#Personal Stories

How Does One Deal With Friends Who Do Not Follow COVID-19 Protocols

Keeping Friends Close Decreases Stress, Feminist friends, covid relationships

Ever since the pandemic COVID-19 set in, we have found our lifestyle change. Our days are no l0nger the same. We can’t move about freely or meet our loved ones like we used to. In the initial days of the nationwide lockdown, it was challenging to adapt to the new norms. Not to mention, for most of us, life became unbearable with no going out or travel. However, there is a large mass of our countrymen who are still dealing with issues, the depth of which we can never fathom.

In order to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe, we are bound to follow a set of rules. It can sometimes become challenging and we might feel like giving up. Bubbles are all good in theory and many of us are trying desperately to keep it in place. Amidst these difficult times, we find some of our friends who do not take the crisis seriously. Here are a few ways in which we can handle them .

Educate them about the disease

Most of the negligence we see around us is a result of ignorance. We should keep our friends informed about the danger the disease is posing on all of us. If they haven’t been affected yet, it’s great news but it is the need of the hour to follow the safety rules and be a responsible citizen. Not only that, they should spread awareness as well. This way, it is possible to keep ourselves and our fellowmen safe.

Be sensitive to them

Following COVID-19 protocols also includes sensitivity. It’s important to be more humane towards our friends and teach the same to them. The stigma surrounding the pandemic is gradually turning us into beasts. Merely wearing a mask and maintaining cleanliness might protect us from the virus but it won’t play any role in making us caring humans.

In the past months, we have witnessed ill treatment of those from marginalised communities as well as COVID positive patients. Is this what they deserve? Shouldn’t there have been more human ways of dealing with them? Sometimes people in urban centres feel that their house staff is bringing the disease in. We are making way too many assumptions and we need to stop.

The migrant labourers who were locked up and beaten ruthlessly weren’t completely at fault. The vegetable vendor, who is in all probability the only earning member of his family had to see his cart being turned upside down by those in power. That’s definitely not how he should have been treated.

For the privileged ones like us, it’s easy to run our fingers on the keyboard of our smartphones and type “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” But we should all take into consideration the fact that not everyone has a home to stay. That section not only needs attention but also support and its we, who can help them. Well, I am not sure if they understood the point I was trying to drive home. However, I did the best I could to bring out the “human” side of my homies.

Have their back at all times

One of the key responsibilities on our shoulders now is to be by the side of our friends. They need us as much as we need them. Do not forget that they are the ones who came to your rescue when there was no one to lean on. Now, it’s your turn. Remember to check on them. Keep reminding them that things will fall in place sooner or later, in case they are losing hope. We have to hold on till normalcy is restored.

For creating a safe and healthy environment, we have been advised to practice self isolation. Whereas, some of us are fortunate enough to have a family to fall back on, the same is not the case with everyone. Sadly, the loneliness has taken a toll on the mental health of many. In these times, we should  show our love and empathy for the family we don’t have blood relations with but who matter just as much.

This year has taught me a plethora of things I had never paid attention to. COVID-19 is a battle we are all fighting together. In a situation like this, we need to take care of ourselves and our near and dear ones. I have made it a point to stay connected to my friends throughout. Meeting them physically and giving them a warm hug isn’t possible right now but trust me, that’s a moment I have been waiting for since a long time. Anyway, the wait isn’t going to end soon but till then, I am going to be a good friend from a distance. I hope you do the same.

What we should do

  • Follow the rules set to fight against the virus.
  • Be sensitive to people dealing with the pandemic.
  • Don’t forget to fulfil your duties towards your friends.

Views expressed are author’s own