Take COVID seriously

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Dear Editor,
Once again COVID wave is rising high, the credit of which goes to people who are not taking it seriously. The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique set of challenges for each of us, but one enormous challenge we’re all adjusting to is the complete shift in the way we interact with one another.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all heard about the importance of flattening the curve, with social distancing being the primary way to achieve it, but our need to flatten the curve didn’t end as restrictions began to ease and businesses began to reopen.
We all need to follow the guidelines strictly to keep the curve flat as it is critical for our communities. It helps ensure that plenty of health care workers, hospital beds and ICUs remain available as individuals seek treatment for medical conditions that didn’t just vanish because a pandemic began.
It helps ensure that businesses can remain open safely.
It also ensures that situation doesn’t get so out of hand and all those inconvenient, restrictive orders are put back into place again.
The reality is that flattening the curve is an active, continuous process – an ever-present goal that each of us must take into account while making decisions every single day.
By now, we are all familiar with how virus spreads.
If you’re infected and cough, clear your throat or even speak, you may potentially spread virus to someone that’s nearby.
While we hear a lot about ‘person-to-person’ spread, it’s important to understand that a person can infect more than just one person.
In fact, on average, an infected individual spreads the new coronavirus to two to three other people.
We’re still learning more and more about coronavirus every single day, but public health officials continue to warn that you don’t actually have to be exhibiting symptoms to spread new coronavirus.
New Coronavirus patients with mild symptoms are most contagious and have the highest virus shedding in early infection days and become less infectious as the disease begins to weaken, according to a new study. As per a research, several people are most infectious when exhibiting only cold-like symptoms.
A person infected with the virus can be contagious as early as three days before he or she begins showing symptoms.
In addition, some people never develop symptoms, but are still able to spread the virus. This means that, even if you ‘feel fine’, you can still inadvertently spread the virus if you’re infected and don’t yet know it – further emphasising the need for everyone to practice social distancing and wear a mask.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a new level of personal accountability in front of each of us.
To slow the spread of coronavirus and protect health and vitality of our communities, we must each remain committed to extra precautions.
No doubt the vaccination is here but that does not mean we should go careless and become a victim of corona because it is important to remember that virus is still here and we have to win the war against it. Vaccine can only provide partial safety and even after vaccination we are prone to get infected.
So, we must remember to pair social distancing with other precautions, including, wearing a mask in public, practicing proper hand washing and cough etiquette, thinking twice before visiting vulnerable loved ones, especially if you’ve recently dined at a restaurant or traveled for vacation or work.
It can be tempting to throw caution the wind and ignore both how this virus spreads and how contagious it is.
But, at the end of the day, the new coronavirus is still here and it’s each of our responsibilities to protect ourselves, each other.
Therefore, I appeal all to follow the guideline seriously and stay at home to keep yourself and others safe. Remember precaution is the only safety gear we all have in the fight against this pandemic.
Shakuntala Thakur,
Channi Himmat.