Muna Al-Fuzai

Washing your hands frequently and maintaining social distancing are the two basic tips we have been hearing about as protective measures against the new coronavirus. I have heard the first call many times since I was a kid, but it seems that some people until today don’t care to wash their hands enough.

Another advice to the public is to keep at least a distance of one meter between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and now we are even keeping a distance with strangers in the supermarket because you simply don’t know if they are infected with the virus or not. For individuals, to keep a social distance means keeping a distance between yourself and others in public places and avoiding physical contact with people who do not share your home. This method is intended to stop or slow down the spread of the virus.

Although the term social distancing is self-explanatory, the correct implementation is not as easy as it seems. In real life, doctors, parents and even government officials are struggling to make sense of it all by repeated messages, calls and campaigns, yet people are still getting together whenever they can when the curfew is over.

I also think a total curfew won’t end this dilemma of social distancing, because people today want to stay close and maintain contact. This is why governments are finding it hard to control public attitude in time of curfew. I believe that social distancing is essential now – no large gatherings or groups, while keeping a distance from others. If this means no cinema, restaurants and dinner parties, let it be until this virus is controlled.

Social distancing can be anywhere. For example, authorities in Kuwait shut down all beauty salons and barbershops. I think this is a good step for now as it is common in ladies’ salons to have many women, and workers may also get infected. The same applies to men as well.

Some people will still try to ignore important advice due to misinformation or stubbornness, especially among older people. I don’t think we can blame them because they might be distracted between government directives, media reports and their own ideas and personal experiences. Now we are in the phase of a partial curfew these days like the rest of the world, but we need to heed medical advice all time, not only in the time of curfew, but all day long.