Sri Lankan police check a car at a checkpoint during a nationwide curfew imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus in Kalutara on March 31. (Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP)
The deadly Covid-19 outbreak began to have a local impact when Sri Lankan students and workers resident in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China, came to the fore. About 130 Sri Lankan students were evacuated and brought home and have now finished quarantine in an army camp in the hill country.
Then pilgrims who went to India were also transported back even after Sri Lanka's airports were closed to incoming passengers.
There are many buzzwords being used by people during this crisis. The concept of “social distancing” has been wrongly borrowed from social anthropology — it should be “physical distancing” or isolation.
The use of these concepts has become effective, with some added meaning for the physical and spiritual health of the individual and the community at large while dispelling the darkness and fear that surrounds us all. Uncertainty remains in our minds regarding the future.