It is hard to suddenly become antisocial in order to maintain social distancing while living in a society where everyone is very social.
And if you have relatives and friends living nearby, they will now come to visit you regularly as most of the offices have been shut down in efforts to minimize the spread of coronavirus.
And yesterday afternoon, exactly this happened. A distant relative of mine - who is my middle-aged aunt - showed up at my doorsteps without informing with their university-going daughter.
At the entrance to my house, I have set up a handwashing facility but they did not bother to wash their hands.
As she was going to enter my house, I was taken aback at her lack of caution during times like this and politely asked her to wash her hands before entering the house.
She smiled and said, "Hah! What are you saying? I have seen you running around this house as a child wearing shorts and you think I contain the virus? We maintain proper hygiene in our house. No need to wash hands."
Her words left me dumbfounded.
"Take this cucumber. It's from my garden behind my house," she said, without giving my words an ounce of importance. I had no other choice but to take the bag full of cucumbers from her hands. I let them inside my house, sat them down in the living room, and went to the kitchen to sanitize the bag of cucumbers with disinfectant spray. Unlike my aunt, the bag did not complain about being sanitized.
In fear of being embraced and having my hands shook, I rarely go outside anymore to avoid physical contact with other people. But I went to the local kitchen market today to buy some essential goods when someone suddenly touched my shoulder from behind.
I got startled and turned around quickly. It was an old batchmate from my high school. He was smiling after seeing me after a long time and eagerly extended his hand to shake hands with me.
The thing I feared all these days was physical contact. I felt drops of sweat forming on my forehead. Trying to not sound rude, I told him, "How about we shake, even hug, after the pandemic is over?"
He took away his extended hands and seemed to have gotten upset. But he did not give up. "There is no virus in our area. Nothing to fear about. You remember the brofist we used to do back in school? I can guarantee you that my fist is free of any virus!" he exclaimed as I reluctantly brofisted him.
Many people do not want to abide by the protocols of social distancing, but we have to maintain the distance for our own good. It is important for people to accept such precautions during such hours of crisis.
The most important rule is to stay clean and maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Staying clean alone is not going to help if you do not maintain proper social distancing. You can catch the virus from anywhere without even understanding where you got it from.
This is why experts suggest staying indoors to prevent the unsolicited spread of the virus.
It is a difficult job to socially distance ourselves from people who love to embrace others even during a time where social distancing is of utmost importance.