The Coronavirus disease aka COVID-19 has now become a very serious pandemic throughout the world. Every day, news of more and more cases of people testing positive and even losing their lives have been dominating the headlines around the globe.
Country after country is shutting down its borders in order to contain this disease. Some countries like Italy, which were a bit slow in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, are suffering the consequences now in a tragic manner.
According to the latest reports, Italy has more than 60,000 detected cases and nearly 5,500 deaths as of Sunday, March 22. It has been reported that 1,400 of Italy’s citizens have died only on one weekend and 5,500 Italians per day are testing positive for the virus.
In addition to that, countries like Spain, France, UK and Germany are also bearing the brunt of this virus in a big way. These unfortunate developments in Europe have raised the alarm bells in Canada in general and B.C. in particular.
Like many other countries, it has caused a lot of concern and anxiety in Canada. Consequently, the federal, provincial and local governments have been responding promptly and appropriately in reassuring the public and taking other measures.
In this context, Quebec has set a good example by banning gatherings of more than two people and giving police the power to disperse groups. Federal and provincial health authorities and first responders are strongly urging Canadians to self- isolate themselves, stay home, keep the social distance of two meters and wash their hands with soap etc. frequently.
These preventive measures should go a long way in containing COVID-19.Each one of us must make every effort in following these guidelines.
Another major measure recommended by BC’s Chief Medical Health Officer includes a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. This ruling is going to have wider implication for weddings, assemblies, sports activities and much more.
In our community, this is just the beginning of the wedding season. As responsible citizens, it is incumbent upon each one of us to abide by these rules/regulations. These are exceptionally difficult times for everyone.
Weddings are very special and festive occasions for the families. Unfortunately, we have to be very cognizant of the prevailing circumstances. To their credit, most of the places of worship including gurdwaras have been doing a commendable job in meeting this challenge.
Similarly, a vast majority of members of our community have been very compliant and co-operative in this regard. A lot of weddings are being scaled down or postponed. This is very encouraging. However, there are still a lot of people who don’t seem to take this situation seriously enough.
Let us remember that we all have a stake in keeping ourselves, our neighbours and our communities safe. All of us need to be patient, co-operative and understanding.
We are all in it to-gether. Let us make best of the situation we are facing. Hopefully, this unexpected crisis will blow over before long and people will be able to resume their normal life activities.
In the meantime, all of us regardless of our heritage, cultural/religious affiliation or other considerations need to realize that we are facing a very serious threat to all of us and the entire humanity by our common enemy, Coronavirus COVID-19. As such, we must obey the guidelines set by the health authorities and governments.
Our healthcare front line workers/professionals are putting their lives in danger in order to protect and save us from this devastating disease. As such, we also have an obligation and a duty to not only thank them but also support them by staying home, keeping our social distance, washing our hands frequently and totally avoiding any large gatherings.
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