” COVID-19 ; This is the First Line of Defense ” – March 24, 2020.
We are in the midst of a ‘pandemic health crisis’ of an unprecedented nature today. It is the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), shaking and frightening citizens of the world even while causing health management shake-up that has not happened in modern times. Experts opine that Coronavirus crisis will last atleast another 6 to 9 months.
COVID-19 is pandemic ; it spreads fast ; its infection rate is high ; so is its mortality rate ; and it does not seem to leave any Nation in the world .
COVID-19 poses challenges not just to the Healthcare Professionals/Personnel but also to Leaders/administrators at every level in every nation ; Institutions, businesses, commerce, sports, entertainment, media, and not the least “parents” in every dwelling.
Two events marking our shifting experiences in communities happened last week – PM Narendra Modi’s video conferencing strategic discussions with SAARC leaders on combating the COVID-19 challenge, and his declaration and nationwide observance of “Janata Curfew” on Sunday, March 22, 2020. These, perhaps, are just the thin ends of the wedge, the curtain raisers, for the more important and other leading rounds of initiatives constituting the main courses of actions planned, is the belief at this juncture.
I have not witnessed a health crisis of this nature in my life so far, impacting economic, social, cultural, and even spiritual life of citizens and I cannot fathom out what this will mean for the humanity at large. Uncertainty looms large.
Here comes the Three aspects that I would like to contribute in this short piece :
1. First, I stand certain about one thing at this moment, as the figure below depicts :
Education, Awareness, and Information Sharing will constitute the ‘First’ Line of Defense’ in our protection/containment efforts.
Education leads to Awareness and Awareness leads to Information Sharing is the crux here. When this is fulfilled, our preventive mechanism will get the necessary boost automatically.
Education pertains to : what one should know about Coronavirus (COVID-19) ; how it spreads ; who are the people at risk ; testing ; and precautionary measures.
Awareness sensitises every individual to take interest in knowledge ; getting to know the risks involved ; and be genuinely concerned about the growing threat.
Information Sharing results when sensitised individuals instinctively share the information with others without anyone controlling him/her to do it.
2. Key Precautionary Measures : (a) Avoid contact with people who are sick ; (b) Cover your cough, sneeze with a tissue and throw it in the trash can after use ; (c) Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth often ; (d) Wash your hands often with soap and water for atleast 20 seconds – before eating, after going to the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing ; (e) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe ; (f) Or use an alcohol based sensitised with 60 % alcohol for cleaning ; (g) Limit contacts with pets and animals ; (h) Use facemasks if you have symptoms of COVID-19 ; and (i) Stay home and relax.
There are many more but these are the most recommended by Health agencies.
3. Many schools and colleges remain closed now. Students and parents face the daunting task of engaging in private study at home with available facilities. On line learning and on line discussions dominate the trend, a blessing in disguise. However, it also restricts to an extent the effectiveness of the face to face learning process. There is no escape from the change, however, at this time. The student needs to prudently assign his/her priorities to gain the maximum output in these circumstances. I am sure that a study schedule preparation and implementation will be of great value enhancing the effect of those in need. Here’s a model one for a school student :
6.00 a.m. Get up from bed, brush teeth, take bath, have a cup of coffee/tea, get dressed.
7.00 a.m. Work out your day’s schedule with parents, get necessary materials ready, head out for a walk – run a km.
8.00 a.m. Have breakfast.
9.00 a.m. Read independently a subject that you are most interested in.
9.30 a.m. Read English prose/study.
10.00 a.m. Do maths practice.
10.30 a.m. Memorize a poem, anecdotes, or great leaders’ saying.
11.00 a.m. Study Social science, geography, and current affairs.
1.00 p.m. Lunch.
2.00 p.m. Science activity, inside home or with friends/classmates.
3.00 p.m. Practice work on Science/Art projects followed by light snack.
4.00 p.m. Mild physical exercise/activity.
5.00 p.m. Meet up with Friends/classmates if nearby (physical or online).
6.00 p.m. Downtime with electronics/music/or book.
7.00 p.m. Dinner.
8.30 p.m. Your favourite programs on TV.
I sincerely hope and believe that this basic and simple what to do, when to do schedule will work for the interested. College students can tweak the schedule according to their subjects of study and their goals for future.
” Dieu avec nous “
Monday, March 24, 2020 – 11.09 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Take care of yourself, and be Healthy “.