Covid19 (popularly known as Corona virus) is wreaking havoc across the globe. After originating in China in December’2019, it has affected large parts of every continent. The scale and effect has been unprecedented in modern human history. It is a global challenge and global communities led by World Health Organisation are coming together to fight this. Billions of people are in coronavirus lockdown and a few lacs under quarantine world-wide. Everyone is anxious and feeling helpless, but there are a few things each one of us can do at individual level to help our communities, which can be a housing society or a large urban development. Let’s discuss top 5 of these:
Maintain hand hygiene- It is so common for us to take things for granted in general. When we belong to an upper middle class community, we expect a certain level of hygiene at every surface we interact with. We tend not be careful about every surface that we come in close to. Now with the new findings of WHO regards Corona virus, it is known that this virus stays on various surfaces for a very long time. The only antidote to this is to wash hands every time you interact with a surface that could be infected. It is recommended to wash one’s hands for more than 20 seconds and in a way to ensure no part of the hand remains uncovered by soap. Soap is the simplest yet the most effective warrior against Corona virus and provides a safety net.
Social Distancing-This is a much used term right now. However, what it really means and why it should be followed is not clear to most. One primary way the Corona virus spreads and gains entry into our body is through tiny droplets, which are suspended in the air, every time someone coughs. In India, we generally don’t view the coughing very seriously, but that attitude needs to change. Probably in days to come, wearing a face mask will be the rule rather than the exception. Along with it, the need to maintain distance between two people helps avoid such infections from spreading. This may require us to re-plan all our social places like parks, restaurants and health clubs. Even within our housing society, we will need to work out solutions to maintain a safe distance between two individuals. The regular cleaning of surfaces will be mandatory and will go a long way to ensure all of us live healthy. Expressions of closeness like hugging, hand shakes and high-fives will have to be completely avoided for a long time.
Exercising-The effect of this infection will manifest differently in everyone. One’s immunity level will also decide how quickly and effectively body can get rid of such infections. Improving one’s immunity, therefore, is a long term defence to remain healthy. An easy and long term plan to improve immunity is to indulge in a 30 min exercise regime everyday. If it is done in sunlight, it is even better, as the surfaces everywhere could have been infected. Also, the aerosol particles inside a gym, could infect one as the social distances can’t be maintained properly in enclosed areas. The other advantage one gets by going out and exercising is the mechanism of Vitamin D production in the body, which is essential for good immunity. However, please remember that these are not the times to indulge in very long sessions of exercising as this could tire the body which makes it more prone to any infection.
Concern for Service Providers- We all know that Corona virus is highly contagious and therefore to ensure we stay protected from it, we need to ensure everyone around us is protected. It may entail ensuring that even the service providers in our housing society or the vendors in the community are properly educated about safe practices. In some cases, a few of them might not be able to buy the most basic personal protective equipments like mask. It will be a good gesture to help them with these supplies. Also, when you do this, you are protecting yourself.
Care for Elders- Every society has people young and old living together. As the researches indicate, the old and the very young children are at the most risk of contracting and showing serious effects of this infection. We, therefore, need to be very careful about them. There may be old people staying around on their own and our taking care of them will go a long way in keeping the society infection-free. At times, they may also need our help in arranging for basic essentials for life. At times, there may be families in quarantine in a society and they may need moral and supplies support. In such cases, it will be important to not outcaste such families and support them in a safe and healthy way.
These times may force us to adopt ways of living we have not known earlier. Staying at home is a winning strategy. It may look simple but will certainly affect our behaviour in long term. We need to support each other in the community and not display behaviour that is detrimental to anyone. It is pertinent here to mention that in this fight, we can all win together only. We can keep this out of our community only if we are together in it. The examples of other countries, including the one who have highly advanced health-care facilities have shown, that preventive steps to delay the spread of this is the only effective strategy. Therefore, pl follow the 5 tips shared above to survive this pandemic. This situation is unique and may force a lot of unpleasant decisions on us, please be courageous in facing those and survive.