Yes, let that strike fear in the heart of us all who are still thinking, discussing under the breath that Covid is on the rise. It is on the rise. It is because the second wave of COVID 19 is upon us. The rising figures are a cause of serious worry that demands an action as early as possible. COVID19 the pandemic has touched us all in ways we can never ever come to terms with fully. We have changed in a way that we can never unlearn or undo.
And now the second wave of it in its mutated and new form is upon us, and rising even as we speak. This calls for waking up from the belief that we have defeated Corona and are free. It is time we shook away the apathy, and the disbelief and get down to the precautionary measures seriously.
The mutating character of the virus is baffling the scientists as it is changing and developing new strains and manifesting with different symptoms and now, we must get ready to battle this second wave of the COVID19 virus in its new form.
COVID 19 Cases in India
India reported a steady nationwide surge in the Coronavirus case, recording the highest single day rise of 93,249 cases in the last 24 hours.
In over the last 5 months the India’s COVID count is again the highest in the world.
A continuing surge in the COVID 19 situation in India has
pushed the country’s daily cases to 93,000 on Saturday with deaths crossing 500
for the first time in four months.
It is steadily on the rise worldwide.
A quick reckoner
Covid 19 is caused by one virus, the novel 2019 corona virus now known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, (SARS-CoV-2)
It originated in Wuhan, Hubei China in December 2019.
The symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. They are cough, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of smell and taste.
Incubation periodis usually 4-5 days but most symptomatic people have it within 2-7 days after exposure.
Mode of transmission is human to human via respiratory droplets, while coughing, sneezing and talking.
Myths a plenty
No! sunlight, even summer is not going to help us battle or overcome Corona. Neither a hot water bath for that matter. Nor is cold or snow the antidote to the virus. No amount of Vitamin C has been proved to be a safeguard against it. The old the not so old and yes, children are susceptible to it. Ultraviolet disinfection lamp can kill the new strain of corona Virus is yet another myth and quite a harmful one, as the rays can be harmful for the skin. Eating garlic in excess is going to give a strong breath odour and do nothing substantial against the new strain of coronavirus. So will an antibiotic fail to contain it as it works best on bacteria and not virus.
Masks and its modalities
Mask is not a fashion statement- Mask is not a fashion accessory as it has been promoted commercially with designer masks, fabric made soft and multi-coloured to go with the outfits. There is and can be only those masks, i.e. surgical, N-95, which prevents this small sticky and virulent virus from entering our body as the only choice while opting for it.
How to wear the mask properly– This ladies and gentlemen I feel is the most important one and basic in the series of measures to take. It needs to be clean if not new, and the best one offering maximum protection is the surgical masks. It would be good to remember, Mask is for your nose and nose only. It is not for your mouth minus the nose category, chin minus the nose mouth category, hanging from one year minus the mouth and nose category and even in strange instances not for the forehead covering category.
How to handle the mask correctly– while wearing it, make sure not to touch the surface that will touch the body. Throw the mask after its stipulated period and put it in a plastic bag before disposing it. At the time of taking it off make sure not to touch the insides.
It is important to remember that Masks are only effective when used in combination with frequent hand washing with alcohol-based rub, soap and water.
Home- our safe haven
Tips to keep the home clean-It is equally important to maintain a strict hygiene at home.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has laid down the following guidelines:
- Daily disinfecting the high touch surfaces within common areas like doorknobs, light switches and tabletops.
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and discard them afterwards.
- Use suitable and specific cleaners.
- Laundry using warm setting and dry completely.
This apart it is best to use disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces, best for this would be an alcohol-based disinfectant. This will come very handy and useful when someone at home is sick. For
For sofas and carpets a disinfectant spray maybe used. The best way to ensure that the floor is clean of germs is to use one cup bleach in one gallon water and a mixture of white vinegar can be used with water for the wooden floorings. Another effective anti-bacterial that can be used is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide can be used on toilets, sinks and table top surfaces and also be used to kill the bacteria I the tooth brushes.
Commonly asked question:
If we are affected once do, we get infected again?
The truth is its not known. A report from China says that it can happen that the person may get Corona once again. There are few reasons for it, when either he may fall ill because he was not cured properly the first time, maybe it’s a new infection or just a plain case of relapse. Study at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Centre in Seattle says that the 30000-letter genetic code of the virus changes one letter every 15 days, but its not known how many such changes would be required for the virus to seem different to the body immune system of the once affected person to cause further infection.
Better safe than sorry
Maintain social distance, wear mask, avoiding close contacts with sick people, frequently washing hands with soap and water, alcohol-based sanitizer, practice respiratory etiquette, avoid crowded places.
Vaccination is a step in the right direction but not everyone can be or has been vaccinated till now. There are many variables at play here of the age, co-morbidity, and availability of vaccines. Distribution and availability of vaccines all over the world is susceptible to many conditions and international laws.
And the most important point is that we are still in the trial stages with some recipients showing side effects that are at times proving to be fatal. Also, important to know it does not stop the transmission!
In the words of Dr. Mike Ryan, EXD, WHO health emergencies programme,
“everyone is beginning to put justifiable hope in the vaccines…the vaccines will end the tragedies of death and the horrific images of the hospital ICUs, but it will not stop the transmission.”
“The vaccines are a huge part of a long- term solution, and as we get the second and third generation of vaccines, as we get better at monitoring, we will get total control of this virus, there is light at the end of the tunnel.’’
“But now is not the time to let up, now is not the time to relax.”