It’s going to be long post. Probably nothing new here. Most likely a rant that had to go up somewhere – I write on too many Google docs these days so that option didn’t seem too appealing. Read for entertainment only please, no ‘information’ here, whatever is here has been taken from the Internet, so you can find it there yourself – I’m not a verified source of information 🙂
I have so many thoughts on COVID-19 that it had be put down in a blog post. None of it is medically sound, if you didn’t know already, I’m not a doctor – just an occasional writer. But the past few days (it hasn’t even been a week) has opened a plethora of observations to see how people react to what’s happening, overreact to it, find humour in the situation and also, most importantly, help us identify how stupid us humans can be.
Most of these as I said are observations, with supporting content I’ve seen online and some IRL, which you may have seen too. For the public social media posts/images, I didn’t ask for permission, however, on the rare chance that you/the owner would read it and wouldn’t like it to be here on this blog post, let me know and I will take it down, no fuss at all.
NB – This might be a bit all over the place, I tried to structure it the best I could, in a flow that might make sense, I hope?
The War-Driven Larder Situation
The train of thought for this potentially long blog post began on Thursday.
So let me first get one thing straight. Our house, has always, for as long as I can remember, had supplies in the house. Probably the only times we didn’t have many extras would’ve been in the late 90s early 2000s when money was tight and Mum had to get by with what she earned through her teaching and sales for that particular day. And no, don’t ask about rent. I don’t even know how she managed, but she did somehow being the hero she is.
Now, in the present day, we don’t have a traditional larder, so to speak, (though now when I think about it, I think it would be a swell idea to get one – hmm), but there always has been enough dry rations to survive on for at least five days. I narrow down this thinking to the time during the war when the curfew was imposed and we had to stay indoors. Hence, extra gas, extra milk powder, extra rice and dhal etc were always there, just in case. Then, of course, the situations in recent times also encouraged this thought more so. Interestingly, I must add here that this is not practised by my grandmother, I don’t know how we are related sometimes. Or maybe during her time, it wasn’t as hectic, there weren’t as many people or supermarkets, I don’t know, so many variables that even I can’t relate to.
However, long story short, we got caught amidst other panic buyers on Thursday. The things we were buying were mostly for Mum’s parents/grandparents. They are quite well, fit and are able to go to the town and get things by themselves, but usually, we do it for them on a monthly basis to make tasks like transporting them from the shop to the three-wheeler and three-wheeler to house easier. This time we went in earlier than usual because we also had to fill in their emergency boxes (and keep in mind, they don’t have extras regularly, at least not as much as us).
The outlet we went to wasn’t terrible. I mean there were worse ones, like this tweet for example.
Ours was I like to say, pretty okay, especially compared to the images I saw elsewhere.
There was a shortage of dhal though for a while…
Curious to know where it all went…
But I went to the supermarket a few days after, on Saturday, and there was neither a queue nor a shortage of hand sanitiser, funnily enough.
And yes, I know that some people need to keep stocks at home because they take of the elderly, sick, children etc and no one is being insensitive to them over here.
But why are you a hoarder?
Which brings me to this.
I’m sure everyone saw the catfight that Australia had right? Here is also a read on this very ‘crisis’ I came across.
Also speaking of toilet paper, a favourite YouTuber of mine, Mamrie Hart, shared this – click on the image and read it for much needed entertainment:
While all this is fairly entertaining, what isn’t as funny is the fact that not most people can afford to stockpile so many essentials at once. Most of us who choose to acknowledge our privilege know that we are able to buy things ahead of time for those in our families only because we are able to. But it’s important to also be considerate and not buy the entire supermarket just because you are able to.
Having once being there, financially, I can’t believe that people have the audacity to buy everything off the shelves and not leave anything for anyone else. Also side note, KEEP THE MASKS FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT THE MOST.
But why are you selfish?
So coming to the topic of quarantine.
I don’t know a tonne about it, besides what you already might be knowing too. But if you do arrive from a country/or have been around people with confirmed cases of the virus, then you will be put in a quarantine facility for 14-days. No, it’s neither a paid holiday, nor is it luxurious. I don’t know if we can afford to have such luxury, but it’s what we got and if you decided to come down from a country that is heavily infected or hang out with those who have the virus, the least you can do is agree to be quarantined for the greater good of everyone.
The following two images are once I saw on social media and took screenshots of, just to show how ridiculous the situation is.
Vox has done a piece on ‘how cancelled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart‘ of which we will speak more of soon.
And why the fuck can’t you be nice to people?
