Search

Post lockdown mantra: learn to live with the Coronavirus

Question on everyone’s mind right now: What will life be like when India and the rest of the world lift the lockdown completely? Will life as we knew it before Covid-19 return? Well answer is Time will heal and time will answer!!!

Coming to history itself, the world has survived all the pandemics of the past. We are alive and more populous than ever is proof to that. Humans have vanquished past pandemics with much lower degree of medical advancements. We have advanced medical facilities now. Optimists hope the disease will peak and fall after June. If it continues as it is, most likely the best policy will be to ease curbs even in red and orange zones, along with precautions and behavioural changes.

Once the storm is over, you will not remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You will not even be sure whether the storm is over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.

“Virtual partying” is a term that has gained currency over the past two months as a world in quarantine looked around for new ways to socialise, along with other words or phrases that have become commonplace, like “social distancing” and “Zoom bombing.” And, as we take uncertain steps into a not so brave new world after lockdown, another term will perhaps get even more commonplace. The “new normal,” the lockdown may have made us retreat into a bubble, but it is a digitised bubble, from virtual parties to conference calls, webinars to online learning courses.


TOUCH ME NOT

In the post-Covid-19 world, “no contact” might become the standard. The new normal of social distancing, masks, gloves and washing of our hands is here to stay. Even if all restrictions are lifted, until a vaccine is found, we must remember that the virus is still among us. So, unless we continue to follow social distancing norms, we are going to see a spurt in cases in India. Do expect identification of hotspots to continue and cluster shutdowns. There will probably also be temperature sensors at public places and quarantine measures will be put in place if an infection is detected in a workplace. Greetings of the people by shaking hands, consoling the patients by patting the back with warm expressions, all will stop. Examination and diagnosis by tactile sensation will be transformed to the further investigations for the diagnosis. Waiting periods for doctor will increase. Each patient consultation time in between will increase. Opd consultation fees will be hiked, procedure cost will raise. Building relationship between people will take a different mode. Middle seats won’t be sold in flights, every other seat will be empty. Bus or train where new a platform to observe different culture, different people, making friendship will go on silent mode.

HEAL THE WORLD:

The lockdown may have made us insular, but it also brought the world closer. We adapted to our forced new life in lockdown quickly. We went digital and took to technology, reaching out to the community outside our insular lives. And while we stayed locked inside our homes, the birds came back to our gardens, the air became cleaner and the sky clearer. The smog in most of our cities lifted, with no vehicles to spew toxic gases. Young working couples adapted to ‘Work from Home’ (WFH), home-schooled their children, and used video conferencing for work calls and family socials. Covid-19 is reminding us of a simple but vital truth: “we are one species, sharing one planet.”

POST CORONAVIRUS CIVILISATION:

Basic hygiene rules learnt during the times of coronavirus outbreak and lockdown must not be forgotten and thrown out of practice. It would be wise for everybody to carry something like a first-aid box all the time that contains a soap bar, a pair of face masks, a pair of hand gloves, a vile of sanitiser, and a note to remind about social distancing.

It will be curious to see whether the “new normal” is just a bump along the way or a path-changing reality. William Shakespeare’s paraphrased poem best captures the nation’s dilemma. Unlike Prince Hamlet, this is not a question of one’s own life but a billion other lives. It is critical to make decision to live with corona on sound facts and evidence, not fear or hope.

New evidence shows that such fear and panic are unwarranted and a gradual return to a new and safe normal is the best option. It takes tall political leadership to calm nations and lead people out of their deep fears. Just as President Franklin Roosevelt did in 1933 when he exhorted Americans to shed their fear of the great depression, with the words “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” So, let us learn to live with corona.

LIVE AND FIGHT TOGETHER– BUT REMEMBER DIVIDED WE ARE SAFE AND CROWDED WE ARE DOOMED

It is clear the current strategy of shutting down large parts of society is not sustainable in the long-term. The social and economic damage would be catastrophic. Corona is not going to disappear. Keep washing hands, using tissues while sneezing, avoid touching the face, masks, gloves the habit should continue. People should get exposed to the virus to develop the herd immunity. Cities will lose part of their variety and public social life. There will be less eating out, more home delivery, and lower consumption of luxuries. Public cinemas will turn into home cinemas. Gyms and hair salons will not be in demand for quite some time, unless good practices of social distancing and hygiene are maintained

LET US FOOL OURSELVES NO LONGER:

What his exit strategy was "Long term, clearly a vaccine is one way out of this, and we all hope that will happen as quickly as possible." Vaccine research is taking place at unprecedented speed, but there is no guarantee it will be successful and will require immunisation on a global scale. The best guess is a vaccine could still be 12 to 18-months away if everything goes smoothly. That is a long time to wait when facing unprecedented social restrictions during peacetime. Best vaccine available right now is distancing yourself from virus.

TELEMEDICINE HERE TO STAY IN A POST-COVID-19 WORLD???:

Telemedicine is being used by doctors to connect with patients, and by mid-level provider/health workers to connect patients with doctors without patients having to physically visit a hospital or clinic.