5 ARAB NEWS Wednesday, July 1, 2020 News Saudi Arabia distance from each other; we didn’t shake hands or hug each other. We also used plastic or paper cups and dishes,” she told Arab News. “I think it is acceptable to meet with family and friends while taking precautions and treating yourself and others around you like you are infected to avoid catching the virus,” said Al-Jehani. “It might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.” The “new normal” could also pose a challenge from a mental health perspective. Lujain Sharawani, 27, prefers to stay at home most of the time and go out only when necessary. “As a family, we are doing our best by staying home and not meeting with other people outdoors,” she told Arab News. “I took the opportunity to meet with a few of my closest friends by inviting them over to my house, and we stayed in a big room to keep a safe distance between us while taking the necessary precautions such as wearing a mask and not making any physical contact,” she said. Saudi infectious diseases specialist Abdulaziz Al-Kinani said that the Health Ministry has placed its trust in people to follow precautions. “The ministry allowed us to return to our normal life but with new adopted behaviors, such as social distancing,” he told Arab News. “These behaviors will help to avoid the spread of diseases, whether they are highly infectious or not, with the simplest example being the flu. To adopt this behavior — keeping distance — is healthy. We can go out and enjoy ourselves, but we must keep the precautionary measures in mind.” However, Al-Kinani warned against being obsessively cautious, adding: “Calmly wash your hands and use disinfectants if you have touched surfaces in public places, and avoid crowds.” Though many many still feel anxious 10 days after the lifting of the lockdown, experts say that this is an ideal time to reassess priorities and adopt a positive mindset about the future.
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