Wake up, get dressed and stay home, it's the safe thing to do

Videos of the police in the UAE exhorting people to go inside.

By Bikram Vohra

Published: Wed 25 Mar 2020, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 25 Mar 2020, 11:37 PM

Why is it so difficult for people to stay home? I am watching TV and multiple scenes of police in India whacking restless backsides of those who have been unable to stay indoors on the first morning of a lockdown of a nation.
Videos of the police in the UAE exhorting people to go inside. The leaders of the nation literally urging folks to please do the right thing. And yet, they are enough of them out, cheerfully breaking the shackles of the confinement which ironically, is for their own good. At Salam street an electronic sign says stay home. If they were doing it there would be no need for the sign.
Husbands telling wives, sorry, dear, have to go to work. Adult children telling 60 plus parents, are you crazy, the hell with the business. Family members screaming hoarse from other countries, stay home mum and dad, never mind if you lose your job.
They won't lose their job or their deal but will they listen.somebody I know wanted to see if he could play golf.
No, you don't need your evening walk, you want to walk go round the dining table.
Thing is you cannot be half pregnant. Similarly, you cannot be safe if half your colleagues and neighbours are happily on the loose because they have this misbegotten idea that they are indispensable and, therefore, cannot afford to take the very strong advisories.
You will be surprised how the world carries on without you. More eloquently and harshly, you continue defying the so far unofficial requests, you amplify the risk of not being in this world. If that is your boat go ahead and float in it but when your self-created free pass is a danger to the others then one has to say, hey, stop it, go inside and stay there.
The only way until the vaccine materializes to hold the fort is to avoid each other. We are 90 of us so to speak in the Alamo and Santa Anna's huge army surrounds us. We will lose the war if we do not circle the wagons and wake up to reality.
So don't call me for dinner, just the six of us. No don't. No need to go for a drive even if the kids are going nuts. Live with it.at least you are alive. Last count 400, 000 people had been stricken and the bells had tolled for nearly 19,000 lives. And you want to have dinner with a friend because how much Netflix can you watch,yes, need company.
At the moment it is still polite and left to your own good sense. But very soon, the authorities will have to come down hard on the minority who cannot wrap their heads around the very simple equation: stay home, stay alive, stay well.
Okay, agree, it is not easy. Well, not in our lifetimes have we been faced with such a situation so easy is not even on the cards. It is very tough, like climbing Everest without oxygen and we need to pace ourselves. Staying home also calls for patience, co-operation and understanding. Yes, we are in each other's way but I'd rather that than be out of the way forever.
There is a psychological side of being hemmed in on order. It is natural to resent this imposition. One psychologist i know told me that 'stir crazy' (what happens to prisoners) is a very real condition and we should expect irritation, waspishness, impatience and even temper tantrums because of the cooped up factor. If we speak to a few they might give some tips on how to handle things.
I quote: people who suspect they may have come into contact with the coronavirus are being advised to self-isolate (stay at home) for 14/21 days. For some people, the idea of self-isolation may seem like a dream come true. For others, the idea of being cut off from the outside world, alone or with only a few close family members, will fill them with dread - ask any parent who has had to entertain two small children at home on a wet afternoon.
When people are stuck indoors for long periods of time, they can report getting "cabin fever" or feel like they are going "stir crazy". Observations from actual or simulated space missions or people living in confined spaces, such as those spending a winter on polar stations, also suggest that some people may find self-isolating more difficult than others. However, there are some simple measures that you can take to help you adapt.
One is to not fight the logic and stress over it. See the sense in it and do it.
I am working from home now. The rhythm takes time but thanks to a highly workable Internet system and the magic of communications it can be done. Make the best of it and stay safe.not stupid.
- bikram@khaleejtimes.com 

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