Gitanjali Diwakar is a journalist with The Hindu Businessline. In her words, she is 'a Jack of many trades and a master of a few'. She enjoys reading a wide range of books, including fiction and philosophy. Her greatest passions, however, are culture and performing arts.

Gitanjali Diwakar

Covid second wave: Lessons learnt

Gitanjali Diwakar | Updated on June 08, 2021

File photo   -  PTI

Here is what I have learnt during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic

The second wave of Covid-19 triggered more fear and concern than the first outbreak. Despite the vaccination drive, the problems pertaining to the country's economy and well-being are still at stake. Here is what I have learnt during this crisis:

1. Rules are meant to be followed NOT bent

The governments at all levels have imposed many restrictions to contain the spread of the infection. These include the use of an e-pass or RT-PCR tests before travelling, stepping out ONLY when necessary (in most cases) it is a medical need, and of course masks as well as social distancing. 'Bending’ these rules is not fair, even if you are not caught by the authorities. It is all to assure your family and you of a long healthy life.

2. Never take personal hygiene for granted

 If you felt that washing your hands, bathing twice a day or washing vegetables and fruits were unnecessary, remember that these simple methods can help combat a deadly near-invisible virus. Nature is the most powerful force of all. Vaccines help and you must get vaccinated. But personal hygiene is a necessity.

3. Local and open is the best

 The pandemic has shown us that the local kirana stores, vegetable markets, kabadiwallas or the likes are the safest for all your all your basic needs. They might not be air-conditioned, but that could be the reason why they are safer options. More importantly, the goods are reasonable and the stocks are often fresh. Supporting our local businessmen is a must.

4. Open spaces and simple pleasures work wonders

With most workplaces being air-conditioned, one is likely to fall sick often at work than when they are not at the office. It is possible for one to work in open spaces and have a relatively fewer people in space. After all, one must breathe while working! The pandemic has led many to think of ways to make buildings more eco-friendly as well as Covid friendly. Also, malls, cinema halls etc may be a fun spot to 'hang-out'. But so are the terraces, gardens and even playgrounds. Also, you save a lot of money and fuel!  

5. Homes can become offices/schools too if planned wisely

The pandemic has got many thinking about alternative options for work and education. But, small cramped up spaces are not the answer. One must have adequate for their work and must be able to step out of that zone post their tasks. Else, one might experience a great deal of mental stress.

6. Self-help is the best help

We have taken our cooks, house-keepers, gardeners etc for granted. Sure they make our lives better. But, why they deserve a break too. We can take care of our houses, cook our own foods and maintain our garden as well. It might be hard at first. But in due course of time, we might prefer doing so. Also, in the absence of gyms, these activities will keep you fit.

7. Educate the lower-income groups of financial planning

Most of our construction labourers, domestic help and other members of the society are unaware of investments, fixed deposits, recurring deposits or the schemes provided by their banks. We must educate them, lest they face tougher times ahead.

8. Being sociable is healthy, but be healthy to stay sociable

Human beings are social animals. We never miss a chance to meet a dear one or spend quality time with them. However, in the midst of a communicable ailment, physical interaction must take a back seat. Technology has advanced in many ways. Whatsapp video calls, Skype etc allow one to see the other when they aren't physically before them. This does help to a large extent. You must consider yourself lucky if you can do so.

9. Respect those who have no choice but to serve

Doctors have been working relentlessly since the beginning of the pandemic. It is disheartening to see how they are being treated by citizens who believe them to be otherwise. Many have not rested for over a year and they continue to serve without hesitation. Let us not insult them if they ask for a higher consultation fee, they have families to take care of. Let us not ill-treat them, they are only human. Let us respect them, for they know they continue to keep us alive even when their health is at stake. We must be grateful to the policemen, the delivery boys and all those who have made life easy for us during these tough times. Without them, the country would probably have collapsed. 

Published on June 08, 2021

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