They work. While some people have commented that there are pockets of the population that do not really get the terms, the fact of the matter is that these unprecedented remedies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 actually help. An article from the Business insider mentioned a study that says these interventions can possibly cut the global death toll by half.
There is a but here though. For these measures to really work, they would have to be in place for 18 months or more or until such time a vaccine for the virus becomes available. The recent reports of a resurgence out of Hong Kong should be taken as a cautionary tale.
This is the challenge for us today — find a way to make social distancing and community quarantine work so that we prevent the spread of the virus while we revitalize our economy and build back better.
It is a difficult task. Some may even say impossible. Of course naysayers in the past have not been very successful in preventing some of the impossible feats mankind has achieved like flying or walking on the moon. This time, there are even more reasons to prove naysayers wrong — 7.8 billion reasons to be exact.
While we come to terms with the possibility of staying inside our homes longer, we should already start considering some ways to live with social distancing and community quarantine.
Perhaps we can consider splitting our work hours. Some can work in the day time, the rest at night. This way we can reduce the number of people reporting to the office.
PERFECTING WORK FROM HOME
Some companies have actually been implementing this strategy long before this pandemic. It was a strategy to improve work-life balance and to help reduce operational costs. There are clearly some kinks that have to be ironed out, but this is something that we really have to become good at — whether we like it or not.
REDESIGNING OUR WORKSPACE
The constantly increasing office lease has prompted many to squeeze in as many employees into the available space they could afford. This will have to change. Our offices would have to evolve and hopefully in a way that makes it more safe for everybody should another pandemic comes along.
MOVING INTO NOT-SO-PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Our jeepneys, UV Express shuttles, buses, trains and sometimes even ferries are not designed for social distancing. On the contrary, and specially during rush hours, these public transportation options force us to be extremely intimate. And this type of intimacy in confined public spaces is exactly what infections need in order to spread around. Somebody really needS to look into this and come up with a plan fast. Consider ordering bicycles for everybody.
From food to toys to flowers to cabinets to office documents — order everything online and have them delivered straight to your regularly sanitized doorstep. This is not new. Lazada and Shopee have been making a killing out of the public demand for convenience. Perhaps other businesses can revisit their business models and do the same.
SET UP NEW JOBS
Quarantine enforcement specialist, Social Distancing Monitor, Personal Hygiene Coach — there may be opportunities for new professions that we have not given much thought. If we are to stay locked up for more than a month, perhaps it would be worthwhile to explore alternative ways to bring home the bacon.
Do you have other suggestions on how to make social distancing and community quarantine work? Share them with us or post them on your social media accounts. Every idea, even crazy ones, count.