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To live with Covid-19: A Compulsion or Necessity

As Covid-19 cases surge in India…Are we mentally prepared to deal with the pandemic?

India has now reported more than 59,693 total corona virus cases in the country while the death toll is nearing the 1,985-mark-10 % and the active case 41,880 and recovered case are 17,883-90% (12 midnight, May 9th). The nation recorded over 3,300 new virus cases and 103 deaths in the past 24 hours, as per the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry.

The government said on Friday “People must learn to live with the virus and follow preventive guidelines”. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also recently said people will have to be ready to live with the novel corona virus and that time has come to re-open the city, as the government announced certain relaxations. It is the need of time to adopt these precautionary measures as a part of our lives and change our behavior and regularize course of action amid easing of lockdown restrictions.
India is under nationwide lockdown since March 25 and in third phase of lockdown, Govt also has provided a few relaxations (depending on the zone area). It is clearly noticeable that lockdown can’t be continued for a long period of time, now it’s on us how we choose to live a healthy and safe lifestyle. During this period of 45 days lockdown, we all have learned many things.  Most of our lives have been confined within the home including managing office schedules, babysitting, answering office calls, with no maids coming in and the only entertainment being household chores and other escapist pastimes like Netflix or television.

Weeks before lockdown, we saw a lot of behavioral changes among people. The likes of panic buying, lessening frequent meeting with friends and distant family for dinner, dumping social gatherings, washing hands frequently, avoiding public transport and morning-evening walk and even restricted dining at restaurants. Now few of these have become part of our lives, we all have started following these practices as our daily routine and the best part is that we have started cooking all good delicious food at home in a more hygienic way which itself is a good indicator for our health.

Most vulnerable population is children, elderly people and those already suffering from mental problems (and off-course others can’t also be eliminated). They may show restlessness, the most common emotional and behavioural reaction can be anxiety and panic about worst possible outcomes. People may feel like worrying, shocked and sleepless about uncertainty in life. They may go through prolonged boredom and loneliness. To overcome with, this is the time to follow your hobbies and fulfill one's creative urge which generally are incomplete due to paucity of time in fast-running life.  It's time for self-love, self-expression, enhancing self-esteem, trusting and forgiving oneself, and self-empowerment basically increasing self-acceptance.

People may also suffer in their personal relationships; further this may lead to emotional manipulation in some cases. This can be managed by expressing feelings (right words at right time), building a positive interpersonal and behavioural communication and try to engage with them; be it your friends, partners or whoever is there for you. That’s why our honorable PM also emphasized to maintain ‘Social Distancing’ not ‘Emotional Distancing”.

All these challenges now have become part and parcel of our lives. It will take time to completely overcome with this pandemic. However, formation of vaccination is in progress in many countries but till the time we all need to develop resilience to maintain a positive balance in our life. Therefore, to live with this virus should not be taken as creepy atmosphere; it totally depend on us whether we take it as a COMPULSION or understand it as a NECESSITY of time while maintaining all precautions.    


-Dr. Kamini C. Tanwar
HoD- Behavioral Science
Associate Professor,
AIBAS, AUH

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