The fear of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has perpetuated into every aspect of our lives. It has in essence changed the way the whole world functions- the way we work, play and learn has been altered. Many people have been asked to work from home, sporting events have been cancelled or delayed indefinitely and schools and colleges have been closed with no signs of opening in the near future. As of March 22 2020, the government of Nagaland announced a lockdown of the state; commercial vehicles have been ordered off the road, public movement restricted and all interstate entry points sealed with exceptions only for essential commodities, pharmacies, fuel stations and movement of personnel providing emergency services. Commissioner of Police, Dimapur, Rothihu Tetso has announced that Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code would be clamped in Dimapur starting March 24, in-order to mitigate the possible effects of Covid-19. Serious steps are being taken up by officials to prevent an outbreak of the disease in our state. So now, we as citizens must focus on our duties to aid in this effort.
Social distancing is perhaps the most important step to keeping the disease in check. Put simply, the idea is to maintain a distance between you and other people, preferably a distance of at least six feet. It also means minimising contact with people, this strategy saved thousands of lives during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and more recently the Mexico City Flu pandemic in 2009. The young may think that the risk factors for them are much lower than older individuals, but they are by no means immune and may spread the disease to loved ones that may be affected more harshly by the virus. When you do have to leave your home for essential resources, it is crucial to wipe down any surfaces you may touch and disinfect your hands with alcohol-based sanitisers and avoid touching your face. Currently, it is unknown how long we as a community need to adhere to social distancing practices; we’re in unchartered territory.
This new strain of coronavirus is spreading fast, and currently there is no known vaccines and thus fear associated with it is understandable. However, at this juncture, fear is our greatest enemy. Panic buying was seen in both Kohima and Dimapur on March 23. While preparedness is good, it can deprive frontline healthcare workers and emergency service providers of essential supplies and create further hysteria amidst the social and emotional isolation from social distancing. The solution is to remain connected not physically but virtually. From sharing verified and credible content on social media, organising book club-meetings online, streaming gym classes together, to aiding frontline workers in whatever way possible. Checking up on elderly people as well as friends and family members, through FaceTime and WhatsApp, or playing together on a gaming site, or even just connecting through the telephone. Whether it is making TikTok videos, liking and sharing meme, videos and photos on Facebook and Instagram, tweeting on the twitterverse, millions of people are going through this together, and we could all come out of this more connected to family, friends and community than ever before.