Lets fight Covid: Be positive to remain negative – The Times of India Blog

The connotation of being a positive person in life has changed sharply. Covid-19 has turned the world upside down. It is better to be called a negative person in medical terms that might decide our social status too. Our social life which depends on our overall wellness has gone for a toss since the day US president Donald Trumps tweet represented the status of the world: Social distancing. He was bang on, but no, we are still socially connected, but physical distance is increasing by day. Mothers and dads are not kissing their children a most disturbing phenomenon somewhere similar to the days when measles were the order of the day. Till the 1980s, we contracted it at least once and felt like an outcast for at least nine days. Today, the quarantine period is reduced from almost 20 days to 17 to 12 and now 10. History repeats itself.

Amid all the negativity that is transforming the most optimistic people into depressed souls, there are a few points to ponder. These views are not of an expert but of a layman a Covid survivor whose two daughters along with him had tested positive on June 23 and who received discharge letters on July 4, home isolation having been reduced from 17 to 12 days.

The battle against Covid is long and hard but all is not lost. There are positive sides to the battle that need to be looked at too. These views might help us change our outlook towards life and help us fight and possibly defeat the most feared disease at present, unless, of course, the symptoms are of very serious nature. Here are these:

1. First the numbers: By the time of writing this piece, Indias share in daily global cases is now 12%, with the Covid-19 caseload crossing 8.5 lakh, even as Maharashtra (it accounts for 45% Indias Covid deaths) death toll topped 10,000. However, we must not forget that as compared to the US death toll of 137,404 (out of 3,355,895 cases), the death toll in India, currently ranked third after the US and Brazil (1,840,812 cases and 71,492 deaths) in the Covid-19 tally, stands at 22,696 out of 851,261 cases; however it is important to mention that every single life matters. Also, so far, 5,32,211 people have recovered in India, as per Worldometer. Faster ambulance service, quick hospital admission, easy hospital bed availability and enhanced ICU capacity, among the things being discussed both by the central and state governments, it is hoped, will certainly make the scenario better.

2. Delhi model: While Union home minister Amit Shah said in Gurugram that India is at a good position in the battle against the coronavirus, PM Narendra Modi has also appreciated the concerted efforts of the Centre, state government and local authorities in containing the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. As per a TOI report, while talking of Delhi model being replicated in other states, a high-level review held by the PM concluded, if close coordination between the Centre and the Delhi government worked in the capital, it could click elsewhere. While the community outreach model in Ahmedabad, called Dhanvantari Rath, is being lauded, the meeting advised the entire NCR to follow the approach adopted in Delhi. It is also important to remember that Shah had stepped in after Delhi deputy chief minister spoke of the possibility of over 5 lakh cases in Delhi by July and after that things improved a lot as regards general healthcare in the capital and elsewhere. Since the Centre-state coordination worked well then, it is imperative that the nation fights this menace unitedly, shunning politics, since saving peoples lives is more important.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has decided to open its dispensaries and polyclinics for eligible individuals to walk in for rapid antigen testing. The dispensaries and clinics will remain open between 9am and 12 noon on all working days, as per a TOI report. Hence, the hassles about tests has been minimised.

3. The vaccine: According to media reports, the WHO says that there are currently 136 potential candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine across the world while 21 of them have reached the human clinical trials stage. That is another piece of good news.

4. The plasma donors: While Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal recently lauded plasma donors it has been proven as an effective solution for the recovery of moderate patients the Delhi government has set up Indias first plasma bank at the ILBS Hospital, with an objective to maintain a plasma stock from those who have already recovered from the disease, as per media reports. After Delhi, Gurugram is likely to become the second NCR city to set up a plasma bank for Covid patients.

