Wuhan lockdown lift a ray of hope - GulfToday

Wuhan lockdown lift a ray of hope


People celebate in the streets of Wuhan after the 76-day ban was lifted. File/ AFP

Seeing residents of Wuhan hug each other and shout out in joy after the Chinese government lifted the 76-day ban, gave me hope that the day is not far when we too will be able to leave the confines of our homes and go about our daily lives without fear. But I hope this joy is not short-lived (“Joy, relief as China lifts 76-day travel ban on Wuhan,” April 8, Gulf Today).

The Wuhan lockdown was one of the severest. But the strict imposition of restrictions has paid off. It also signals that social distancing and staying away from crowded places is the formula that yields results. To be virtually confined to the four walls of one’s homes is painful and traumatic. But to bring the deadly virus under control, until the vaccine comes into play, the only way forward for us is to adhere to the stipulations on our movement.

The curve is flattening in other hotspots like Italy and Spain but we cannot let complacency to set in. The virus as of now is still not completely understood and a second wave of infections can yet not be ruled out in countries which have survived the initial onslaught. Which indirectly means a long haul, for us, saddled in our homes and within our borders.

Also one needs to factor in the stigma attached to someone detected with the virus or is being quarantined. Probably that could be one of the reasons people would hesitate to get themselves tested. Anyone sneezing or is exhibiting signs of a cough is looked at with suspicion. Fear has gripped us more than the virus. We should be prudent and not let fear get the better of us.

I so wish our lives would come back to normal soon, but I don’t envisage that happening anytime soon. Until and unless therapies and vaccines can bring the mortality rate down to the minimal, I doubt any government would risk the chance of opening borders.

For expats like me, it is a mentally debilitating situation. But I wish to applaud the UAE for their expertise and apt handling of the crisis. At times I do feel my family and me are very much safe here vis-à-vis my home country India, which is also grappling with the infections which are on the rise.

Celine D’Souza
By email

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