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Living With Corona

Living With Corona

Did you ever notice that the alphabet "C" has shot to prominence in this Covid-19 era? See the “Sea of Change” that the alphabet “C” has brought! No one expected that the alphabet "C" would play a completely overwhelming role compared with any of the other alphabets.

Problems: Cough; Cold; China; Corona; Covid-19; Case; Confirmed; Confinement; Contamination; Containment; Curfew; Cemetery; Cremation.

Remedies: Chloroquine; Cleanliness; Courage; Compliance; Contention; Clarity; Cooperation; Caring; Cure; Clearance.

2020 has really become the year of the Rat. We are all in hiding. We only go out to get food. We store food to eat later. When people come close to us, we run away. Indeed, Corona has shattered the lives of millions of people. People’s ‘will power’ is reduced and ‘fear’ has increased. Here is an anecdote. Deer has 90 km per hour running speed, against Tiger’s speed of 50 km per hour. Yet, Deer loses its battle with Tiger. Why? It is because Deer is certain that he is weaker than Tiger and this fearfulness only makes him to see backwards again and again. During this time Deer loses his speed as well as courage. As a result, the Deer becomes victim of Tiger. This is what is happening during Corona period. Corona’s attacking power is much less than human resistance power. In spite of this, a human being always thinks that he/she is affected by Corona, making him/her loose the battle and lead a “hope-less” life.  

Today corona has become a bahana (excuse) for people from all walks of life. For the ruling government, corona is a bahana for all its failures. For the business community, corona is a bahana for all the losses. For the medical fraternity, corona is a bahana for their ineffective treatment and poor medical infrastructure. For the employers, corona is a bahana to sack many of their hard-working employees. For the employees, corona is a bahana for their non/less-performance. For the religious leaders, corona is a bahana for their meaningless prayers and worships. For the devotees, corona is a bahana for their faith-less life. For the teachers, corona is a bahana for their non-teaching. For the students, corona is a bahana for their non-learning. For the parents, corona is a bahana for depriving their children of outdoor enjoyments like visit to parks, shopping, picnic and national/international tours etc. For the children, corona is a bahana for getting fully absorbed in the electronic gadgets like Cell-phone, I-pod, Computer/Laptop and TV. For those who never valued family relationships, corona is a bahana to avoid all types of interaction with their family members. Corona indeed has become the greatest excuse for all the failures and negative repercussions in social, economic, political and religious sectors.

When we seek answers for how to live with corona, we can look up to Japan. What has this country done?   Japan has decided to coexist with the deadly coronavirus. It has announced the "new life model", calling the people to be prepared to follow this model for an extended period of time and learn to live and work with the virus lurking around the corner.

Looking closely at these new life models, it can be seen that the Japanese government established these very practical set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) using principles of rationality, science and risk assessment. Maybe, it is related to the Japanese understanding that "bad" things can't be forsaken for all times. Using risk assessment models in principle, humans can continue to live well.

There are three basic points: a) Keep a distance between people b) Wear a mask

c) Wash hands frequently. The specific requirements are mentioned below:

1.             People could keep a distance of 2 meters

2.             Play as much as possible outdoors

3.             Try to avoid being face to face direct facing when speaking to other people

4.             Go home and wash your face and clothes immediately

5.             Wash as soon as you touch someone's hand

6.             Try online shopping and electronic settlement

7.             Supermarket shopping is best for one person. Choose a time when there are less people

8.             Try not to touch commodity samples

9.             Don't talk while traveling in public transportation

10.          Go to work by 4-wheeler, 2-wheeler or on foot

11.          It is best to use electronic business cards

12.          Try to use video conference to conduct meetings

13.          To control the number of people in meetings, wear masks and open windows for ventilation.

14.          Work at home or commute at off-peak time

15.          Do not go to countries or places where the virus is endemic

16.          Try not to return home to visit relatives and travel, and control business trips.

17.          When you have symptoms, remember where you went and whom you met.

18.          Eat meals with others not face to face, preferably side by side

19.          Do not use large bowls and large pots to share food, implement a divided individual portion system

20.          Chat less at meal, eat more vegetables

21.          Try not to have too many people gathering at meal together as possible

22.          Avoid "closed spaces, dense crowd flow, intimate contacts"

23.          Self-test body temperature/symptoms every morning to strengthen health management

24.          Cover the lid when flushing the toilet

25.          Don't stay too long in a narrow space

26.          When walking and running, the number of people should be small, when meeting each other, stagger the distance.

Shigeru, the Chairman of the Japanese government committee, said, “It takes at least one and a half years for the vaccine to be fully developed and officially put into use. Since the enemy cannot be completely eliminated, it is necessary to learn to coexist with the virus. Only by following the new rules of life can we live in peace with the corona virus for a long time”.

In fact, most of the above procedures have been implemented in China. The Japanese are genetically a very disciplined nation and they do things and follow instructions scrupulously. All other countries also have started realizing that it is a long-term war they need to fight with corona. It is time for the people in India to change their behaviour and lifestyle with the changing scenario. Are we prepared?

(Published on 24th August 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 35)