Maintaining Covid-19 Protocols this Diwali

Diwali, the festival of lights, is the biggest festival of Hinduism. Apart from the rituals, and worshipping Ma Laxmi or Ma Kali, Diwali is the time when people burn firecrackers, light their homes, and draw rangolis. Diwali also sees a large migration of the working class of big cities to their birth village or city. As the third wave of Covid-19 looms large after Dussehra, such massive migration may spread Covid-19 even in remote corners of the country according to some experts.

The return of workers, students, and other professionals is impossible to stop, given people seem to have forgotten all about the horrific first and second waves of Covid-19. However, what can be stopped is the celebration in a large gathering. People are hoping to make the most of it this year, as was evident in Durga Puja in West Bengal. The Covid-19 cases in Kolkata and its neighbourhood shot up past 500 from below 200 before the Puja. And studies have revealed a new trend that most of the cases of virus contraction were in individuals receiving double doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Not only the Puja pandals, shopping centres and restaurants are major spreaders, apart from late-night parties that became active after the State Government lifted the night curfew during the festival. Night clubs and parties have accounted for most of the second wave cases and also is the biggest threat to start off the third wave.

So, should we not celebrate Diwali this year? Experts warn only on gathering and not on the celebration. Every year, Diwali is celebrated at every home with mostly family members. So, the rituals themselves can be done in isolation at home. Marketing is a major concern, and it is best to opt for local markets and shops in the neighbourhood, or online shopping, rather than gather at a shopping mall. Markets have off-late became extremely crowded in this festive season, where hardly anyone is following Covid-19 protocols. The one who is sick or is showing Covid-19 symptoms should take a rest in isolation as this will not only improve the health but also help in curbing any contracted virus. Pandal hopping, especially in parts of West Bengal, should be avoided with no entry allowed inside Puja pandals. Wearing a mask properly when going outside and washing hands frequently are some known Covid-19 protocols people have forgotten nowadays.

Staying at home and following the festival rituals is probably the best option for this Diwali than a late night party that may turn into a super-spreader. Despite taking double vaccine shots, anyone is at risk of contracting the virus, as is evident in recent studies in Covid-19 cases across West Bengal. So, this Diwali, let’s follow the festival’s rituals in their true sense, and maintain the most essential protocol of Covid-19, staying at home and thus avoiding a possible third wave in the future.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Partial Lockdown vs Complete Lockdown Conditions

As the second wave of Covid-19 wrecks havoc in many states, there is again the need for a lockdown phase 2. This time first partial lockdown was imposed, which was expected to slow down the spread of the virus. But the reality was just the opposite. Hence complete lockdown was imposed in most states. The importance of lockdown during Covid-19 times was felt as the second wave has started to decrease from a peak value. So why was complete lockdown not imposed as soon as the number of cases rose? Let us now compare between partial and complete lockdown and understand which solution is more practical. Note that lockdown itself is not enough to save you. Instead, everyone has to strictly follow all Covid-19 guidelines and maintain good health and hygiene.

In lockdown phase 1, when the whole country underwent a strict and complete lockdown, much middle class lost their means of livelihood, the people suffered a lot, and the migrant workers and students got stuck in unknown places. Thus the Government does not want to impose such stringent measures around the country that may impact most citizens. This time around, the states were asked to impose partial or complete lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. So many states imposed a partial lockdown when the number of cases started rising. However, it didn’t work out at all due to the negligence of the citizens. Let us now see why partial lockdown failed in most regions.

Partial lockdown hardly reached anybody’s ears. It has become a norm that as long as the police do not arrest anybody, it is safe to disobey Government rules and regulations in lockdown. The Governments are to be blamed as well. The Kumbha Mela at Haridwar turned out to be the biggest super spreader of Covid-19 in the world. People from all over the country gathered at Haridwar to take a bath in the Holy Ganga during Kumbha Mela. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand happened to be the primary source of the Mumbai strain of the Sars-Cov-2 virus after Mumbai. Also to be blamed are the election rallies in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Assam that accounted for a significant outbreak of the virus in these states. The markets are to be blamed as well. There was a sudden urge of everybody to go out shopping, and in February and March, people behaved as if there was never any pandemic situation here. The Chaitra sale in Kolkata looked as if pre-pandemic times had returned. Schools reopened only to be shut down immediately due to teachers and students getting affected.

Amidst all these, Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow were the worst affected cities that faced a severe oxygen crisis. The travellers were by far responsible for spreading the virus to some metropolitan cities and rural countryside. Today, a chunk of the country’s population are migrant workers, and a significant number of middle-class families are tourism-lovers. The Bengal strain, an escape immunity variant of Sars-Cov-2, had actually spread in January 2021, when the tourism-lovers visited tourist places and workers migrated to other states for work when lockdown restrictions were lifted.

However, complete lockdown instead of partial lockdown worked in favour of curbing the spread of coronavirus. It is evident from the figures that peak was achieved in many states in mid-May, and the number of cases has declined since. Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu have battled the coronavirus and are now looking forward to easing lockdown restrictions. However, this time the Government is not taking it lightly, as the severity of the second wave forced the Government and the citizens to be aware of an even more destructive third wave shortly. Also, vaccination drive has hoped to limit the damage caused by Sars-Cov-19 in the body.

