The COVID-19 outbreak began in China and soon it became a global pandemic making the earth standstill. As positive cases continue to surge and death toll increase, trillions of people across the globe have been indefinitely placed under de facto lockdown to curb the spread of this disease. India observed one-day voluntary curfew, which was further intensified by closing all the state borders, restrictions and closures slightly varying from state to state. Also, all but the essential services have been prohibited from operating.
It is the time we all stand up in solidarity so that this adversity doesn’t give rise to other crises which would worsen the condition. We all need to provide maximum support to the frontline healthcare workers, law and order and the government in battling the Coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the instructions that help us be responsible and sensible towards the situation.
Maintain personal hygiene
Despite already being extensively publicized, this tops our list as it is a prerequisite to prevent the entry of the virus into your body. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze as your respiratory droplets are potentially contagious. Wash your hands, including fingernails, often for at least 20 seconds with soap, especially after coming into contact with any kind of surface. Do not touch anybody or anything without washing your hands as you might be harbouring the virus on your hand and could transmit it to others. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, ears and eyes with unwashed hands. Disinfect all the surfaces, door handles, knobs, taps etc. at least twice a day.
Only social distancing can save us now
This lockdown is not at all meant to let you visit places and socialize with your friends/relatives who are apparently healthy and might not transmit the infection. Social distancing is the need of the hour. Self-isolation prevents the spread of the virus from one host to another as the causal agent gets inactivated in the long term absence of the host. Make use of social media and smart aps to stay in touch with your loved ones. There are many workers out there who are not privileged to work from home. Count your blessings and stay at home. After all, it is for all our good!
Who needs to wear a mask?
Nose mask, one of the most needed commodities in this crisis is out of stock everywhere. Lack of knowledge on the purpose and usage of masks is making the situation more critical. Masks provide a considerable level of protection against this disease. It is much needed for frontline healthcare workers who are constantly exposed to infected people. It is advisable to wear a mask only if you are around infected people or if you show any of the symptoms. Never reuse single use masks. Remove the mask carefully without touching its outer surface and dispose off properly. Wash/sanitize your hands after disposing of the masks.
Purpose of sanitizers
Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water would serve the purpose as soap effectively dissolves the outer layer of the virus and prevents it from binding to the human cells. Sanitizer is required only in the absence of water and soap. Make sure the final concentration of alcohol in the sanitizer is at least 60%. Since all of us are locked down at home now with continuous access to water and soap, there is no need to panic-buy or stock up sanitizers and create its scarcity in the market. Let us save them for the ones who need it the most. Also, unlike soap lather, sanitizer doesn’t reach all parts of the hand, neither does it wash away the dead virus from the hand. Hence, use it only when water and soap are not available.
Avoid ordering food online
It is advisable not to order food online during this pandemic as there will be a lot of possibility for the infection to spread while preparing and packaging the food and travelling for delivery. In inevitable times, follow a strict protocol to maintain sterility. Unpack the food containers at the entrance of the house and discard the packing material. Transfer the food to household utensils and heat/microwave the food. The virus can’t stand higher temperatures. Consume food when it is hot. Try not ordering heat-sensitive foods as it is difficult to sterilize them.
Stock up essentials
In lockdown conditions, the resources are quite limited. Let them be available to everyone in need. Do not overbuy and create a food crisis during this critical scenario. Do not waste or throw away the food. The left out food can be heated properly and consumed the next day or donated to the less fortunate. A small portion of the left out food can also be fed to stray animals.
If you have elderly persons in your neighbourhood, ask if they would want you to fetch some groceries for them as well. Remember, there is a greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, hence need to stay indoors. Do not touch your mouth, ears, eyes and nose in the store. Sanitize your hands before getting into your vehicle. Dispose off the carry bags brought from the store as soon as reaching home and disinfectant all the products immediately.
Fear-mongering is as dangerous as the disease outbreak itself
While the pandemic is sweeping the world, it is most unfortunate to see various morally unethical and scientifically insane messages being widely circulated on social media. Kindly do not forward any health messages unless they are issued by federal authorities as it does more harm than good. Further, we appeal to not attach any regional, religious and political strings to the current scenario. It is a public health emergency of global concern and needs to be addressed on humanitarian grounds. Let us all stand united to fight against COVID-19!