By Dr Preethi Keerthi D’Souza
Jul 19: We are fighting an indefinite enemy. The world is witnessing something that we were not prepared for. However, coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has given Indians time to think, ponder and take precautions.
Depending on the vast demography and the other circumstances, there is a wide spread of the virus in mainland India, as well as Karnataka and also in Dakshina Kannada district. Hence another week-long lockdown is imposed. It’s high time that we understand the real threat and take care. Stay safe and stay at home. Help the government by being receptive.
Lockdown is the only measure that can keep millions safe. Social distancing is the magic mantra. We need to be a responsive citizens during this lockdown. How? Well, there are some guidelines that we have followed. I am just reiterating them so that it may help us live a fruitful lockdown period.
L: Live this period with your loved ones. Do not only exist, but live a full life in this time of stress and uncertainty. Be the person in your house who spreads smiles and gives hope. This time is precious and treasurable one to be with your parents, your spouse and your children. Give them that care that you wanted to give all through your life, but did fall short of time due to your hectic work schedule. Do not create an environment that makes everyone dull, but be the person in the house to help bond bonds. If you are alone in your place, pick up the phone and spread joy and hope with a good word or an encouraging message. But please be careful - do not spread rumors.
O: Outdoors a strict no. Do not build courage to say that it is time for me to meet all my health goals and start a day with a walk or drop in at your neighbour's place for that yoga session. It is a lockdown and so lock up your aspirations and cravings to be out and get some fresh air. There can be a feeling among a few that my house, flat, domicile is in such a remote place and the virus cannot affect me. This is not a wise thought. The only place you are safe is inside your house. Your balconies, verandas, portico and the terrace can be a place to move out, but it is still better to restrict that movement too. If you are in a flat and if everyone comes out for that fresh air, we are not following the etiquettes of lockdown.
C: Connect with your contacts. In this time when family is the support system, not everyone is lucky to have their family around. Hence be that guardian angel and do connect with people in your contact list. There may be a person in your contact list who needs moral courage in these times. Still we advise you not to visit the person, but do bond with them through the mediums of connect. If there is anyone who is occupying more space in your mind and the relation had become bad to worse, this may be the time to make up that relation. Connect to create optimism of a better tomorrow.
K: Keep social distance. This is the key action. Being locked down does not make us independent, but in this time we need to be interdependent. Sure we will sometimes go out of our house for some basic purchases, be it grocery or medicines. You be the person to make people aware that social distancing is needed. Do it with love, concern and assertiveness. In these times, no one will want to listen, but if the cause is right, there will be followers. Do wear mask, sanitize your hands and follow the rules of social distancing. If you need to speak to your neighbour, which you should do, maintain that healthy gap and help them in times of need. Do not plan for any minor repair works or the repotting of the plants in your garden with the help of a labourer. Stay safe.
D: Do not panic, prevention is the cure. Another important etiquette is not to panic but be proactive. Do list down the essentials needed for you and your family. Try to procure them and please do not hoard beyond need. May be the other person has no stock to buy if you hoard. If your loved one is not well, has any sickness, injury or a medical condition that needs attention, do keep the doctors numbers ready and do help one another. Keep your mind calm and be relaxed. A relaxed mind can give timely suggestions and can respond better to situations.
O: Observe yourself and the vicinity. Do observe the changes that are happening and keep yourself updated on the news from reliable sources. If there is something that you observe is not normal, do bring it to the notice of the authorities concerned. There are many gentle souls that have come out to help and ease situations. Be a caretaker to at least one person during this time and see what peace it will create in your life. In the process do observe your moods and always try to be positive and contended.
W: Wellness to be practised. An old reliable saying, if wealth is lost, nothing is lost, if health is lost, something is lost, and if character is lost, everything is lost. But during coronavirus attack, health is the prime player. We need to protect our health first and build a sound physical and mental health. Do have a routine for yourself and your kids in particular. At the end of the day, a feeling that you have not wasted a day, must be experienced. It can be regular cooking, extra activities of craft, online classes, music, dance, light games, hobbies, cleaning your house, setting the wardrobe, stitching, watering plants, writing, reading… the list can go on. This will help you build that character and it will win you more courage and confidence to unlock the lockdown.
N: Never lose hope. These are testing times and this too shall pass. Have faith in your creator. Many are having a sinking feeling and this will not help you revive. The world has from the vast past witnessed many ups and downs. You in your life have had challenges bigger than these and you handled them alone. Now during this pandemic, many are with you facing the same challenges. The situation of your neighbour may be far worse than yours. So be that hope to the person next to you and help the country revive with your total commitment to say safe and make others safe too.
We shall win the battle against the virus, because no pandemic can win a systemic tactic.
Dr Preethi Keerthi D’Souza is an assistant professor in the department of Commerce, Mangalore University.
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