KATHMANDU, June 29: Last week Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) office announced vacancies for several posts. Ever since the vacancies were announced, the head office in Tripureshwor has been receiving hordes of applicants forming a queue outside the office. Most of them are seen completely defying social distancing measures. The scene with hundreds of people packed in a narrow row looks frightening given that we’re in the middle of a pandemic where social distancing measures are crucial for preventing the spread of the contagious virus.
LONDON, June 19: Standing apart on either side of a strip of red carpet outside Number 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron demonstrated the unusual reality of international diplomacy in the coronavirus era.
The country is in a state of total lockdown to prevent potential community transmission of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Along with millions of Nepalese across the nation, I have chosen to suspend the freedom of free movement and stay home. The transition from social cohesion to social distancing has been brisk, yet we have no option but assimilate with the culture of distancing at the earliest. I find that in our attempt to distance ourselves from other humans we have come closer to our homes. A home is an inanimate object but for once I can feel it breathe and enjoy its privileges.
Read books that you always wanted to read but somehow kept on procrastinating. Reading books can be the most productive thing you can do while social distancing. You won’t be left with a ‘nothing to do’ situation along with gaining extra knowledge.
There were a very few vehicles on the road. I flew on I-93 and reached Boston downtown in no time. Boston was eerily empty. I pulled my car on the side of the road and rushed to my office building. I wanted to make it quick. I input the codes on the door pad, placed my hand under the self dispensing hand sanitizer, pushed the floor number on the elevator button and took a long sigh of relief when the door opened. There was no one in the elevator, providing all the space for myself. I did not need to worry about the social distancing measure that I had recently come to appreciate. I had not left home for a week and felt uneasy with everything—empty roads, empty elevators, empty office buildings and a mind that had never dealt with so much of safety concern just for getting out of home.
I have been reading newspapers and come across the following headlines: People asked not to make movements outside the home except when it is absolutely essential, gatherings of more than 25 persons at party venues, temples, mosques, monasteries and other public places banned, cinema halls, cultural centers, stadiums, gyms, health clubs, museums, swimming pools, entertainment spaces, dance bars and clubs to remain shut till April 30, regular classes and examinations of academic institutions suspended till April 12.
Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger told Americans to “ignore the morons,” Lady Gaga said she was staying at home with her dogs, and Taylor Swift said sacrifices are needed as she urged her 128 million fans to practice social distancing in a bid to contain the coronavirus.