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Let’s All Do Our Parts To Survive This Evil Coronavirus

By Balwant Sanghera

The Coronavirus disease, aka COVID-19, has hit the world community like a ton of bricks. During the past few weeks it has spread like a wild fire. China, Italy, France, Germany and a host of other countries in particular have been hit very hard. In Italy alone, more than 1800 people are reported to have lost their lives to this pandemic. Countries around the globe are closing their borders in order to contain the disease. Our stock markets are in a free fall. Investors have lost billions of dollars in this short period of time. All of this has caused a lot of anxiety and even panic amongst people. In times like this the political leadership of a country has a very important role to play. Our elected officials not only have to make crucial decisions for public safety but also assure the public and minimize people’s anxiety.In this context, the just announced measures by the federal and provincial governmentsgovernment are very appropriate and timely.

Justin Trudeau’s announcement on March16, banning non-residents from other countries from entry into Canada,with the exception of United States citizens, were overdue. Now only, Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and citizens of the U.S. will be allowed to return to/enter Canada. From now on, anyone entering at one of the four designated international airports-Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Toronto- will be assessed and given a questionnaire about coronavirus symptoms. Each one of them will be expected to agree to a self- imposed isolation/quarantine for two weeks. In addition to that, assemblies of more than fifty people have been banned. People, especially children and seniors, are encouraged to stay home and away from others. Our health authorities are urging everyone to wash their hands with soap and hand sanitizers etc. frequently. Also, not shaking hands and keeping the distance from each other are some other suggestions in order to stem the flow of this virus.

Another measure announced by the Province includes a ban on gatherings of not more than 50 people. This is a change from 250. This ruling is going to have wider implication for weddings, assemblies, sports activities and much more. For our community, the months from March to October have a lot of weddings scheduled. Nearly every Gurdwara in Metro Vancouver has been booked for a very large number of weddings. This is going to cause a lot of inconvenience. Already, a number of Gurdwaras are facing very difficult questions from some of the people who have booked their functions.

The management committees of various places of worship are dealing with this situation in the best possible manner. People who have booked their weddings, LangaraKirtman’s or other functions need to understand that these measures have been brought in by the government for public safety. We all have a stake in keeping ourselves and our communities safe. All of us need to be patient, co-operative and understanding. We are all in it to-gether. Let us make best of the situation we are facing. Let us hope that this unexpected storm will blow over before long and people will be able to resume their normal life activities.

Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist and Community Activist.

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