The things we do these days; washing our hands thoroughly, using hand sanitisers (if we have any), wiping down shopping before we store them, not shaking hands, avoiding people coughing or sneezing violently, and Social Distancing, are things we should have been doing all along anyway.
In truth, there has not been reason for us not to shake hands in the past. A good, strong handshake can help foster friendship and trust. As a preacher, I always stood at the exit of the church to wish congregants well after the service, and I shook everybody's hand as they left. This has of course stopped since the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Social distancing however was not always possible, if like me, you work in Central London. I would get on a crowded Southeastern Railway train from Welling or Woolwich Arsenal to Charing Cross, then change to an overcrowded Northern Line tube train to Goodge Street and then walk to the office. Fresh air was only possible after Goodge Street. These journeys were torture, especially as there was hardly a day that the Southeastern trains did not pause between stations due to signalling problems, passenger action or faulty trains. Each time the train stopped for an uncertain length of time, uncomfortable passengers breathed fast, and coughed and coughed, rendering millions of bacteria or viruses homeless or seeking new homes.
These uncomfortable train journeys continued, even after Covid-19 hit the England as the government hesitated over the decision to ask us to stay at home and work from home. For me, it was only eight days ago we were asked to work from home. In the six weeks prior to this, I spent the days praying and covering my family with prayers; my wife out teaching students she could not be sure observed the safety rules outside of school, my older sons and daughter out to school, where they interacted with teachers and other kids who may not have been observing the safety rules, and my youngest son at the childminder's.
Now we are all at home and relatively safe. I use the word 'relatively' because once or twice a week, my wife or I go to the shops to buy foodstuff. The problem is that with all the devastation Covid-19 has dealt out, people do not really maintain the social distancing rules. I have had to ask people to step back and to use the guide lines some of the supermarkets have provided instore to keep people at safe distance from each other.
It will help all of us during this Covid-19 pandemic to practice these good habits and to carry on with them after we have triumphed over the virus, because we don't know what will come after coronavirus.
Nnorom Azuonye 27.3.20