Did you know that a third of the world’s population is on coronavirus lockdown?
What is the purpose of a lockdown?
Scientists and labs around the world are learning more about the COVID-19 virus. They are working very hard to come up with a vaccine as well as a medicine to beat it. In the meantime, governments are taking some precautions to keep their citizens healthy. Right now they are focussed on reducing the number of people each confirmed COVID case infects i.e. to break the chain of transmission.
Governments and doctors feel that this will give older people or people with other illnesses (vulnerable population) a better chance to fight this virus. It will also give the government time to ready hospitals and organize more medical equipment.
You must be wondering what is happening in other countries. Are the kids there back to school? Are gyms open? Are they eating out? Well, a lot of kids are experiencing some degree of “lockdown.”
Here is some country-specific news:
Some countries that have previously imposed rules are beginning to lift quarantine measures. For example in Denmark, its good news for children up to the age of 11. They are returning to nurseries and schools as they become the first country in Europe to relax coronavirus restrictions on education. Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to impose a lockdown, with schools closing on 12 March.
In Spain, thousands of construction and factory workers returned to work. Though a majority of the country is still under strict lockdown and schools and nonessential businesses like retail stores and restaurants will remain closed.
In Italy, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, will also start to relax some lockdown rules and allow some shops to open. Factories and schools will remain closed and most of the rules will remain in place until May 3, 2020.
In the United States, Donald Trump is still deciding when to reopen businesses and reduce social distancing measures. A new report modeling the spread of Covid-19 in the United States says that “prolonged or occasional social distancing may be necessary into 2022.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended India’s mandatory lockdown to May 3rd, 2020 but are relaxing some specific measures around industry.
Singapore witnessed a rise in infections within the daily wage workers that are employed in construction, shipping, and maintenance. It started a mandatory lockdown last Tuesday. People can only go out for essential activities and exercise. If they don’t follow rules they might be surprised with fines of up to S$10,000 ($7,000; £5,600) or six months in prison!
Well, most kids are in the same boat. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Of course, social distancing measures seem to be working. The cases of infections are reducing and some countries are actually slowly starting to relax social distancing measures.
Does that mean life will go back to normal? Maybe not. There might be a new normal. Wearing face masks, reduced outings to restaurants, movie theatres and malls, less travel, multiple temperature checks during the day might be the new normal but nothing that we can’t adapt to.
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