#StayHome campaign helps UAE residents fight Covid-19 spread

coronavirus in uae, dubai social distancing

Dubai - Many citizens and residents are voluntarily abandoning simple pleasures of life for now.

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By Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 10:53 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 3:27 PM

A new campaign urging residents to #StayHome is gaining ground in the UAE, with several deciding to stay put in order to flatten the curve of the spreading coronavirus. The campaign is among the several initiatives the country has launched to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Many citizens and residents are voluntarily abandoning simple pleasures of life for now. They are practising social distancing and avoiding restaurants and malls. Parks, beaches and other leisure destinations were temporarily shut by the government on Saturday.

Shilpa Akula, who otherwise meets friends regularly, shared her experience of virtual socialising. "Some of my building friends and I decided to video chat and wished each other good health and happiness in these trying times. It felt really nice."

Sarah Francis, a British expat living in the UAE, said: "It's in everyone's interest to stay at home and to minimise contact with each other. Otherwise the virus will have a protracted impact. If it keeps spreading rapidly, it will not only have a damaging health effect but also adverse economic consequences for societies. So let us all be patient, resilient and let it pass."

Echoing similar sentiments Savio Ceaser, a businessman in Dubai. "Social distancing as a phrase has rapidly entered the current lexicon. But what we are mainly doing is temporarily increasing our physical distance. It is not social disconnection. So, while I am spending more time at home now, I am catching up with old friends and cousins through video calls. All these years, I'd been so mired in work and other engagements that I wasn't in touch with many of them."
Stay positive
Dr Sonakshi Ruhela, Head of Academics for Humanities, Arts and Applied Sciences at Amity University Dubai, shrugged off the general sense of apocalypse. "We should not see the current situation of 'social distancing' as 'emotional distancing'.

"I support the UAE's #StayHome campaign. We must learn to establish new routines to remain fulfilled every day. It also gives us an opportunity to pick up hobbies and connect with our families.
Act responsibly
Experts are urging people to act responsibly. Medics all over the world are calling on residents to stay home.

"Some people are failing to understand that physical distancing is important now. The seriously ill are being isolated in hospitals and other places. But it's the ones who have mild symptoms of coronavirus who tend to become silent carriers of the disease. They are ones who need to practise self-isolation. Therefore, as there is no prophylactic treatment available for this, prevention is the best option," said Dr Maan Jamal, Pulmonologist, Emirates Hospital Jumeirah.
#StayHomeUAE: For yourself, for your loved ones, for the nation
If you are staying home, tell us how is it going. Post a video or photo of your #IStayHomeFor initiative and tag #khaleejtimes. #FlattentheCurve #BeatCovid19

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