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Social distancing is among the precautions to avoid catching the Covid-19 virus from other people. It involves the practice of staying at home, limiting contacts with others and physical distancing or staying at least one meter away from another person to avoid his or her saliva droplets that may carry the coronavirus.

For Serbian Panta Petrovic, social distancing is already a way of life even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world last year. After all, the 70-year-old has been a hermit since 2001 antedating the coronavirus by 20 years. He lives in a tiny cave on the forested Stara Planina mountain in southern Serbia.

The native of Pirot said he isolated himself from society to be free from the hassles of everyday living, particularly arguing with others. He does have goats, chicken, dogs, cats and a wild boar for companions though.

With the pandemic, being anti-social is timely. But Petrovic is also concerned with the virus and believes that his extreme version of social distancing is not enough as protection. So, he went down to the city and recently got vaccinated.

Aside from getting two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, Petrovic said he even want to get a third shot. During an interview, he also urged others to get vaccinated.

While the hermit did not need prodding to get inoculated, anti-vaxxers in the United States present a challenge to fast achieving herd immunity that will slow down the spread of the virus and prevent more deaths. Thus, state governments are offering incentives to encourage the hesitant and afraid to get their jabs. Ohio held a weekly raffle of $1 million cash for adults who had at least one dose of vaccine.

Maryland gave $100 to state employees who received their second dose. Vaccinated New Yorkers were given free tickets to baseball games and subway trains. New Jersey offered free beer in local breweries, while Connecticut had free drinks to restaurant patrons. Maine gave away free fishing and hunting licenses and park passes.

In the Philippines, Las Piñas City residents with at least one dose of the vaccine were given stubs to join the monthly raffle of P5,000 cash until November and a house and lot grand prize in the December draw. In San Luis, Pampanga, a resident won a cow in the raffle of prizes intended for vaccinated individuals.

While getting immunized against the Covid-19 virus allows for unrestricted movement, the vaccinated still have to contend with bureaucratic scrutiny as much as the unvaccinated do. They have to prove their inoculation at every place they go to by showing their vaccination card.

Such hassle was so annoying for jet setting Indian stand-up comedian Atul Khatri. Khatri complained that he is tired of repeatedly showing his Covid vaccine certificate at hotels and airports to be accommodated or to pass. So, he thought of a clever way to avoid the routine verification.

In a tweet on 8 August, Khatri showed his white shirt printed with the copy of his vaccination certificate. It’s not known if his idea worked, but one thing sure was the post went viral.

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