Corona, Privilege & Toilet Paper

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I’m sure everyone’s already tired of hearing / reading about the Coronavirus. I know I am, but I also know there’s really no way around the subject at this time, unless you want to lock your phone away and stay clear of social media, which you’re probably reluctant to do if you live alone like I do, for fear of cutting yourself off completely from your loved ones.

What a time to be alive though, am I right?! And I mean that in a good as well as a bad way. I’m extremely grateful for all the initiatives that are being put into action as I’m typing this, for small businesses adapting to the situation within the blink of an eye, for people offering to help the vulnerable and for musicians playing small gigs from their homes and live-streaming them on social media to make our lives a little more enjoyable during isolation. Also, we’re in possession of the tools that are necessary to make the best of a complete lockdown of our country, AKA the technology and the equipment to make working and staying in touch with family and friends from home possible for a lot of people.

This brings me to another topic: we’re incredibly privileged. Luxembourg’s a generally rich country and all essential supplies are more or less easily available to us at this time (except medical supplies such as face masks and hand sanitiser / disinfectant, the distribution of which is currently being monitored and directed to where they’re needed the most).
That doesn’t mean that nothing can harm us though and it definitely isn’t the right time to be selfish and to pretend that Coronavirus is only for other people, other countries or other communities.
In fact, in Luxembourg as well as in other European countries, people have been stockpiling non-perishable goods such as pasta and, I still can’t believe it, TOILET PAPER. Yes, that’s right. Toilet paper. I actually can’t get over the weirdness of hoarding toilet paper. Food I kinda get (unless someone thinks it’s best to buy twelve packages of spaghetti at once), but toilet paper?! The way I see it, the worst thing that could happen when you’re stuck at home all day long without toilet paper is having to pop into the shower to clean yourself after using the toilet, or am I missing an important detail?! Please feel free to enlighten me if you can think of any valid reason to buy a truckload of toilet paper.

Humour aside, it’s a scary time. Seeing our freedom limited, the borders closing and unnecessary travels banned is unprecedented for most of us. It’s slightly unsettling to see the empty streets and the abundance of available parking spaces (in Luxembourg City, no less!). At the same time, it’s reassuring. It makes me think that people understand how serious the situation is. It makes me feel less queasy about all the irresponsible people I know are out there, putting us all at risk.
When talking to a few of my fellow introvert friends (on the phone, of course), I discovered that, despite the fact that we usually like spending time alone, it’s a wholly different story when isolation is forced upon you for a prolonged amount of time. Once the choice of being alone is made for you by the government (no criticism here, I applaud the restrictions and believe that they’re necessary measures!), alone time takes on a completely different meaning. It’s suddenly very close to being lonely, even though I always stress the importance of distinguishing between being alone and being lonely.

However, in order to keep the time of isolation as short as possible (and as long as necessary), I really hope that people are grasping the urgency with which the current situation needs to be addressed. It’s vital to act right now. I was initially upset by the government’s tendency to wait rather than putting drastic measures into place right away, but the state of crisis has now been declared and the Prime Minister’s urging people to stay at home, unless they absolutely must leave their homes.

Indeed, all unnecessary circulation of humans needs to be avoided in order to keep the virus from spreading – no, it’s NOT about you being the chillest person on Earth, not caring about getting yourself infected by the virus, but it’s about preventing its unnecessary spread to other people and, most importantly, the vulnerable who could end up at the hospital or even dead because of your indifference.
Just think about all the potential pain that can be avoided by doing nothing more than staying the f*ck home!
I’m sure it isn’t an impossible task*.

Imagine this (ideal and hopefully truthful!) future scenario:

Luxembourg: * is Coronavirus-free *

Nobody ever: Darn, I wish we hadn’t taken those drastic measures which contributed to spare the bigger part of our population from the virus, thus preventing the over-burdening and crashing of our health system and making it possible to go back to our usual lifestyle within a decent amount of time, even when said measures were perceived as overly dramatic by most people when they were first implemented!

We’ve literally seen what happened in other countries once they were hit by the virus, so if I hear one more person say “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it’s just a flu!”, I’m gonna scream and possibly lose faith in humanity once and for all.

I feel very strongly about people not doing their (albeit super simple!) part to keep us safe as a community, which is why I decided to write a Coronavirus-themed blog post in the first place – the importance of solidarity and everyone taking responsibility for themselves and the safety of other members of their community simply can’t be ignored.

Here’s a very informative video about why it’s so important to flatten the curve:

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Also, here’s another video of how you should be washing your hands (and no, that information’s not as trivial as you may think it is):

Last but not least, please take a look at this article about the importance of social distancing:

Social Distancing

And, in order for you to stay somewhat sane throughout Coronavirus overload on social media, here’s some advice:

  1. Educate yourself (and make sure the sources are reliable!)
  2. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop reading the news for a bit
  3. Stay away from people that aren’t part of your household – be it at work (if you still have to go), in the supermarket, in the streets or even your apartment building, no matter how lonely it makes you feel
  4. Be smart and careful, but try not to panic – you’re not in this alone

 

Stay home and stay safe, my friends 🧡!

 


* I’d like to point out that there are no words to describe how much respect I have for the people who are on the “battlefields” around the clock, fighting the virus, working overtime and saving lives. Thank you so much 🙏.

Once this fight is won, it may** be time to address the working conditions of the people who work their butts off and make all kinds of sacrifices to keep people alive (always, but especially right now!) while the rest of us are advised to stay home.

(** This is my overly cautious way of stating that better working conditions should’ve been made possible a long time ago.)

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