The coronavirus or Covid-19 has brought much of the world to a standstill. There are currently estimated to be 1 billion people in lockdown and just about every nation has closed its borders and ordered its citizens to stay at home and only make essential journeys.
In the UAE, it was announced last night that all public and private beaches, parks, swimming pools, movie theatres, and sports halls and lounges would be closed for a period of two weeks.
This move is in addition to the already widespread preventative measures put in place in the UAE to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Gyms and bars had already been closed and many restaurants are now operating at a maximum of 20 per cent capacity. There is also an enhanced cleaning operation of workplaces and all public transport, as well as widespread implementation of working from home for many businesses in the UAE.
But, with all of these measures (rightly) in place, what can you still do? The simple answer is: not that much.
Measures undertaken to increase social distance are designed to do just that: distance you from others.
So, is it safe to exercise? Can you go out for a meal or to meet friends? Is it sensible to shop for food?
Go For A Run
First of all, (and rather annoyingly for anyone looking for an excuse to let themselves go) if you need a regular dose of exercise to stay sane, you can go for a run. According to advice taken from American GQ, going for a run is ok, as long as you stay six-feet away from everyone else.
“Solo jogs are generally fine while engaging in social distancing,” says Dr. Maimuna Majumder in an email. Majumder, who is a faculty member at the Computational Health Informatics Program at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital says, “The general rule of thumb is to just keep a six-foot distance from others who may be out and about. This distance should in principle keep both you and anyone else around you healthy while you're outdoors.”
However, you should avoid jogging in groups (obviously) and in densely populated areas. So probably don’t take a jog in the Marina at lunchtime on a Friday. Remember to wash your hands before and after the jog as well.
If you can’t jog, walking is obviously fine as well.
As for the rest: shopping for food is clearly essential but if you can, order from home and have it delivered.
In the meantime, socializing in person is out, we’re afraid. That means no dinners with friends, brunches, or coffee dates. Instead, you’ll have to do it remotely.
Do The Five
The World Health Organisation have launched a campaign encouraging people to Do The Five: Five things to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
1. Wash your hands
2. Cough/sneeze into your elbow
3. Don't touch your face
4. Stay more than 3ft (1m) away from others
5. Stay home if you feel sick
As many people on The Internet have pointed out: the best way we can help is by doing absolutely nothing. So stay at home if you can.