2020, the most unparalleled year of the entire 21st century till date, is something which we can't forget. This year under no circumstances has been a normal one, but then again as science journalist Ed Yong has rightly stated, “Normal led to the present.” Intensive animal farming, accelerated urbanization, global travel, disrupted lifestyles, all these are the factors responsible for an increase in the rise of zoonotic viruses jumping to human hosts and spreading with frightening rate. Coronavirus altered the course of our normal lives; our working conditions, education, relationships, lifestyle, everything has been hard hit by it. Well, at this moment, it isn't even surprising to know what this virus is because if asked from an individual; ‘tell us what do you know about Coronavirus’, he would probably write an entire book on it, this is how familiar we are with the virus. 

Clearly, the outbreak of COVID 19 did not only affect India, but the entire globe. Planet Earth is reeling under the impact of Coronavirus, which is still wiping out lives and livelihood, although at a moderate pace and scale. Feels like this pandemic is much more of a movie and less of a medical emergency. Every month, there's a new twist in the storyline. Every other week, we have new cocktails of mutants in all towns and cities. The beta variant, the delta variant; people are scratching their heads and thinking how a virus can trick them so much. Our healthcare system had crumbled against a pandemic, which was distinctly visible during the second wave of pandemic in India. And one thing is for certain that it isn't going to leave us soon.

COVID 19 has continued incessantly in every other country with periods of surge and then followed by a relative lull. In India too, there have been two very distinct periods of surges, commonly known as the ‘first wave’ and the ‘second wave’, separated by a prolonged lull. With the third wave imminent and inevitable, and steady resurgence in the cases in Kerala, fear looms over the entire country. There are many people who have not been infected or did not develop enough antibodies despite getting vaccinated, due to several reasons. Furthermore, the infections can increase exponentially anytime, hence it is essentially advisable that people should not let their guards down. But what’s hopeful here is that the third wave could possibly be avoided if people continue to take strong measures and safeguard themselves from the clutches of the virus, as stated by many health officials and doctors. So now the question is how can we take care of our health and keep us safe?

 When it comes to our physical health, ‘take that jab’ is the adage. We all know that only a strong body can beat the virus and the secret to a strong body is a healthy diet and staying active. But as the virus is stubborn, it is highly recommended taking all the doses of COVID 19 vaccine to get the maximum level of protection. Agreed that getting vaccinated doesn't fully guarantee that you will not contract the virus, but it's a step towards taking care of ourselves and staying healthy. Not only ours, but by getting that vaccine, we ensure herd immunity. And not to forget that once people feel like they are protected, they shouldn't feel empowered to go out there and have parties. Any kind of social gathering should be avoided, until and unless it’s strictly urgent. 

According to WHO, ‘health is that the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’, so when it involves keeping care of your health during corona, physical and mental health is fundamentally linked. The reason why corona has affected thousands of people is because it isn't an ordinary flu, which just attacks our lungs or lessen our immunity, but the fear of it which comes along, the uncertainty, the situation it has created around the entire globe is much more threatening for the entire humanity. Sooner or later, the virus will be gone, but the aftermath has to be faced by all of us, which makes it crucial for us to prepare ourselves for what’s coming for all of us. Being quarantined has crossed the limit of loneliness, things are getting slower. Every day feels the same, as if someone has put it on repeat. To add on to this, processing grief is not easy. The sheer helplessness that surrounds people now isn't “normal”. Knowing that our life is relatively the same when our friends have lost their parents, our neighbors have lost their family members, does have the tendency to make us almost feel guilty, despite knowing fully well that all this is beyond our control. But does this make much of a difference? No, because even though we are experiencing a new heartbreak, we feel demotivated, the world just keeps going on and that’s how it always is.

All I know is that we need to be collective in this fight against corona. All of us are languishing in some way or the other, so it becomes our moral duty to be there for our fellow human beings in our utmost capacity, whether it is socially, emotionally or financially. These are the times when humanity is tested, these are the times when nature is testing us, and we need to prove ourselves that nothing seems impossible if we all are in this together. It might sound a bit exaggerated, but trust me a pandemic, which has swept over 0.1% of the world’s population, is not a Childsplay, and it does require all of our determination to get ourselves back on the right track and avoid any further adversities. The time is not the best right now, and we all are not in the best state of mind, but giving up on things and getting frightened won't do a bit for us. All of us have different ways of coping with stress but the best remedy out there is to talk to people about your experiences, try to communicate because the more you speak, the less you will think about what’s going on and just do what brings you peace. It feels good to take care of ourselves and do things which we enjoy, but we shouldn't hesitate to ask for help.

Thus when it comes to taking care of our health during Corona, it's all about being safe, being smart and being kind!

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