Hiding a devil at home | Daily News


Hiding a devil at home

One of the popular games played by children is hide and seek. It was fun a few decades ago in villages because the country was full of empty lands and houses were big and located long away from each other. But today playing the `hide and seek' game is impossible for children simply because there are no places to hide. But unfortunately adults find out places to hide and it is not to play the game `hide and seek'. It is to hide from health authorities and law enforcement officials who try to locate COVID-19 individuals!

The latest COVID-19 cluster reported from a garment factory in Minuwangoda around two weeks ago is the worst according to health authorities and all. It is because it is the biggest ever cluster reported from Sri Lanka and it is widespread. But the most pathetic factor is it is the hardest to control due to the 'hide and seek' game played by some COVID-19 positive and suspected individuals connected to this latest cluster. They are hiding here and there in the country making it impossible for the relevant authorities to locate them and put them into the relevant procedure applied for all COVID-19 persons found from Sri Lanka so far since January this year.

Why did COVID-19 positive individuals not hide during the previous occasions? Who is hiding from whom? Why are they hiding? What if this `hide and seek' game continues? What can be the result ? These are the burning questions in front of the ordinary citizens of this country at the moment. We should not be biased at this moment.

Earlier COVID-19 positive individuals did not hide from authorities.Only a handful of them avoided them and ignored them. Some of those COVID-19 positive cases ended up six feet under the ground as a result of playing this `hide and seek' game. One example is the COVID-19 positive wealthy businessman reported from Mount Lavinia in the early months of the epidemic. Many did not hide because they wanted to stay alive and keep their family members alive. No one was willing to help them to hide.Thousands of dead bodies were shown on television every night.

But this latest COVID-19 cluster reported from the Minuwangoda garment factory is different from all the previous clusters.The majority of the COVID-19 positive cases started the `hide and seek' game from the beginning. They were well prepared to play the game even before giving specimen for PRC Tests. They gave wrong names, addresses and contact numbers to authorities. After giving samples to do PCR Tests, they vanished into thin air without a trace. Our intelligence units worked hard and traced many of them as soon as possible.

They planned and hid from all relevant authorities, especially from health authorities (Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) of relevant areas) due to many reasons. They were afraid of losing their jobs, losing their boarding houses, etc. They did not want to spend 14 days away from their usual lifestyle which is much more independent than any other Sri Lankan citizens.The most important factor is they did not see any dead bodies in Sri Lanka, especially the dead bodies of young people. Recently no one died from Corona in Sri Lanka.

Maybe they hide inside their rented rooms in busy towns, at homes belonging to relations, friends or lovers. Maybe they hide inside homes of ignorant powerful individuals! who knows. What if they continue this hide and seek game? What will happen to their close associates, people and to the country ? It is the most important question we have to answer because we have to stop this 'hide and seek' game with this garment factory COVID-19 cluster and make sure that time and resources spent on seeking those who hide should be stopped forever with this cluster.

The COVID-19 positive and suspected individuals who are still hiding from the relevant authorities may do not have children, aged parents, relations or friends and especially family members or friends who suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, lung fibrosis etcetera etc. may be they don't have any loved ones who suffer from suppressed immunity and those with chronic diabetes, chronic obstructive airways disease, heart problems, liver diseases, kidney diseases and metabolic diseases who can die very easily from COVID-19 no matter how hard our health staff try to save their lives with modern medical equipment and drugs.

Those who are still hiding and concealing the truth put their own health in danger without obtaining relevant medical treatment. Some foreign news reports stated that some young individuals who got infected with the COVID-19 virus and received medical treatment had not fully recovered and suffered for months and may be for the rest of their lives with various mental and physical weaknesses in their bodies. Those are from rich countries with facilities and good food, not like our poor garment factory workers who do not have nutritional food or at least fresh air to breath. So there are no home remedies for Corona as always mentioned in social media.

Maybe those who are still hiding have already given the infection to the other individuals staying at the same house with them. Those who stay inside the houses may have given the infection to many others such as their visitors, the people from the places they visit etc. Maybe the virus is now with many others from various other areas of the country. We cannot forget the fact that the virus was there without detection for about two or three weeks and got detected after that.

What we can do now ? It is very simple. It is preventing ourselves from getting infected. We can do this by simply following all health guidelines all the time. By now every single human being living on this planet knows what to do and what not to do. No matter where the COVID-19 virus is we all can protect our lives from it. It is not a waste of space if I mention once again what to do and what not to do.

We have to do a few simple things. The first thing is maintaining mindfulness all the time. Even one second is enough for Corona to enter into your body. One touch of face is enough to destroy all your efforts. Therefore maintaining mindfulness is very important. In other words it is being conscious all the time and not forgetting about COVID-19 even for a second in your day to day life.

Then you have to maintain at least a one meter distance from all the others all the time no matter where you go and what you do. It is good if you can do this even when you are at home because the family members travel to their workplaces etc and move with outsiders. It is not that difficult to do it and the only time we face hardships is while travelling in public transport. Even when travelling by public transport, we can try to keep one meter distance and be ready all the time to face the impossible by wearing a standard three layer mask.

We have to wear a standard three layer mask whenever we go out no matter where we go or when we go. We have to wear it and avoid touching or adjusting it once we wear it.We should touch it only to remove it after washing our hands for 30 seconds with soap and water. We should not touch the mask before this. Not touching the mask keeps it fit. The mask should cover both nose and mouth and not only mouth. In Sinhala we say `Muwa awarana' and sometimes people tend to think `Muwa' is the mouth. But in Sinhala, the word means `face' and not the `mouth'.

Then we have to wash our hands for 30 seconds with soap and water. There is no point if you touch anywhere in your face (not only mouth, eyes and nose) before washing your hands. You should not touch anything else from your hands between the time you wash your hands and touching your face. This is the most important part of hand washing and touching the face. There are times when you cannot find soap and water. What you can do is using a standard hand sanitizer available at any supermarket or other shops. Once you buy a hand sanitizer, you can use it for some time because you need it only when soap and water are not available.

Your responsibility does not end there. Did you notice anyone `new' around your neighbourhood ? A person who is a stranger or a person who rarely visited your area before and now resides in your area ? A sudden increase of family members of a neighbouring family? A strange man or woman who stays inside a nearby hotel room ? A daughter or son of a neighbouring family who work outstations and came for a vacation ? Maybe this person is hiding from relevant authorities after getting infected of COVID-19 and posing a threat to you and your loved ones.Take the phone and call the police now.

No matter who organizes what event you can avoid visiting these events because at the moment, the most important thing is protecting your life and the lives of your loved ones. If you understood what I said in above 1500 words, you will stay at home without going to meetings, functions, parties, weddings, alms givings, exhibitions, musical shows and such public events no matter what it is and who organised it.