You might be reading a lot about the recent coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown. While the current statistics and information available on the disease is scaring everyone across the nation, this is also the time to be wary of everything that you come across either online or through forwards. There seems to be a ton of knowledge about what you should do to lower your chances of contracting the deadly coronavirus but nothing much about what you should NOT do. So here we bring you few don’ts you should follow without fail during this lockdown period to stay safe from COVID-19.
7 things YOU Should NOT Do
1. Don’t blindly believe WhatsApp forwards
You might have already come across numerous WhatsApp forwards related to COVID-19 right from home remedies to prevent and treat coronavirus to false statistics about deaths related to the disease. While there is no way you can stop people from sending these messages, you can at least try not to believe these false claims and verify the accuracy of the content. Look for information from credible sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), India.
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2. Don’t hoard food/daily essentials
The day the Indian Government has ordered lockdown across the country, people were on the roads to stock up groceries and other daily essentials for the next few months. All this because of some baseless rumors that the entire country will be under lockdown for the next six months. However, the reality is that all daily essentials including milk, groceries, medicines, vegetables, fruits, etc have been operational. So there is no need to panic and stock up all the daily essentials with the fear of complete lockdown.
3. Don’t bulk buy sanitizers
There is no denying that sanitizers are a must to prevent the spread of the infection and fight this public health emergency. But this doesn’t mean you buy every bottle of sanitizer in the market and save for future use. By doing so, you are making it difficult for those to get hold of it who actually need it. So think twice before you stock up sanitizers at your home. Infact, experts claim that washing hands with soap and water is the best way to practise hand hygiene than using a sanitiser.
4. Don’t wear masks if you are not unwell
Just like food and sanitisers, people are buying masks extensively which has caused numerous cities to run out of masks. According to Dr. Vijay D’silva, Director – Medical Affairs & Critical Care, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai “Medical masks should not be used by healthy people with no symptoms. Only those who are diagnosed or suspected and those looking after infected patients or suspected patients should wear a mask.” So do not stock up masks but leave it for the patients, caregivers and health care professionals as these are the people who actually need masks to stay safe. In fact, even a home made cloth face coverings can act as an additional precaution while going outside, says a recent advisory released by MoHFW on April 4, 2020.
5. Don’t ignore the symptoms
Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 which include fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, and sore throat. If you or anyone in your close proximity (friends, relatives, neighbours or family) experience any of these symptoms and have a warranted travel or contact history, then do ask them to consult a doctor. Do not self-assume things that the person might be coronavirus positive. This may not only affect the person but also create panic among others.
Do not ignore the symptoms nor do think of undergoing the test as you need a doctor’s prescription to get the test done. So visit and talk to your doctor if you ever have any symptoms. Also do not hide the symptoms as this not only puts your life at risk but also the people around you including your family and friends.
6. Don’t attend large gatherings/restaurants
One of the key reasons for the Government to order a lockdown is to prevent accumulation of large groups of people together. However, many people are still not taking the lockdown order seriously and are roaming freely and unnecessarily. This is not the right thing to do as the risk of transmission of the coronavirus is high if you do not follow social distancing. Follow proper measures such as social distancing when you need to go out to get groceries and ensure to wash your hands after coming back home.
7. Don’t panic
Do not let the fear of coronavirus take a toll on your mental health. Practise meditation and yoga that can help you to de-stress and stay calm. If watching news channels or reading about coronavirus deaths causes anxiety, then stay away from it. Moreover, try to make the most of this situation by spending some quality time with your family, reading a book that you wanted to finish for a while or try out a new hobby to keep you engaged. Remember, panicking should not be in your list of to do’s to fight against the coronavirus.
COVID-19 is a public health emergency and it is the responsibility of each and every individual to do our bit to prevent the spread of the infection. Do not panic, stay alert, act responsible!
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. Advisory on use of Homemade Protective Cover for Face & Mouth. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), India. https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Advisory&ManualonuseofHomemadeProtectiveCoverforFace&Mouth.pdf