Remember by this lock-down, we are trying to slow down the spread of Coronavirus Disease so that hospital staff and infrastructure can cope. We are avoiding all getting sick at once. There is not yet a vaccine. No-one has resistance to the virus because it is new. There is not any treatment out yet. So ...
1. Stay at home, in your house or yard, as much as humanly possible.
2. Wash hands on leaving home and getting back from the supermarket or pharmacy, the only places to go. Wash hands a lot at home, too, and avoid touching nose, mouth or eyes. This limits spread at home. Clean surfaces like doorknobs, handles and tables often. (The viruses survive by moving from one human to another via globules of moisture from our respiratory system. A virus can remain alive in a droplet on a smooth surface for some time.)
3. Keep a good distance from people at the supermarket or pharmacy, or from neighbours while shouting over the fence or out the window. Even at home keep a certain distance.
4. In lock-down, it helps to structure time and prepare mentally for the long haul. So, fix three meal times. Fix two times a day for physical exercises. Fix a time for local radio news each day. Go on social networks twice a day only. Fix a time to watch TV for international news. Try varying stations: BBC, France-24, CNN, CGTV, Al Jazeera, NDTV. Cheer friends up with a call, message or mail. If you have acquaintances working in essential services, express appreciation to them. Fix a time to go to sleep and wake up.
5. When you hear anything alarming (especially on social media), do not just believe it. Rely on what the Government doctors say. Or contact a LALIT member, and get a fact-check. Rumours can be on imagined shortages. Remember if people panic and stock up too much, they create false shortages.
So, remember, we can “flatten the curve”, i.e. avoid that all of us get sick at once. Then, even if the same number of people get sick, it’s a totally different social reality we have created: instead of a health service that cannot cope, we organize to have one that can. Such is the blessing of our ability, through our language faculty, to co-operate.