Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
After its detection in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, in just six months the virus has spread to all corners of the world and has infected more than 72 lakh persons, with four lakh fatalities. India has three lakh persons infected, with 8500 fatalities. In the Northeast, after taking 41 days to reach 100 cases, the positive cases have surged beyond 6000 in the recent few days, with a sharp rise in cases in all the states. Arunachal has 81 positive cases, with four recoveries. Post Covid-19, the world may never be the same again.
The three months plus national lockdown is being gradually opened up in phases across the nation. As per experts, Covid-19 will stay with us for some time, till a vaccine is developed. Therefore, we have to learn to live with Covid-19 like any other disease like TB, dengue, swine flu, flu, etc. The central and state governments are trying their best to educate and help the general public. However, it can easily be understood that Covid-19 can be defeated or prevented at the individual level only, ie, Covid-19 can be defeated by each of us.
The precautions to avoid contacting or spreading Covid-19 consist of social distancing, wearing facemasks when going out, frequent hand-washing with soap and water, avoiding large gatherings, and going out only if important. The virus spreads through droplets transmission by sneezing/coughing and by touching the mouth, nose or eyes with contaminated hands. Therefore, each of us should maintain social distance of 1.5-2 metres from other humans and wear facemasks to prevent infection. We should not touch our mouth, nose or eyes with contaminated hands. Towards this, we should frequently wash hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based sanitizers and sanitize frequently used items like mobiles, purses, spectacles, tables, door handles, water taps, laptops, etc. For sanitization of surfaces, taps, handles, etc, we may use simple soap and water or Lizol/hypochlorite solution/bleaching powder solution.
When coming back to one’s own house, one should keep one’s shoes outside, and wash one’s hands with soap and water before going inside the house. If possible, we should take a bath and wash our clothes. Social distancing and sanitization of premises/equipment should be carried out daily for our offices, shops, industries, hotels, etc. We should not go out if we have fever, cough, cold, etc, to avoid infecting others.
If each of us follows the laid down precautions, in addition to not getting infected ourselves, we will break the chain of transmission and avoid overloading our health workers and hospitals. Each of us should understand that we should not infect others with Covid-19. How would we feel if we infect our own parents, grandparents, etc?
Presently there is no treatment for Covid-19. The only way to avoid contacting this disease is by strictly adhering to the precautions laid down by medical experts. The government can only advise and guide; ultimately, Covid-19 can be defeated by each of us individually. Are you ready to defeat Covid-19? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)