Friday, April 17, 2020

Social distancing - Chinese advice on how to sit in Office when you are back to work !


The bowling attack may be good –  be it bowlers swinging wild or spinners turning crazy – you need a good slip cordon – slip fielding is an art.    Fielding in the slips is quite strenuous. Bending at the knees when the bowler starts his run up and staying still in the process needs a lot of strength and muscle endurance to withstand fatigue. For the slip fielder, standing in the slips for 90 overs – 540 deliveries – in a day can be quite tiresome and the fielder may lose concentration due to fatigue, which can prove costly for his team. Hence a relaxed stance that puts less strain on mind and body is required.  .. .. .. more importantly, the fielder should not be standing too close to the other ie., both should not be diving for the same catch !


Our childhood offered myriad opportunities of bliss and friendships – if you were the fortunate one to study in the same school, the bonding perhaps could be more. Do your remember your classmates and friends who were intimate to you say 30 or 40 years ago !

At Hindu High School when I studied +2 (we have a WA group of this classmates) – each bench would sit 5 – it was N Ravichandran, S Vijayaraghavan (unfortunately no more), Myself, MVR Raman & SP Soundararajan.  At DG Vaishnav – one had no opportunity of selecting bench-mates, but had to sit according to their Roll Nos – mine was 1247 – so I sat with 45, 46, 47 & 48. 

One could develop friendship at so many places – it was the street that one lived, the street or friend’s home(s) most visited, beach cricket, Hindi class, Divyaprabandha class, Typewriting, Shorthand classes, the institutions that one worked.  My first employment was with R Subbaraman & Co (Sole Agents of Cutfast Bonded Abrasives) – a small office cum godown [I learnt what was coated and bonded abrasive !) – then when you work in bigger Organisation, it is more fragmented of Kamala Arcade Branch, DO 3, Do2 @ Lotus Court, DO Kakinada and its branches, Ro and ,.. .. .. then 2 private Insurance Company experiences have made me richer with lot of friends (that some trusted friends could misbehave is a different painful chapter altogether)

My previous Company provided lunch and people would mostly frequent in groups for lunch and occupy tables together – again lunch would provide a good opportunity to dine and speak to colleagues with whom you have greater bonding. Life had been beautifully spent with people whom we knew, we liked and for whom the liking kept growing as there were more and more time of togetherness. 

Forget playing Cricket or slip-catching – Covid-19 has turned the World upside down – no more the friendly handshakes or tight hugs – people are advised to keep distance, say Namasthe with folded hands.  Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside – best advice is to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people; not to gather in groups and keep away from crowded places, avoid mass gatherings !   In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools.  This is because, COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked the Deputy Commissioners to constitute monitoring cells which will be exclusively mandated to inspect the social distancing norms including health and hygiene protocols of the workers engaged in the tea gardens.  Considering the importance of tea in the economic health of the state as well as in the country, though some tea gardens were allowed to resume their functioning with minimum work force, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal stressed on  adequate social distancing norms for the tea gardens in the changing socio-economic landscape emanated in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the state.

Unless a vaccine against the novel coronavirus is found, social distancing measures may continue for a year in Australia, the country's premier said on Friday. Scott Morrison underlined that there was no guarantee that a coronavirus vaccine will be developed, the daily Sydney Morning Herald reported.

A new study by Harvard University suggests some form of social distancing may be needed intermittently well into 2022, in the absence of vaccines, to prevent frequent coronavirus outbreaks.  After looking at computer simulations of how the virus may spread over the next five years, based on data of two beta-coronaviruses in US, the researchers concluded that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19 in humans, is unlikely to behave like its closest cousin, SARS-CoV-1, and won’t be eradicated by intensive public health measures after causing a brief pandemic.

With all this read this interesting ! report in MailOnline which states that employees should sit next to a colleague,   'they dislike the most' to keep social distancing when they return to work after the coronavirus lockdown, a medical expert has suggested.

Zhang Wenhong, head of the COVID-19 expert team in Shanghai, said on Wednesday that office workers should sit next to people they don't get along with to avoid chatting as a way to prevent the spread of the virus.  It comes as people in China have slowly returned to work and their normal lives after cities across the country eased travel restrictions. The former epicentre Wuhan, where the outbreak began, lifted its 76-day lockdown on April 8. But officials fear that the spike of 'imported cases' from inbound travellers and regional outbreaks could spoil the country's progress to post-virus recovery.

Zhang Wenhong, head of the COVID-19 expert team in Shanghai,  made the remarks while attending a video conference with Europe-based Chinese companies and overseas students on Wednesday. The meeting was held to discuss the current epidemic in Europe and answer questions about personal protection against the bug, according to the press. Mr Zhang said that the pandemic, which has infected over two million people globally, is unlikely to end within a short period of time. It would become a common practice for people to keep social distancing after they return to work. He advised office workers to 'listen more and talk less' during work meetings to reduce the risk of spreading the contagion.

The chief medic from the Huashan Hospital, Zhang Wenhong, also recommended people to ‘avoid doing mediocre work so that the boss wouldn’t talk to you’.  'Or you can find people you dislike the most to sit with,' Mr Zhang added. 'You would only chat with people you're friendly with, you know what I mean? 'You see this person that you've never spoken to since you came into the company, try to sit next to them. 'You leave straight after the meeting, run as fast as you can,' said the doctor. Mr Zhang continued: 'When you do an amazing job, the boss would think 'there is no point talking to you since you've finished all of the work'.  The 51-year-old medic has gained tens of millions of followers on social media for his down-to-earth style of speech during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the press. Chinese web users even dubbed him as 'Dad Zhang'.

It sounds more comical than any sound medical advice though ! - Officials in China in affected Province said many fatal cases were 'mistakenly reported' or missed entirely in an admission that comes amid growing global doubts about Chinese transparency.  Covid has for sure changed the way people have been living and socializing !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17.4.2020.

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