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COVID19: Going stir crazy is the least of our worries

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Psychologists advise its preferable to have a daily routine to cope with being locked up to keep the coronavirus at bay.

It’s rather strange living in a house with your family while trying to keep your distance, staying two metres apart, avoiding physical contact.

Working from home during the coronavirus crisis is also a hostile environment because you can’t exactly leave the office to go home or out to lunch.

There is no escaping work as tracking the Covid-19 pandemic seeps into every corner of our quarantined lives.

The virus is there hanging over us like a dark cloud of uncertainty ready to rain on our parade without warning or fanfare.

I’m not a great one for a birthday celebration, especially at 59 I’m edging into the vulnerable group of coronavirus sufferers.

My birthday will be remembered for one reason, it was the day that Cyprus introduced an unprecedented lockdown on free movement to enforce social distancing laws.

As I wanted to take the dog for a walk to celebrate isolation, the government text system to be granted permission crashed.

The dog was having none of it, so I took my chances out on deserted streets that felt like one those Day of the Dead zombie films, where your head is on a swivel in case the walking dead want a bite out of you.

Even before the March 24 lockdown, I hadn’t ventured out apart from going for a walk with the dog.

Out on the streets, everyone is viewed as a potential source of infection, every shop still open, an invisible death trap.

Blunt instrument

It is hard not to be traumatised by the stay home, stay safe mantra that has arisen because so many people are dying across the globe as medical staff try to fight back with blunt instruments.

Without a cure or a vaccine, it appears only self-discipline will see us through this – at least until the expected second wave anyway.

There is no telling how many more weeks we will have to self-isolate from society or whether any of us will have jobs or business to go back to once the good fight is done.

Maybe our only hope is that by confronting this as a united society – Cypriots and discipline are not the best dating partners – we will overcome this intact.

A cold shower of reality is that Cyprus has already recorded five deaths from coronavirus, a relatively high rate for the number of confirmed cases.

This is not a time for blame, but the state hospitals need to take a hard look at their protocols because the virus seems to be spreading through our health system which is not the best way to tackle this monster.

Experts argue there has to be random testing while all patients in hospitals should be screened to prevent healthcare workers – the people we need most – from getting sick.

Living in fear of the virus, worried that our parents might catch it, are raw ingredients for a traumatised society built on a reputation for welcoming guests.

We are part of a huge social experiment to contain a deadly virus and stop it from spreading, there is no margin for error as the world stays behind closed doors.

For the moment we need to hunker down, think positively and whenever we get the chance to applaud healthcare workers or other frontline staff in essential services we should do so proudly.

One thing that may grow from the fallout of this pandemic is a sense of civic duty and solidarity that takes better care of those in need.

It’s a long shot, but I’m clutching at anything for the moment.

Stay home. Stay safe.