IS SOCIAL DISTANCING NECESSARY

When the Prime minister announced the 21 days curfew to control the spread of the global pandemic outbreak all the news channels were buzzing with headlines regarding the dos and don’ts of the curfew. Even though the country has had many curfews before, this was my first experience. So I went through the statute carefully to understand it better and this word kept repeating in every headline “SOCIAL DISTANCING“.

The literal meaning of social distancing is to isolate ourselves from people around us and Yeah as per the rule I confined myself to a room chilling with Netflix and the only time I come out was to have food. By doing so I was pretty happy that I was helping the government in my own way to stop the spread of the virus and also checked out with my friends to know whether they are following the rule of social distancing are not.

Days passed but still the count of the affected people did not stabilize and even worse they increased. This surprised me a lot because all the people known to me were following the rules of the curfew and very few people who disobeyed ended butt thrashed by the police. So how come the virus is still spreading?

Image Credit: Reuters

I Googled and found that Country like India has 90% of the workforce from the casual labor sector who are either migrants from other states or people below the poverty line. When the lockdown was announced these vulnerable people were hit the hardest because they depend on daily wages for their living and do not save money for the future as all typical Indians usually do(which is a great habit to keep up), this made them jobless having no food to eat and to an add-on, they couldn’t return to their villages as all the transports where shutdown. Ultimately they started wandering the streets crowded or seek refuge in the homeless shelter where no social distancing measures were in place. Some amongst them also say that “they would die out of hunger rather than the virus itself”.

I wondered how come many including me didn’t even know that situations like this prevail. I was soo self-absorbed all these days and didn’t even bother to care about what is actually happening around. It was then I realized that Social distancing was only to the physical self and not to the social thought.

Eventually, I started to implicate myself in the social turmoil happening around and collected some solutions that I think we could do to address the issue.

SO WHAT CAN BE DONE:

  • Many NGOs have already started working to provide food all around the cities for the homeless but their supplies are less compared to the suffering people out there, so we can give a helping hand to them by either volunteering ourselves or replenish their stocks by providing funds.
  • We can involve ourselves in community forums or social groups to see how we can help in our area.
  • Collectively we could form action groups with the support of municipal co-operation and start a community kitchen to serve food for the one in need.
  • Schools, hostels, auditoriums, etc are already acting as shelters for the homeless but still, there is a need for extra space, so if we could arrange some temporary shelters for the suffering it would be a great help.

Hence, by being socially aware of what is actually happening around and maintaining the social distance only through the body may open up countless ideas to address various social distress happening around.

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