So why do we need to go that extra mile to be rude? People are panicking already. People are panic buying. Shops are actually staying open still. I’m sorry if I singled out the uncle in the picture below and I am don’t mean to be a cyber-bully (maybe I am, sorry again), but this uncle and his other uncle friend (not pictured here), scolded, made note of this boy’s name and shouted for all to hear and you know why?
BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T REFILL THE DRY RATION CONTAINERS FAST ENOUGH.
Upon speaking to the lady who was weighing and tagging these, she said that they had done it no less than an hour ago. And they keep expecting these 20-year old boys to easily move around 20-30kg sacks of dry rations and fill these stations up…
Oh and don’t forget, next to the circled uncle is the same boy who is also expected to measure out 10kg or 20kgs of God-knows-what into bags and give it to them. Last I checked, supermarket have become self-service stations.
On behalf of all the morons, I am terribly sorry for how we sometimes treat your staff. I know words might not mean much but please note that we are so genuinely sorry.
But there are also still nice, people in the world, don’t forget.
My friend Pamudu, who is reading for her PhD at Brown, shared this on Facebook recently, which I thought was one of the most uplifting things I’ve read in a while.
Swipe to the last one please – similarly, the new Instagram account I discovered through Nethmi (I’ve written about it later) also has nice things to say 🙂
Also are you for fucking real – Part 01
Now time for some well, tea.
I’m just going to leave this one here because it’s just too much. I’m sure you would’ve seen this on the Internet already.
Also are you for fucking real – Part 02
Not to cause panic but here are things that have happened so far. If you can read, educate yourself and take necessary precaution, then by all means:
‘Patient 31’ and South Korea’s sudden spike in coronavirus cases
A ‘super-spreader’ from a reclusive church has caused anger, divided public opinion and spurred conspiracy theories. This is a more detailed article on the same.
But what happened in Italy, really?
I too found out from reading various things on the Internet. Even the thread below is really good to explain how Sri Lanka is currently reacting.
If you are lazy to read either of the above links, watch this one:
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I’m following up with an update from the currently locked-down Italy. I aim to show how people disregarding government guidelines led us here. If the biggest thing your country asks of you is to wash your hands and stay at home for a short period of time, then you are lucky to be living in that country. This video refers to the actions taken by some people living in Italy, but is a message to everyone around the world, please, follow your government’s instructions, there is a reason for them. External link: https://youtu.be/bEErPrkQDg4 #corona #coronavirus #coronaoutbreak #milan #italy #lombardia #coverage #report #news #coronanews #epidemic #virus #covid19 #covid19us #covid19italy #italia #milano #lombardia #responsibility #community #iononesco #iorestoacasa #coronavirusitalia #pandemia #andratuttobene #iorestoincasa #thisismequarantine #europe #europa #stayathome #staythefuckhome
Also are you for fucking real – Part 03
And now we come to the infamous Royal-Thomian cricket match. For anyone reading this who is not from Sri Lanka, basically, it’s an annual cricket encounter between boys’ schools. Of course, there is more than that involved, tradition, pride, booze and stupidity as you would see in the thread below.
These are massive fucking cock fests and people come from all over the world to party for three days and go back to wherever they came from. Now the Royal-Thomian, in particular, have a shit tonne of money to throw around, privilege and class (I wanted to italicise the last two adjectives to highlight the lack thereof) so I guess it does make sense as to why it wasn’t cancelled.
I have nothing against these two schools but precaution should’ve been taken because…
Side note, given how the start of the big match season actually went, this should come as no surprise!
Also, ugh #LockDownSL Parties…
Okay, I have to admit. I went out on Saturday night. It wasn’t a crowded place and it was nice to get out and even then while knowing the seriousness of the situation, I chose to go out. It wasn’t a “lockdown party” I just went and had overpriced ciders overlooking the Indian Ocean with no sea breeze – basically to waste some money I don’t already have. But there are people taking this to the next level with “before the/pre lockdown parties” on Instagram and actually going out and socialising in groups. Clearly, we haven’t learnt much from Italy, just yet.
Also, about this lockdown, we are calling for…
True we are preparing for this, buying food, storing it, having the parties, saying goodbye and being dramatic about it. But are we actually ready for a lockdown?
My friend, data scientist and sci-fi author Yudhanjaya explains this best. There are more tweets to this thread and I highly suggest you read through it.
Now, whose bloody curve are we are trying to flatten?
Now this phrase is being thrown around a lot these days. I do understand it after listening to/reading many different things on the Internet but I don’t think I’m qualified enough to talk about it. So I’ve listed some useful links that do a better job at this.
The Washington Post did an excellent piece on ‘Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and ‘how to flatten the curve‘”
Also if you don’t like reading, here is a great video shared by this dermatologist I follow on Instagram, the wonderful Dr Shereene Idriss:
So in case, we are not able to do this, what happens?
