Since 31 December 2019 and as of 22 June 2020, 8 926 399 cases of COVID-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 468 257 deaths. the onus of staying safe during the pandemic still lies with us. Given the highly infectious nature of the contagion, it is understandable that the society needs to adapt to the unprecedented changes and challenges the pandemic has brought. There are following habits which need to adopt in this pandemic.
Change the way you greet: No more handshakes and hugs
This one is a no-brainer. In a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, it is important to practice social distancing and this includes novel ways of greeting each other. You can try anything from the good old namaste, the wave, awkward but cute elbow bumps to even the innovate foot shake (greeting each other by quick right and left kick on the feet). When you change the tangible ways of greetings, you drastically cut down your chances of transmitting the infection.
Social distancing is the new normal
Let’s be honest. Even as the government has relaxed the lockdown norms, it is not the time to start hanging out with your friends and catch up for ‘lost time.’ It is important to keep a minimum distance of at least 6 feet (2 Gaj) from other people at all times, even when you are sitting in your office/ meeting people you are not quarantined with. Remember, even if your immune system is strong enough to battle the virus, you may pass it onto a more vulnerable person.
Wear face-cover or face mask while stepping out
This is non-negotiable. We need to understand that the contagion is spread by the infectious droplets which are ejected from the mouth and nose of the person as he/she coughs, speaks, sneezes, laughs etc. Wearing a reusable cloth cover or mask not only prevents the infected person from spreading the infection, but it also provides a certain degree of protection to the wearer.
Keep your hands off your face at all times
We have a tendency to touch our eyes, nose and mouth without putting much thought. This is why it is important to consciously avoid the same as our hands pick up a lot of germs and pathogens. When you touch your face, you can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth resulting in infection.
Be mindful of your coughs and sneezes
As COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, make sure to cover your mouth properly with a tissue paper or the inside of your elbows as you sneeze or cough. It is important to sanitize your hands or wash them thoroughly afterwards and discard the used tissue properly.
Washing and sanitizing your hands is very important
We cannot stress enough on the importance of washing our hands frequently and thoroughly in order to get rid of any bacteria or viruses that we may have picked inadvertently. In the absence of soap and water, one should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
No more spitting in public
If you are one of the chosen few, who love painting the public walls red with gutka and paan, let us warn you. Spitting in public increases the risk of COVID-19 infection and it puts you and everyone else in grave danger. Also, spitting in public is a punishable offence now.
Cleaning and disinfection should be your new mantra
From wipes to heavy-duty chemical disinfectants, you can use a variety of cleaners and disinfectants to maintain good hygiene in and around your home. Ensure that you wear gloves during cleaning and sanitizing process.
It is not the time to take a summer vacation: Avoid unnecessary travelling
Even as the government has opened the lockdown with some reasonable restrictions, one needs to understand that we are still very much battling the pandemic. So, try to stay indoors to keep yourself and your family safe and step outside only when it is absolutely necessary.
Fight the disease, not the patient
As a society, one of the ways we will be able to defeat this disease is by being empathetic to those battling coronavirus infection and offering whatever help we can to them and their families in these testing times. COVID-19 patients and their families are facing enormous discrimination currently, making their battle even more difficult. Let’s start by becoming more compassionate towards the patients, all the while being mindful of social distancing. From cooking them a meal, offering to run their errands to even monetary help, we can all do our bit.
No crowded places or social gatherings
Remember, unnecessary travelling to crowded places leads to an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. Instead, try connecting virtually with your loved ones and keep them safe.
Be mindful of what you are posting on social media
We are living in scary circumstances, where unverified and false claims related to the disease can spread further panic. Do not circulate unverified messages through any means of communication.
Seek information about coronavirus from reliable sources
The most credible source for COVID-19 information is the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s website.
Help is here: Call national toll-free helpline number or state helpline number
In case you need any assistance pertaining to coronavirus symptoms or any other queries, make sure to reach out to national helpline or your respective state helpline number.
Take care of your mental health
As we continue to deal with a pandemic which has changed our lives in unprecedented ways, remember it may trigger feelings of stress, anxiety and even distress. It is important to seek psychosocial support to tackle the situation head-on.