Covid- 19: Unlocked India- How to stay safe.

India has begun to unlock but Covid-19 is spreading more aggressively than ever. As we are trying to get adjusted to the “new normal”, people are now getting out of their home and back to their work places putting them at risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2. 

While life has to go on, the economy has to slowly crawl back to normal, getting out of the house becomes inevitable for many. Following the below rules can help one reduce the risk. 

Don’t let loose too soon – Yes…Your favorite boutique has opened, or that bar you missed so much now has dine in services but does that shopping trip or that beer with friends look more important than your life? Unnecessary stepping out must be avoided as much as possible as by doing so you are giving an open invitation to the Covid-19 infection. 

Avoid crowded places – Yes you get better deals in a wholesale market, or your cousin is calling you for a get together now that we are on unlock mode, but its better you avoid such crowded places. When you are in a public place known or unknown, you come in contact with a whole lot of people—many of whom can be carriers of corona virus, even if they don’t show any symptoms. Avoiding such places is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the risk of the spread of Covid 19. 

Shop online – Today most of the stores from medicines and daily groceries to fresh fruit and veggies—everything can now be delivered to your doorstep. You just need to look online and find an app that best suits your needs.  If your favorite store does not have a website/app to shop, you can also use runner services who would do the shopping for you and deliver what you need to your door step. To make things better, most apps now offer no contact delivery so you need not come in contact with your delivery executive. Technology is improving, make use of it and stay safe. 

Be considerate to others – While you do choose to shop online for essential and may be even that extra treat for yourself, make sure you be considerate towards the delivery executives working for you in this situation. Try and order your essentials for a fortnight /a month to avoid multiple small orders. Most of us live in apartments and have neighbors and friends. Ask them if they would like to place an order with you for their essentials. Doing so, you are avoiding entry of too many people into your premises and also reducing the load on the delivery companies.    

Avoid Public Transport– As much as possible, try and avoid public transport when travelling to work or elsewhere. While in a country like India, where most of the population uses public transport, avoiding it is easier said than done. But you can stay safe by washing your hands or using hand sanitizer as soon as possible after touching any frequently touched surface. Use disinfecting wipes to clean any frequently touched surfaces prior to use. Pay your fare online or with exact change to prevent exchange of currency notes or coins. Improve ventilation by travelling in an auto rickshaw if possible, or if you must share a cab, then keep the windows open.  

Lay low if you have flu like symptoms – The itchy throat, the runny nose, could be a regular viral, a common cold or God forbid symptoms of Covid-19. You may not be sure, but what you can do is self-quarantine yourself and contact your doctor, if possible, online, so that you don’t infect anyone else and also worsen your own health.  

Follow Simple Precautions – The government, the medical community asks you to follow some simple precautions to stay safe from Covid-19.  Maintain social distance, wash hands/use sanitizer regularly, do not touch your face and eyes, and wear a mask. These rules are made to keep you safe. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and follow them.  

Request for Work from Home facility -Make use of the work from home benefits that many companies are still offering in the unlock phase. Team lunches and coffee breaks with colleagues can wait.  

Socialize Virtually – Staying home does not mean your social life needs to take a back seat. It’s in stressful times like these that you need the support of your friends and loved ones. Sure you can’t meet our friends over coffee or a drink, or hold hands with your loved one on a date or even have a get together with family and cousins. But you can use make use of technology like skype, zoom, face time etc. to stay close and connected with your friends and family. It won’t be the same thing but go ahead; plan that family get together, that dinner date or a fun evening and call it love in the time of Corona.

Follow a healthy lifestyle – Eat clean and healthy and try to get adequate sleep and rest. This will make your immunity stronger and help protect you from Covid 19 and other infections as well.  

Do not take Covid-19 for granted.  Do not for once believe that “It can’t affect me.” Even after following all the above tips, the best way to stay safe is stay home and get out only when really necessary, because better safe than sorry.  

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Rithika Rajgopal

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