Let's join hands (not literally) to fight the virus

coronavirus, covid-19, join hands

Covid-19 has brought about a huge change in the way we live and conduct our business.

By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)

Published: Sun 8 Mar 2020, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 Mar 2020, 4:40 PM

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. About 108,000 are infected with the novel coronavirus. For a disease that has infected less than 0.0014 per cent of the world's population (fatally infecting less than 0.000046 per cent), Covid-19 sure has brought about a huge change in the way most of us live and the way we conduct our business. Events of all ilk -- sport, business, entertainment... you name it -- are getting postponed or shelved all around us.
Spectator-free events are in. Dubai just hosted the Super Saturday races without a soul in the audience (media, sponsors and, of course, horse connections were present at the event) while we've now been told that the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, scheduled for March 22, will be held without fans in attendance. Meetings are getting rescheduled like nobody's business while employees are urging their employers to suspend the fingerprint biometric attendance systems in the favour of healthier work-from-home arrangement. Office premises and showrooms are adopting a hygiene-first approach as their new secret to success (stress-free employees + customers = success) and home delivery of everything - from groceries to cooked food and from fuel to medicine - is the new normal.
I never thought I'd say this but thermal scanners are becoming commonplace - not just at airports and other exit/entry points, but also in some other places where individuals may have to necessarily congregate, like embassies and consulates. Nurseries, schools, colleges and other educational institutes (including coaching and training centres) are on an advanced spring break. But, in this case, schools disrupted does not equal education interrupted. The UAE is fast adapting to a long-distance learning ecosystem, setting up online modules and classrooms as the physical ones undergo massive sterilisation.
Greetings in the time of coronavirus, too, are getting a bit, ermm, distant. No handshakes but foot-taps are okay. No nose-rubs but grins are welcome. No hugs or pecks on the cheek but flying kisses are fine. As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. A smile goes a long way in saying 'I care enough to not shake your hand and leave you vulnerable.' All these may seem weird and alien to someone who just woke up from a three-month slumber, but as we all know now, we must join hands (figuratively speaking, of course), to beat this novel nuisance.

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