You must be familiar with the term social distancing by now. We know - everyone’s been explaining it to you! Stay one meter apart, wear your mask and wash hands regularly. Right, we know, you understand.
But how does it all work when you want to hang out with your friends?
Or how does it work when you have to meet your sweetheart!
How will all that work being one-metre apart!
Confused? Well, then read on! .
Q: I feel bored sitting at home, can I just go out for a bike ride or meet my friends at the nearby tea-stall?
A: Going out means coming in contact with people who may be carriers of the Corona virus or coming in contact with surfaces that may have had the virus on it. So that’s the first thing to know.
But we know that you miss your friends. So can you meet them? Let’s see.
Well, you may if your local authorities allow it. But with a lot of precautions.
- Avoid meeting in large groups. If you must, go out for a ride with just one or two friends and maintain distance during that ride or walk.
- Don’t shake hands or hug them when you meet your friend. A Hi or Namaste would work just fine.
- Wear a mask when you go out. Not only does this prevent the spread of infections it also lets others know you are taking precautions.
- Avoid a public place with surfaces - such as a restaurant, a mall or a park bench. Going for a ride or a walk are safer. The lesser surfaces you touch the better is.
Q: I want to travel by bus/metro/cab to meet my partner, is it ok?
A: Traveling on a bus or a metro means you are stepping out of home and coming in contact with unknown places and unknown people, who may or may not be carriers of the virus - you don’t know. Surfaces on the train/bus/metro - like the door, the handle, the seat etc - may have been contaminated by an infected person. The virus stays on such surfaces for some time. So again, think if you really need to meet (you could still chat on video calls). But if you do, follow these tips:
- Wear a mask and a pair of gloves. This will prevent touching of surfaces.
- Carry an extra pair of gloves and mask while going out that will be used for your return journey.
- Use hand sanitizer after you take off your gloves.
- Do not take off your mask in the public.
- Maintain a safe distance from other people when in public.
- Do not share a seat with someone who is not wearing a mask.
- When you return home, wash your hands with soap and water.
- Remove your clothes, have a bath, and put your used clothes for wash in a separate laundry basket or wash them immediately.
Q: My partner just lives nearby. Can I meet him in the park?
A: We will say, dekho - magar door se! But again if you must, use the following precautions:
- Wear a mask and gloves when you go out.
- Stand and talk from a distance.
- Do not shake hands or hug/kiss. You are not aware if your partner was exposed to the virus or not.
- You can talk or walk together for as long as you want. Just keep the distance.
Q: We need privacy. Can I meet my date in a mall or movie?
A: Most likely the malls and cinema halls will remain closed in the near future. Even if they reopen soon, it is not a good idea to go to any crowded places - same logic - avoiding possibly infected persons and surfaces. We would say stick to virtual dating for now.
Q: I miss having coffee with my partner. Now that the neighbourhood shops are open, is it ok to do this?
A: Going out for a coffee means stepping out. Now you know what that means. So here are a few tips to bear in mind:
- Avoid going to a coffee (or for that matter) any shop that does not follow the guidelines of social distancing. If the employees are not wearing masks and the place is crowded, step out.
- Avoid sitting in the restaurant as it means touching tables and chairs that could have been contaminated.
- A take-away is a better idea than sitting at the coffee shop. Find a place in your car, park or back at your home. The fewer the people the lesser the chance of catching the infection.
- Don’t forget to wear a mask when you step out.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you return.
Q: It’s my partner’s birthday. How can I not go and wish him/her?
A: We understand your helplessness. Be creative. How about a shout out to them from outside their home? Tell them to come to the terrace/balcony at a fixed time and stand down with a cake in your hand. A flying kiss, a birthday song, seeing each other from a safe distance - sounds romantic na? Be careful about the neighbours though! Leave that cake outside their door.
Q: We both are so desperate to make out.The loneliness is killing me, really! It’s been so long with this lockdown that we have not seen each other. Shall I book a hotel nearby?
A: Just stay in a little longer please. We understand your anxiety and frustration. Seeing your partner online cannot replace making love or a good sex, but let’s not forget that we can have sex without being physically close to each other. Yes, we are talking about sexting and video sex. But tread this path with extreme caution. Do not - we repeat - do not trust just anyone to go online and have sex. Do it only with someone you trust completely. Here are some do’s and don’ts.
Q: Will our life always remain like this now - locked down at home, masks, social distancing? I feel so restless.
A: Feeling anxious and restless at home is very common. We are all feeling it, especially with the non-stop news around COVID-19. You may want to check some of our self care tips to help overcome this anxiety.
About life remaining the same - well, every cloud has a silver lining. We are positive that scientists will soon find a vaccine or a cure to this disease. In the meanwhile, we can practice social distancing and good hygiene. This way we will be doing our bit to help our society, our government and our scientists. Until then stay safe and stay in love!
The person in the picture is a model.