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Why we all need to act responsibly with the coronavirus

Denise talks about the importance of social distancing and how it protects people in our society

Written by Denise Harding and posted in voices

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There has been a lot of talk about social distancing in the past week. This means minimising your contact with people and keeping a distance of at least 2 meters/six feet. It is a temporary measure in a bid to prevent a high rise of a seriously infectious virus known as Covid-19. Heck, the Irish pubs even closed down on St. Patrick’s Day, and if you are still wondering why, then perhaps you are one of the lucky ones.

Looking after others

There are a whole host of people out there who aren’t as healthy, strong or even as young as you, and while we can all get caught up in our own worries, we can’t afford to let these people slip our minds. The truth is that Covid-19 is much bigger than any of us.

Imagine this scenario - you are young and healthy, you’re out having a great time, meeting up with friends and making the most of your time off. You aren’t one bit anxious about the virus, and although you don’t appear to be symptomatic, you are carrying the virus. You then go home to your parents, visit an elderly relative, or come into contact with a friend that is immunocompromised (meaning they’ve a weaker immune system and cannot fight things off as easily) or has a sibling or cousin that is.

They are remaining indoors, paralysed with fear and protecting themselves in every way they can. They get a quick visit from a friend or family member checking in on them, providing them with the necessities they need to get them through another week alone, but you were already in contact with that visitor and now those who are vulnerable have contracted the virus. This is how it spreads and not everyone can fight it off.

Speaking as a person who had a terminally ill sibling, I can tell you that this is a family’s biggest nightmare and it’s one you shouldn’t have to face any quicker at the hands of someone who is not following the guidelines everyone else is.

Social distancing

The act of social distancing may seem difficult for some people and certainly it’s important to look after your physical and mental health while doing it, but trust me, if you practice it enough it becomes second nature, a way of life.

I know this may seem like an inconvenience to you right now, you are probably willing life to move on but it’s important to recognise that everyone is in the same boat, and everyone is making sacrifices. Life won’t move any faster if we don’t do as we are asked. If anything it will be slower.

We all want to go to that gig of the year, enter a shop without the anxiety of who you are standing next to or meet up with friends for a drink or two, but let’s wait until it’s safe to do so, especially when it means the difference between saving lives and risking them.

Wash your hands, keep your distance and ring your loved ones instead of meeting up with them. There’s a chance we can all emerge from this crisis intact with just a little extra care.

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Published March 24th2020
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