A few days ago, the Sindh government imposed a lockdown in the province due to Covid-19.
Though a lot of responsible citizens took it upon themselves to socially distance themselves, apparently, some did not grasp the meaning of a lockdown. For instance, when the government announced that no prayers should be held in mosques, a lot of extremists targeted the government for being anti-religion.
Moreover, last Friday, a group of people clashed with the police when they began stopping people from offering Jummah prayers inside mosques. What people need to understand is that when they go outside without a genuine reason, which includes the purchase of groceries or medication, they are not just putting their lives at risk, but can also unintentionally infect others and put immense strain on our country’s medical resources. If you have a hard time convincing your loved ones to stay home, here are some tips you can try:
Remind them how their selfish act can impact others negatively
As we have already mentioned above, social distancing is not just about the safety of individuals, it is about the safety of others too. If your family is still going on about their daily lives, such as planning meet-ups and dining out, they are increasing the risk of exposing themselves and our vulnerable population to the virus. Asymptomatic individuals can pass it on their parents or grandparents which can result in dire health consequences. Ultimately, the power rests in your hands to keep yourself and your family and neighbours safe.
Don’t give them a morbid reminder of the death toll, share stories of survival
While keeping yourself up to date with the latest Covid-19 news in the world is a good thing, there also something called information overload. Don’t tell them the confirmed number of cases or the mortality rate, as these statistics will only make them panic or lose hope. Instead, tell them the stories of people who have recovered so they can see a light at the end of the tunnel and stay strong.
Suggest productive things to do at home
As much as we want, we cannot just yell, “don’t go outside”. It will not be as effective as you might think. It is important to reason and have alternative things to do at home to keep one entertained. If they still want to go outside, tell them to get groceries for people in the neighbourhood who are more susceptible to the virus.
Showcase your concern
No doubt, we are currently living in a dreary world. But the one thing that connects us all is our humanity. We need to be non-judgmental, empathetic and kind now more than ever. When someone comes to you with conspiracy theories about the virus or fake news they read on Whatsapp, don’t use a harsh tone with them as that will only make them more rebellious. Sit them down and help them clear their misconceptions in a calm manner.
Whether it is science or religion, now is not the time to engage in a futile debate. Everyone is entitled to their own views and beliefs and it can be tough to change them overnight. Deciding What’s right or wrong is not your duty. Hence, try to be understanding and hear the person out.
Get someone else to act as an intermediary
If you have had an argument with the family member, they’ll want to act out and will probably not take heed to any advice you have to offer. Instead of talking to that person yourself, try to get a middleman, someone whom he/she listens to and respects.
Right now, each one of us has a duty to perform. While health professionals are doing their best to stop the virus from spreading, we have to do everything in our power to support them. And right now, that’s as simple as staying home. It might not be as hard as their job, but it certainly is as important as theirs.