A local doctor on Twitter, Dr Hansika Hanthanapitiya speaks to us about triage, which “in a mass casualty, is implemented to offer the greatest good to the greatest amount of people as healthcare resources are limited or strained due to the number of injured individuals.” I’ve linked the entire thread on this below.
On the ‘fringe’ effects of this not being contained sooner.
While people go into quarantine, there are also ‘other fringe’ effects that also come into play. Some of them include:
NB – I don’t know how verified these articles are.
- An increase in domestic abuse.
- Children losing access to their midday meals, which is an incentive for children to go to school. Thankfully, places like Kerala are continuing to deliver these meals despite the shutdown. I did see other articles too where children go to school/people go to work, to escape from abusive parents/partners (as in the link above).
- An increase in either more babies or divorces because you can/can’t live without one another.
In terms of economy, I can’t speak about it much, but here an update from China where things are “reviving”. Read the full thread for more details.
But here is a positive thing that just might happen in Sri Lanka.
Also, let’s talk about working/studying from home, shall we?
Now can we talk about working from home?
I’m a huge advocate of it and I even did it for a few years. I still immensely enjoy working from home though I must say that my current mental health ridden with anxiety and depression may have been a result of this haha!
That aside, despite me being able to work from home or from anywhere for that matter, the reality is that not everyone is able to do so. Not everyone is able to study online or have access to a personal computer/tab and good Internet – I don’t think anyone has access to the latter but that’s a different story altogether.
Also yes, please continue to check your privilege?
Where can I look for information?
The World Health Organisation has been having a live Periscope on Twitter the past few days around 08 pm-ish local time. Their Twitter is pretty up to date too.
Dr Mike is not just a hot doctor on the Internet, he is a real practising doc and takes time to create informative content online.
This seems a decent website too.
And this article, if you are still not convinced:
Also on a different note…
My favourite MUA Nethmi shared this gem of a page to help us get through these times:
This piece of news! It’s not entirely ‘good’ but it certainly does put a different lens on things.
Oh and this PSA by Blok and Dino. It’s not just in Sinhala, there are translations in English and Tamil as well!
To celebrate the end of this post, I will include some funny bits I found on the Internet.
No, this is not to make light of the situation, but a little humour does the world good. If you find it offensive, you can x out of this tab 🙂
I know, this has been a long post. Trust me, I know, I’ve been writing it, both in my head and on over here over a few days. Thank you, if in case you read through this!
Last but not least, to small and big businesses alike,
Thank you for doing the right thing.
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We take our role in the community very seriously and we believe we have a responsibility towards each of our clients and their families to keep them safe. Given the nature of this virus and the course it’s chartered already in other countries, we believe the most prudent course of action at this time is to close our doors for at least two weeks. We will be launching online live streaming Mat Pilates classes which you can book into as normal on MindBody. Further information will be sent to booked in clients. Class passes will apply as normal. If you wish to hold off till you can return to the studio, your class packs and memberships will be frozen till we recommence operations. Furthermore, we aren’t just here to help you with fitness. Wellness is about times exactly like these. If you’d like to hear a friendly voice or chat through your fears or worries, please DM us and we’ll arrange for a phone call. If there’s anything we can do to help you at this time, we are only a message away. The greatest thing we can do now is stay home, avoid crowded places and wash hands regularly. Avoid touching your face and think of sanitising high touch points like light switches, remote controls, doorbells etc. Stay safe friends and we will get through this!
One last parting thought from the wonderful Dr Idriss:
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I never call out sick. Not even when I was pregnant and continuously throwing up between patients, did I call out sick. I actually worked up until the very last day… Because I love what I do. And no, thankfully I am not sick 🙏 but during this unprecedented time, given that I see mostly healthy patients (… and it’s the healthy asymptomatic ones who have been proven to be spreading this virus most rapidly) I have decided to cancel my next weeks schedule in order to help give our healthcare system a fighting chance. This has been a very difficult decision and I respect those who have done the same, and those who haven’t, as so many people live paycheck to paycheck. I urge everyone to do their part, wash your hands, stay away from crowded areas, support local businesses through gift cards, and mostly if you’re sick please try to stay home. This is a time where we should all do what we can to act early to slow and stop the spread of this shitty little mother*%#¥’ing virus.. and help our healthcare system and hospitals catch up! AND I promise all of you whom I cancel to get you all back on the schedule ASAP given I know how long some of you have waited… So in the meantime, the above is on repeat in my head … Stay safe ❤️ And yes, I agree with @ellen when I say “I’m already bored” #FUcoronavirus
Keep distance friends and be safe!