We should be grateful to the coronavirus. It has virus taught us many things which otherwise would have taken decades of learning. It has taught us the meaning of life and also its purpose. It reminded us what we are deep down to our bones minus hypocrisies.

What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught India?

We have learnt many painful lessons. We can no longer continue to destroy and exploit our dear nature. The erratic weather rainfall, pollution of air and water have pushed us to a frighteningly low level of our health reserve. The overall immunity seems to have taken a hit. The virus does not seem to spare even the most powerful leader on this planet. During the lockdown, we could see birds chirping again in our neighbourhood. Many birds and animals were seen again. We need to adopt this new normal now.

What have we learnt from the thousands of deaths due to coronavirus?

We cannot take our health for granted any more. We need to invest in a good healthy life. The virus can target anyone at any time almost silently. The out• come of the disease depends on your ability to fight the virus. There is no definitive treatment for coronavirus. All treatment modalities are supportive and experimental. How to invest in good, disease-free health? Regular exercises and improving your fitness lev-els incrementally is the best to ward off any dis-ease including coronavirus. Attaining ideal weight for your height and having a balanced diet free from excess saturated fats, alcohol and nicotine is acceptable. Having 7 hours of sleep, a positive attitude towards life and following the general measures against the spread of infection is important.

Should we take multivitamins, zinc, vitamin C, garlic, turmeric or vitamin A or not?

The intake of these vitamins does not prevent coronavirus infection. These vitamins are helpful only if you have a deficiency. Taking for more than a few weeks is not recommended as it does not help. There is no evidence that they boost your immunity.

Has the coronavirus taught us about hygiene?

Well, the virus has taught us that hygiene should be our top priority! Just wash-ing our hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is all that is required to get rid of the virus from our hands. Thanks to the coca virus, many of us have switched to a healthy and hygienic lifestyle.

Has the virus stimulated or taught a lesson to our healthcare infrastructure?

Well, less said the better! We are still trying to connect all the dots to make it more effective. The infrastructure needs to be revitalised to look after the needs of the common man. The private-government partnership seems to be the best alternative in the present scenario. The curriculum in medical colleges needs to be redirected to the common ailments and not to very rare diseases. The focus should be on preventive medicine and tropical illness.

What about spending on your own health?

We need to have separate savings to cater to medical emergencies. Health insurance should be made compulsory. For the poor, the government should pay a part of the premium. The virus has taught us that mining after materialistic things, after all, does not improve your chances against coronavirus. Money does not improve your immunity.

Can this pandemic management be a template for figure epidemics?

This is not the last pan-demic that we are going to face! They say Hantavirus, Brucellosis, Bubonic plague and many others are on the horizon. Many lessons have been learnt by the public, government agencies and the health-care providers. There should be a permanent plan at all levels right from an individual like you to the global authorities like WHO or UN to be ready to face such epidemics. The coronavirus has in fact shown us the lacunae that we have at all levels. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we may have to unlearn many things.

Has the coronavirus taught us about our relationships?

Staying together as a family emit, helping each other whenever the need arises and being there to help the needy is important. Having additional money, land, jewellery or fancy cars and the estate does not bring happiness. The sick person always envies the crown a healthy person wears.

Has the coronavirus taught us that life will never be the same again?

Certainly, the focus would be on preventive health-care. Being content and happy with your life would be important. Avoiding the crowd, pollution, smoking, obesity, excess alcohol intake and depression would be the modern thinking. Over and above, leading an uncomplicated pure life would be the order of the day Today, coronavirus has redefined the word living. Living seems to be an act that defies death. In the last few months, our aim has been to stay alive. Do things that keep us from killing ourselves. The purpose of life now seems to be to do things that keep us away from dying!

Categories : COVID-19

Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.

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