In a country as congested and crowded as India, one needs to be extra careful to decrease the chances of being infected with covid-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus. The following are some tips that will definitely slow down, if not entirely stop the spread this pandemic.
- Sanitize/wash hands after exchanging money: By and large, India remains are cash-based economy and, as such, most of us come in contact with a lot of cash daily that has surely changed hands with a large number of people. Therefore, it becomes an imperative for Indians to ensure that we properly clean our hands after exchanging cash.
- Don’t touch face without washing hands first: This does not need much explaining. Our hands may come in contact with fomites and we may inadvertently touch our faces, thus leading to infection.
- Buy stuff from less crowded shops (even if you have to pay a few bucks more): The basic mantra is “social distancing”. As to how we can socially distance ourselves in a crowded country as India is a difficult question in itself. One of the things we can do is to buy stuff, like groceries or medicines, from as less crowded shops as possible, even if we have a buck or two more.
- Quit the smoke: India is home to 12% of the world’s smokers. More than 10 million die each year due to tobacco in India. According to a 2002 WHO estimate, 70% of adult males in India smoke. Among adult females, the figure is much lower at between 13–15%. While those stats are scary in themselves, they are more so in the times of corona (get the pun?). Some researchers seem to believe that smokers may be at higher risk of dying from Covid (remember, around 80% do recover).
- Don’t share a smoke or a joint: This one is for all smokers and stoners out there. As already established from the previous point, smokers are probably more prone to dying. However, if you can resist the temptation (which you very much should), do yourself and your smoke-buddies a favour by not sharing joints or having cigarettes on counter.
- Avoid eating from another’s leavings: This is good advice on its own. However, these are particularly bad times for sharing food from the same plate.
- Don’t use food delivery services: This one may be controversial as opinion seems to be divided. The underlying logic is: food delivery agents come in contact with a lot of people because, well, you are not the only one they’ll be delivering food to. The basic idea is: cooking at home is the best practice in these hard times.
- Disinfect common toilet flushes, switch boards, door knobs and locks: No explanation needed, really. Toilet flushes, switch boards, door knobs and locks are all fomites, meaning substances that are possible sources of infection since they are touched by many. Simple advice, disinfect them as regularly as possible for you.
- Disinfect cell phones: In a country already so prone to fomites, disinfecting cell phones is excellent advice. Our phones are practically extensions of our hands and, so, sanitizing your hands are simply not enough. Sanitize your phone too.