COVID-19 Diaries | The Novel Virus Forces Us To Be Considerate

Our HR department has shared a list of pre-cautionary measures to keep our workplace safe.

Please keep safe distance from each other (3 feet) in the buses

I am a bit eccentric and that’s putting it mildly. People regard me with various names but more on that later.

For me, anything and anybody in close vicinity (two feet away) poses harm to me physically or mentally. I call it my space and Needless to say that I don’t like people who invade my space. There were people who did that and as I felt saying it upfront would lead to cold animosity between us. I went for the simpler option.

Before you say I am blowing it out of proportion, let me tell you a couple of anecdotes.

There is one guy in the next aisle (Tom). One of these morons (Dick), wanted to talk to Tom but he was too lazy to walk to Tom’s desk. So, Dick came to my desk, stood behind my chair to talk to Tom. No, no, it did not end there. He rested his arm on the back of my chair and leaned in, perhaps for support.

I wanted to scream.

Dick, what are you doing? You have invaded my personal space and now acting as though we are closed friends. Get the hell away from me.

I didn’t scream.

No, I didn’t ignore it. I cannot ignore things.

Instead, I told my manager to convey the message – tell them to stay at an arm’s length from me.

Things have not changed, until now. COVID-19 has forced people to follow that rule.


Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. If you cough or sneeze into your hands, wash them immediately with soap and water.

Cover your face when sneeze or cough. That’s basic manners, right? Not for people around me. Most of Indians sneeze and cough into other’s mouth, without even a second thought about spreading the infection.

At least COVID-19 has changed that.

Choose staggered time to have your lunch at café (to avoid café being full)

I do that all the time. I like eating alone and I cannot swallow food when people around me are shouting at the top of their lungs – that’s how the cafeteria is during lunch hour.

Some people have observed and even complained about it – that Shabana eats lunch after lunch-hour. They don’t understand my predicament.

And, now, COVID-19 makes them reconsider their lunch-hours. Funny that, huh!

Essentially, Corona virus has forced people to become me. Yes, I consider myself considerate.

Thank you, Coronavirus, for temporarily making people more aware.

Shabana Mukhtar


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sophia Ismaa says:

    Oh, gosh! So annoying when people, especially people who you don’t consider friends, invade your space. There’s definitely a poor understanding around boundaries that needs to be explored in training sessions.