As we read this, the number of positive covid positive cases in the nation has reached a massive 4.25 lakh count. Even though restrictions have been lifted and we as a nation are now going through an unlocking plan, the onus of staying safe during the pandemic still lies with each one of us. We all are aware that contagion is highly infectious. So, we as a society need to find ways to adapt to the unprecedented changes and challenges brought on by this pandemic.
While the world scientists and researchers try their best to find a cure for the novel coronavirus, we must still do our part by learning about preventive measures for safeguarding ourselves against the virus. These precautionary measures should be implemented in a sustained manner and we all need to play our part well and fulfil our responsibilities to stay safe. Remember, these habits will not work in isolation and every one of us must follow them thoroughly to make a nationwide impact.
The following is a list of habits we should adopt if we want to win the fight against this deadly pandemic:
1. Namaste all the way! Say no to handshakes and hugs
This one is just common sense. In order to contain the spread we’ve all been urged to practice social distancing and this includes changing our ways of greeting. You can use greetings like the good old namaste, the wave, or just an awkward smile. When you change your method of greetings, you significantly cut down your chances of transmitting the infection.
2. The new normal is 6 feet away
Even as we enjoy the relaxed lockdown rules, this does not mean that we can start hanging out with our friends and catch up on ‘lost time.’ We must always keep a minimum distance of at least 6 feet (2 Gaj) from other people, even while just sitting in the office/ meeting people. This isn’t just for your own benefit because even if you have an immune system that is strong enough to battle the virus, you may still infect a more vulnerable person.
3. Face-cover or face mask is a necessity
Face masks are not an accessory, they are necessary. The contagion of the virus spreads through the infectious droplets which eject from the mouth and nose of the person as he/she coughs, speaks, sneezes, laughs etc. Wearing a reusable face mask will not only prevent the spread of the infection from the infected to other people, it also offers protection to the wearer.
4. Your hands and your face should practice social distancing
We all habitually touch our eyes, nose and mouth without thinking about it. This is why we must consciously avoid doing so as our hands pick up a lot of germs and pathogens. Touching your face can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth which can result in infection.
Careful with the coughs (and sneezes)
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. So, to prevent its spread, we need to cover our mouth properly with a tissue paper every time we sneeze or cough. Always sanitize your hands or wash them thoroughly after a cough or a sneeze and throw away the used tissue properly.
5. Wash, wash, wash your hands...and then sanitize!
The importance of frequently and thoroughly washing our hands cannot be stressed enough if we want to kill any bacteria or viruses that we may have inadvertently picked up. If you don’t have soap and water, you can use a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
6. No spitting
If you are one of those people, who love spitting on public walls, then quit immediately. In fact, you should have quit a long time ago, but now it’s more important than ever. Spitting in public areas increases the risk of the spread and it puts you and other people in grave danger. Also, it is a punishable offense now.
7. Your new mantra: Clean and disinfect
You can use a variety of cleaners and disinfectants from wipes to heavy-duty chemical disinfectants for keeping good hygiene in and around your house. Make sure you wear gloves while you are cleaning and sanitizing.
8. Stay at home base, Captain! : No unnecessary traveling
Government restriction on traveling may have lifted, but we’re still very much in the middle of battling a pandemic. So, stay indoors as much as possible to keep yourself and your family safe and go outside only when you have to.
9. Fight the disease, not the patient
This is the time for us to come together as a society and defeat this disease. We must be empathetic to those who are fighting coronavirus infection and offer them all the help we can to them and their families in these troubling times. We must not discriminate against those who have tested positive. Instead, we should be more compassionate towards the patients, while still being careful of social distancing. From cooking them a meal, offering to run their errands to even monetary help, let us all do our bit.
10. The nation wants to know... the TRUTH!
These are scary times and there are a lot of unverified and false claims about the disease that can spread further panic. Avoid sharing unverified messages through any means of communication. Instead, seek information about coronavirus from reliable sources. The best source for information about COVID-19 is the official website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
11. Help is always available: Call national toll-free helpline number or state helpline number
If you ever need any help relating to coronavirus symptoms or any other queries, you can reach out to national helpline number 1075 (toll-free) or your respective state helpline number.
12. Don’t ignore your mental health
As the pandemic continues to change our lives in unprecedented ways, it is normal for us to feel stress, anxiety and even distress. Make sure you seek psychological support to tackle the situation head-on. You can also call on national mental health toll-free helpline number 08046110007.
Stay healthy, stay safe :)