5. Home isolation: In a revision in home isolation guidelines for the capital, infected people recovering at home may be shifted to medical facilities if they report oxygen saturation levels below normal or their body temperature rises beyond a point. Doctors generally put normal oxygen saturation levels as 95% to 100%. Here, it is important to mention home isolation works at many levels: while patients feel the comfort of home and relatives provide them enough care, (while taking precautions) if the general atmosphere of positivity is maintained, recovery happens faster than the usually-long duration of over 15 days. During home isolation (in Delhi, the initial test is free now at government dispensaries or mohalla clinics and the staff are very cooperative), the medical staff keep calling the attendants about the patients well-being, apart from providing the basic medicines and oximeters, to be returned after patients recovery. While Delhi is showing the way, as for the government hospitals, the authorities have ramped up facilities there too. Among the flip side is, no test at all for patients whose home quarantine is over. The government may have changed the protocol (no second test), but patients and their family members do want to ensure that they are officially negative. The governments must look into this. Meanwhile, PTI quoted a Delhi government study on Covid-19 deaths saying that not a single coronavirus patient under home isolation in the city has died in July and there has been a sharp decline in daily fatality figures in the past two weeks. These are other good signs, amid chaos and hopelessness. Delhis overall death rate has come down to 3.02 per cent from 3.64 per cent in June.

6. The protection of frontline warriors: With reports of cops, medical and para-medical staff being threatened or harassed appearing in plenty, social media has come handy to expose the perpetrators. On Sunday, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal tweeted a controversy surrounding the pressure mounted on constable Sunita Yadav, who was doing her duty in reprimanding a Gujarats ministers son who was roaming without masks.

7. Precautions and traditional medicines: While there is no poor-rich divide in the Covid sphere, with celebrities getting infected, it is precaution and alertness that help in a big way. Between the two extremes of its nothing but flu and the ones scared to hell, we need a healthy balance of fearlessness and precautions it applies to all those, healthy or undergoing treatment. For the patients with mild symptoms, and even in serious cases, it is ones positivity and mental toughness that kill the disease or minimise the risk, more than the medicines. While the chief symptoms are fever and coughing, backache, breathing issues, sleeplessness, foul smell, fatigue, low BP and loss of appetite are other signs that one should not ignore. With the doctors the world over clueless, it is important to take immunity booster medicines such as multivitamin tablets (consult your physician) and try traditional/natural remedies such as tulsi (basil) water, amla juice, giloy juice (heart-leaved moonseed juice), aloe vera juice, hot water mixed with lemon, kaadha, and taking steam through vaporizer at least twice a day. Steam and hot water-lemon mixture kill the foul smell you feel continuously around you as well as viruses. Boiled eggs and mangoes, in case you have lost appetite for homemade food, may help boost your strength and immunity. Most of these remedies help even healthy people as well as those home quarantined. To those under home isolation, it is advisable to read books and watch your favourite movies to keep your spirits up. That alone helps, besides medicines. Some of these methods may appear dated, but they have brought people back from the brink and where TINA applies, its best to do what you can. Meditation or prayers and some yoga asanas will certainly change your approach to fight the disease. Take lots of fluids in case your BP is low.

8. Stop the stigma: For the society as a whole, it is incumbent upon us not to make Covid patients feel like an outcast and do everything to make them feel that they are fine, by sending warm wishes and calling relatives/attendants especially if under home isolation and in this regard, this writer has been grateful to all those who motivated us, be it office seniors, colleagues, relatives or friends. A Covid patient is a normal human being, not your astronaut whom you visualise in PPE kits. Covid patients, for that matter all those sick, need respect and deserve to be treated well.

9. Work-life balance: In one of my Facebook posts during my illness, I spoke about the work-life balance. I think unless we are fit, we can neither do justice to our work nor can we take care of our family and loved ones. So, it is most important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and spare time for your children, family and friends that take care of your overall wellness. Also, drink lots of water and take breaks while working from home or in the office.

Lastly, Covid-19 is a dreaded disease, but taking precautions such as using sanitizers, maintaining physical distance from strangers and wearing masks while outside and a positive outlook will certainly defeat it. Be negative medically; positive in life. Here is wishing you all a healthy life!

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Lets fight Covid: Be positive to remain negative - The Times of India Blog

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