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Saying ‘Hello’ Has Officially Changed To ‘Don’t Touch Me, I Just Washed My Hands’

Saying ‘Hello’ Has Officially Changed To ‘Don’t Touch Me, I Just Washed My Hands’

Well, hello there.

I guess this is it… First, it was a disease that started spreading in the wet-markets in China, then Chinese citizens started posting videos on YouTube about how bad their situation is and how authorities are trying their best to cover up the mess that’s happening, then the situation started escalating, the city of Wuhan managed to build an entirely new hospital in just ten days…

It all seemed like a post-apocalyptic movie. We listened. We read. We shared. We prayed.

But we failed to prepare for it. It seems to me we didn’t expect it…

So, here we are… COVID-19 or Coronavirus is officially a pandemic. Even though they’ve been assessing this outbreak around the clock, a week ago WHO (The World Health Organization) was forced to declare a global pandemic. So far, COVID-19 has affected 170 countries and territories around the world and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).

As of today, there are 115, 739 infected patients, 82,889 recovered patients and 8, 272 deaths worldwide. The US has 7,339 total cases out of which 106 recovered and 116 died.

All in all, it is pretty ugly out there.

To be honest, it could be because I was pretty younger back than and not really concerned with the world’s problems, but I don’t recall a panic about the Bird Flu, Ebola, SARS or any other global pandemic like the one we see in the media over the novel Coronavirus…

However, while there’s no doubt that the media has succeeded in hyping this disease, I don’t think they’re doing it for the money. I mean, yes, they’re definitely profiting from their sensationalist articles, but you have to admit it… This thing is really happening and it’s out there.  Just look around you.

Turn on the news and just watch. Corona has officially taken its toll on the whole medical world and every business, social and economic aspect of every country. Not to mention us… The mere mortals. Schools, kindergarten and universities are closing. Airplane companies are canceling flights. The stock market is going crazy. People are quarantined. They are panic-buying like it’s the end of the world. There are no masks, no hand-sanitizers, or toilet paper rolls for that matter…

Most importantly, saying Hello no longer includes hugging, kissing or shaking someone’s hand. Greeting people has officially changed from ‘Hey, there’ to ‘Don’t touch me, I just washed my hands’.

It’s only been a week and people have already found creative, alternative ways of greeting others. They are waving to each other, elbow bumping, putting their hand on their hearts when they see someone they know, blinking to each other and whatnot. Some have even adopted Mr. Spock’s Vulcan Salute. I mean, whatever works for you, it’s fine. As long as you don’t touch someone else and they touch your face.

The brutal reality is, we have no idea how long is this going to take and we have no idea how much is going to cost us. There will be consequences, that I know. But it is up to us to wake up, take matters into our own hands and start behaving more responsibly. If not for our sake, then for the sake of each and everyone around us. For the sake of our kids, parents, our grandparents, friends, loved ones.

No one can say where we’ll be in a few months. But if you ask me, this is the start of something big. I can feel it. It is the great awakening. The greatest shift that we’ve experienced and we have yet to experience.

The world as we know it has officially started changing. Let’s embrace those changes and keep moving forward.

Stephanie Reeds