The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by storm. It made our world stand still, bringing about significant transitions in our daily lives. An important part of this was seeing the world through screens, that is, doing everything digitally in an era of lockdowns and social distancing. Classes, work, daily interactions, every aspect of our regular functioning was shifted to an online mode, changing the inherent nature of how we have lived our lives till now. These changes, though necessary, took some adjusting and getting used to. We entered into modes of self-isolation in a bid to contain the virus and its spread.
As the second wave of the pandemic eases down in the county, many restrictions and lockdowns are being lifted, in hopes of going back to normalcy and resuming regular life. People are flocking to hill stations with their friends in order to gain some semblance of regularity and sociability. The easing of restrictions, however, must be done with tact and care. It is important to keep certain things in mind after lockdowns are lifted to keep the virus spread at bay. For your assistance, we have compiled a list of things you should not do after the lockdown!
Stop Washing your hands
Maintaining regulatory hygiene protocols imposed during Covid-19 restrictions is imperative, the most important among them being washing hands at regular intervals for a duration of 20 seconds. You should wash your hands everytime you come back home from outside, or touch something from frequently-touched surfaces in public. It is also advisable to always wash your hands before and after coughing. If you do not have handwashing facilities near you, it is recommended that you carry alcohol-based sanitisers with you everytime you go out. Make sure that you also follow coughing etiquette, which involves covering your mouth with a handkerchief, a towel or a napkin every time you cough or sneeze.
Stop Wearing Masks
All Health Advisory bodies have reiterated time and again that we must not stop wearing face masks even if restrictions are eased and the lockdown is lifted. Face-masks serve as simple but important barriers that prevent the respiratory droplets of the virus from reaching our bodies or those of others, significantly reducing the risk of transmission. As malls and non-essential businesses have started to open up, we should engage in more such corona-slowing policies that keep the virus from spreading further.
We all know that it has been a long time since we met up with our friends or had a good time socializing. Now that the restrictions have loosened, youngsters everywhere are flocking to hit the bars or hold parties. However, these can have a negative impact in the overall curbing measures taken to reduce the spread of the virus. Hosting house parties or crowding in bars will give any lingering covid virus residues on an asymptomatic host an opportunity to infect others who can further pass it onto their friends and acquaintances. This is the prime example of community spread. Malls and bars are all functioning on limited capacity for a fixed number of hours, taking cognizance that we are in the grip of the pandemic. Thus, as responsible citizens it is our duty to make judicious decisions in order to prevent the further exacerbation of the health situation in the country.
Going to Crowded Places
Places such as gyms, restaurants, malls and fitness centres are a part of the early phase reopening in certain cities and towns. However, we should realize that many people are going to flock to these places at the same time, leading to bigger crowds and more chances of spread of the illness. It is also being observed that citizens are not complying to the social distancing norms in these places owing to the adrenaline of visiting public places after a very long time. This can be a serious problem in the future as it increases the risk of virus transmission among people. It is also advised that people going to these public places make sure that they wear double face-masks and carry their sanitisers with them throughout. It is also advisable to go to public places that have certain rules and restrictions in place to avoid community spread.
Making Elaborate Travel Plans
Another emerging trend that is being seen is people making elaborate travel post the easing of restrictions. This has become even more enticing with airlines reducing their airfare prices. However one should remember that this can come at the cost of your comfort and at the risk of your health. Travelling in airplanes and other modes of public transport are bound to become uncomfortable as they demand wearing of masks throughout the flight duration, along with limited availability of beverages on the snacks due to a long term closing of businesses. Similarly, it is almost impossible to avoid intermingling with other people at airports and railway stations, which is one of the major reasons that flights and trains were getting cancelled all around. International travel has been seen with great scrutiny as it served as the catalyst for the global spread of the virus to different countries. It is important that we take necessary precautions for such travels.
Ignoring Social Distancing Protocols
Social Distancing was one of the most widely recommended hygiene protocols when the pandemic broke out and spread worldwide. It is a safe practice asking people to maintain a good amount of distance in order to avoid crowding. This practice should definitely be continued even after the restrictions are lifted in different places. Social distancing in public places goes a long way in reducing the spread of bacterial infections through coughing and sneezing.In order to ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you, it is a good practice to do your bit in keeping the virus at bay. Always remember that prevention is better than cure! We all need to be responsible citizens in order to beat the virus once and for all!
Getting Too Comfortable
Last two years have made us all experts at expecting the unexpected with the way global affairs have panned out. We can never be certain what is going to happen next. We were comfortable to think we had beaten the virus but were thrown into chaos when the second wave hit India hard. Even Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan have reinstated quarantine measures, lest a more contagious variant wreck havoc again. Individually, we all can do our bit by taking necessary precautions in our daily lives. Maintaining good daily hygiene, following covid protocols, maintaining social distancing rules and avoiding unnecessary travel and outings can go a long way in reducing virus spread. We still have to remain vigilant and cautious, and not get too comfortable in a false sense of belief that the virus is gone for good.
Engaging in Panic Shopping
Many people were caught unaware with the way the pandemic took its course and the restrictions that were imposed in order to curb the same. They were left unprepared for the lockdowns which resulted in a state of panic. This panic state has further developed all over the world, even as restrictions are lifted. People are hoarding food and supplies under the guise of being prepared and organized. It is important to not hoard the supplies you want to have or the things you could not find in the pandemic now that things have eased up. It is important to remember that we live in a society and hence it is important that we think about the requirements of other people as well.
Not Covering Face While Sneezing Or Coughing
We all know now that coronavirus is an airborne disease that spreads easily. It is spread very easily through the droplets of water let out when you sneeze or cough. Thus, it is advisable that you cover your face with a handkerchief or a cloth when you sneeze or cough in public places. It is also recommended that you fold your arm in order to avoid spilling the droplets onto someone standing near you. These measures all are part of the global respiratory hygiene for public conduct that has been issued. Given the extent of diseases spread through air, this healthy practice should actually be practiced whenever you are in public and not just as a result of a pandemic.
We hope that we were able to provide you some important information about post lockdown healthcare practices. We need to remember that the fight against the virus has still not been won. In order for us to beat it, it is important that we do our bit as responsible citizens and follow the recommended protocols!