misstep, slip away from taking necessary health, hygiene and safety precautions, or simply avoid paying attention to the facts related to the pandemic, we'll have to go through the whole thing again.

Therefore, be vigilant and prepared, but don't panic. Catch up on the news on a daily basis, keep an eye on the number of positive cases and where they're from, and basically, be aware of your surroundings; it's quite important. 

Stay Indoors 

Easing up this curfew is an attempt to revive the economy, but let's not misuse that opportunity by treating it like some sort of new-found freedom. Being cooped up at home for over a month hasn't been easy on many of us, but in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from this virus, it is necessary to stay indoors – unless it's absolutely essential that you step out; to carry out tasks like buying medicine and groceries.

Keep the pin on all the missed awurudu and upcoming Ramadan visits to your neighbour's/relative's/friend's place for another few weeks until this situation is properly handled. Because, right now, home is the safest place for you, so let's not risk contaminating it.

Wear A Mask

Whether it be stepping out to grab groceries/meds or going to work, make sure to wear a mask. It was made mandatory by the Police for all in Sri Lanka to wear a face mask when travelling on main roads and by roads, despite the time of the day, or the fact you have a curfew pass or not. It will help you prevent from catching the virus, given that you use it in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Also, disposing of the mask after using should be done properly as well.

One Meter Apart

Social distancing has become to known as one of the most effective methods of preventing COVID-19 from spreading. COVID-19 spreads through breathing in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets and being at a close distance to them will expose you to the virus. This is why it's important to maintain at least 1m distance among each other at all times. 

Keep Washing Hands

A habit that should not be forgotten, even when this pandemic is all fought off from the world. Keeping your hands clean will protect you from COVID-19, and probably many other unknown viruses that spread in the same way. Make sure you scrub all the surfaces of your hands when you do it – including the back of hands, between fingers and under nails, for at least 20 seconds. You can easily use a hand sanitiser for this purpose too.

Avoid Public Gatherings/Places

Hitting the bars, hanging out with friends, dining at your favourite restaurant, going to parties/events – we all could use a dose of them amid this hard time. Unfortunately, you have to wait a little bit longer before doing any of these things, because all of them are public places/gatherings that would put you at the risk of catching the virus.

The measurements of social distancing were introduced to keep you away from coming into close contact with the silent spreaders. Majority of the restaurants and bars will probably open for a limited number of hours, but it's your responsibility to think it through and decide how you want to protect your health.

Luckily, many a restaurant in Colombo is delivering food during curfew hours, and if by any chance you choose to dine in, make sure that you follow all the steps possible to minimise your contact with others.

Carry A Bottle Of Hand Sanitiser

A hand sanitiser in your bag comes in handy when you travel back and forth between your home and workplace, and have no access to water and/or soap to keep your hands clean. You might be using your personal vehicle for transportation, but even then, keeping a bottle of hand sanitiser with you won't do any bad.

Stick To Delivery

Ever since the imposing of the curfew, many companies, platforms and shops got to explore new avenues in terms of delivery and mobilise their services. From food and groceries to meds and money, you can get most of the essentials delivered to your doorstep now.

There were many complaints regarding these services when they started off, mainly because everything happened so quickly that they couldn't make themselves ready for the sudden change. But as of now, they've improved a lot. While these delivery services are entitled to a delivery fee, they'll prevent you from placing yourself in the middle of a supermarket crowd, which is more or less a public gathering.

So unless it's something that you cannot grab off online shelves, sticking to delivery amid this critical time seems more convenient, safe and healthy.

No Weekend Getaways

As of now, Sri Lanka has over 700 COVID-19 patients (05/05/05 7.45 AM) but thanks to all the immense efforts made by our health and military authorities, we're not at the stage of a community transmission yet. But, it doesn't mean that the hard time is over; there's no telling how this whole situation would turn upside down.

If everything goes smoothly, there's a possibility that hotels and airfare prices will be attractively cheap in the upcoming months. It's very tempting, really, but have a little patience. We'll gradually learn how to live with this virus while enjoying our lives, but for now, let's take it slow. The more careful we are, the sooner we can get back to our normal lifestyle.

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