“The alarm goes off early in the morning, and I get up thinking that I’ll be late for the office. And if I’m late, the children will miss the school bus. Rubbing my eyes, I slither off the bed. I turn on the lamp and stare at the wall. It is then I realize that there is no school, no office and nowhere to go. I yawn and get back into bed. The situation is alarming but sleeping it off seems like the best thing to do…”
· With 98 reported cases, the UAE may go into lock-down soon. It has stopped issuing visas, halted flights to numerous countries and restricted people from going out of their houses unless utterly necessary. The schools, night clubs, cinemas, spring camps, offices, gyms, and parks have been shut down until further notice. The number of active cases are updated here.
· According to Gulf News, the banks announced that Dh100 billion will be printed to battle the economic slowdown happening due to coronavirus.
· Other than monitoring finances, The Ministry of Health and Prevention has advised elderly people to not leave their houses at all and for their children and caretakers to provide a safe living environment for them.
· Social distancing has been recommended which refers to avoiding kissing, handshaking, and hugging, says Khaleej Times.
· Gulf News further reported that teams have been sent to disinfect popular tourist destinations using fogging machines and medicated sprays.
· All major tourist areas have been closed including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Watan, Manarat Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Warner Brothers World, Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World, Al Ain Zoo, Global Village and Clymb, says Arabian Business on their website.
· Wedding halls, sheesha cafes, and services in other restaurants have temporarily been held.
· Offices have instructed employees to work from home. Video calling will now virtually allow the employees to stay in contact whilst working from home.
· The airports have installed thermal scanners to detect the illness. The entire process takes about 45 minutes.
· Thermal scanners have also been installed at malls.
· Supermarkets and pharmacies have been instructed to thoroughly disinfect at all times.
· The Dubai metro follows a strict disinfecting procedure after every journey which has been reported earlier by Gulf News.
· Furthermore, The National covered the news of a new facility further away from the city being under construction to assist and treat coronavirus patients in isolation. The medical isolation will be for 14 days.
With all these regulations in place, confusion has cluttered the minds of residents. Here’s your ultimate guide to preparing yourself for the lock-down.
1. Have a family meeting.
Gather all your family and discuss the crisis. Make sure that you’re all on the same page. Do not panic. Half the world is going through the same problem. Discuss everyone’s schedules and address all concerns. There should be no chaos. You’re not allowed to step outside of the house but that doesn’t mean that you’re not productive inside the house. Take out time to thank God for being safe and healthy. If there are children in the house who are upset about not going to school or being let out to play, educate them about the happenings. Make sure that the information you’re reading yourself and passing on is authentic and not just anything on the internet.
2. Set up a structure for everyone to follow.
Children still need to study online, you need to do your work, and your partner probably needs to complete the house chores. Set up a structure and rules for everyone to abide by now that everyone is under one roof. You can display the schedules on the refrigerator and other places so that everyone is on track. If you easily get distracted, replicate your work environment in a separate room. If the children seem to talk to each other rather than complete their homework, separate them as well. More about remote education in the UAE can be read here. You’re all in this together! This also means helping around the house with the dishes, cleaning, and washing etc. It is the perfect time to do all those indoor activities which were forever pending due to busy schedules.
3. Stock up but don’t go crazy.
Videos of the world going bonkers over toilet rolls and sanitizers are circulating the internet. He who provided you food and shelter yesterday will provide you with more tomorrow too. Purchase your daily essentials but make sure that you don’t go overboard. You cannot possibly be at peace with a wardrobe full of tissue roll or snack bars with your neighbor going haywire looking for some. Some grocery stores are also offering discount vouchers and deals on health products. Of course, if individuals in your family suffer from a lifelong disease such as diabetes that requires constant medication, you can get an adequate amount of medication for emergencies. A pro tip from UAE moms is to freeze vegetables, snacks, fruits, and gravies because who says dinner can’t be fun when you can’t go out on a fast-food run?
4. Stay physically active.
It is easy to keep lying around and accomplishing your tasks however the body needs its fuel. Create a healthy regime for the family. Workout using Zumba or exercise videos together, do yoga or play with the children outside. This will only build more immunity to fight off any germs in the body. Click here to follow the top UAE fitness influencers for motivation and daily workout routines.
5. Plan out your entertainment.
Long holidays even with tasks to perform and children around can get tedious and challenging. Imagine that you’re on a spring break, only it’s longer with restrictions. Adventurous, right? From family movie Sundays and board games to book reading, and just you catching up on your Netflix shows, do it all. Relax and go easy on yourself. Staying under one roof doesn’t necessarily mean staying together all the time. Have your me-time as well.
6. Practice good hygiene.
This is probably the most important point of all. Make cleaning, disinfecting and hand-washing a habit. Live in a germ-free environment and teach your children to do the same. Here’s what you should know and do from today onward to stay in the safe bubble:
· Wash your hands often and that too with medicated soap.
· Avoid touching your face.
· Avoid crowds and gatherings.
· Avoid meeting people who have traveled to infected places.
· Avoid traveling. If you’ve made travel plans, carry a mask and sanitizer.
· Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lukewarm water.
· When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth.
If you develop fever symptoms and have difficulty breathing, visit a doctor near you, at once. Your risk of getting the virus is low unless you come in contact with an infected person so carry on living your life with precautions.
Check up on your relatives and keep updated with the news. If you feel anxious and isolated, don’t be ashamed of seeking professional help. Long before our ancestors were told to literally battle in tough times, and we’re being confined inside our houses. Come on, we can do this!
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