With Bengal, Odisha, Assam and some other states yet to reach their peak caseload, it is expected that despite easing situations in other parts, these states still have to maintain their lockdown restrictions to minimize further damage by Covid-19. One of the best practical moves is creating awareness and enforcing a few conditions for a few more weeks so that there is not much congestion of people in a particular area. Limitation of market hours, refrain from rallies, festivals, and gatherings, restriction of people’s movement through public transport are good options. The Home-delivery system should be increased and implemented in as many fields as possible. Virtual conferences, online classes, and work from home should be a part of the new normal until the virus is eliminated from the country. If China can do it, New Zealand can do it, Australia and some other countries can do it, then we Indians can do it as well.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Nutritional MYTHS

Do you also believe in nutritional myths?

(Myth Busters)

Myths, myths, myths… The list is pretty long then, so wrong. But what’s right? What can you believe?

Well, this has been the confusion for decades, which started from street gossips and have evolved into “WHATSAPP FORWARDS”. It becomes a heck of a decision on what to believe and what not to.

Quoting Shakespeare in a sarcastic way, “TO BELIEVE OR NOT TO BELIEVE, THAT IS THE QUESTION”

So, here are all such myths, and are on our way to bust them today. Within the next few minutes, we will learn the facts behind the age-old myths.

IN TODAY’S ARTICLE OF MYTH BUSTERS, FOOD, AND NUTRITION MYTHS! BUSTED!

Let’s start right away with the first nutritional myth.

Myth 1: Those with diabetes have to give up sweets.

Fact:

In moderation, an occasional sweet treat is fine. The key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is balancing meals and snacks to supply a mix of carbs, fats, and proteins, and using exercise and drugs to stay blood sugar under control.

Many of them completely quit sweets when detected with diabetes, but the truth is that a sweet here and there is allowed. This brings us to the second one.

Myth 2: Vitamin C can keep you from catching a cold

Fact:

Research has shown that vitamin C generally does not ward off colds, but it may be helpful in people who participate in extreme physical exercise. A 2019 study within the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found ingesting a pill of vitamin C, or vitamin C, before one bout of exercise suppressed SOD activity, a marker of stress within the body, among participants who took the pill, compared with those that ingested a placebo. However, the researchers are unclear on the efficacy of vitamin C supplementation on exercise-induced oxidative stress.

So, it is uncertain that Vitamin C can help you not catch a cold, but it isn’t completely true as well. Moving on to the next nutritional myths,

Myth 3: Avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content.

Fact:

Eggs have gotten an unfounded bad rap; in a 2018 study in the journal Nutrients, researchers found eggs don’t actually contribute to high cholesterol. In fact, eggs are a cheap source of many nutrients, including zinc and iron, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and therefore the brain-boosting chemical choline. However, keep in mind that the research on eggs has gone back and forth over the years so don’t overdo it. The American Heart Association says one whole egg or two egg whites a day can be part of a healthy diet. Keep cholesterol in check by monitoring saturated fat in your diet.

We have been listening to this from our childhood. The truth is that eggs don’t much contribute to high cholesterol. Next one along your way,

Myth 4: Spicy food gives you an ulcer

Fact:

Spices don’t trigger ulcers. We now know that a selected sort of bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, causes most ulcers, except those triggered by certain medications, like aspirin. What spices can do is exacerbate those problems, which can cause people to mistakenly believe that spices cause ulcers.

So, the culprit is the bacteria. The spices don’t actually cause ulcers but help to make the situation worse. Hence, do have spices, but keep some control over them as well.

Myth 5: Eating celery (leafy vegetable) burns more calories than you take in.

Fact:

It’s a food myth that celery has “negative” calories, according to the Mayo Clinic. But, with less than 10 calories per serving and plenty of fiber, it’s a great snack for maintaining a healthy weight. Try these healthy snacks that may help boost your weight loss.

There’s nothing like the concept of negative calories, but it is the fiber that aids weight loss.

The next one,

Myth 6: Raw carrots are more nutritious than cooked

Fact: Antioxidants could also be enhanced when some vegetables are cooked. for instance, during a 2008 study within the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found cooking carrots actually increases their nutritional value. Boiling carrots led carotenoids (antioxidants) to extend by 14 percent, while other cooking methods, especially frying, led to a decrease in antioxidant value.

Cooking tends to reinforce antioxidants sometimes. Be it raw or cooked, veggies are always healthy. this is just the most believed nutritional myth.

Image result for nutrition myths and facts

Myth 7: Coffee stunts your growth.

Fact:

Coffee doesn’t stunt your growth. consistent with Healthline, a study tracked 81 women aged 12–18 for 6 years. It found no difference in bone health between those that had the very best daily caffeine intake, compared to those with rock bottom. Therefore, caffeine doesn’t have any positive correlation with calcium absorption.

Coffee lovers, it’s a treat for you. there’s no harm to your growth, but an excessive amount of it can cause insomnia (lack of sleep). Drink wisely.

Myth 8: frozen dessert is bad for the throat.

Fact:

It’s not quite clear where this myth originated — possibly from a nasty case of brain freeze! actually, the precise opposite is true, and frozen dessert has long been revered as a remedy for sore throats. frozen dessert also can often help to scale back mouth inflammation and is consistently recommended for those that recently got their tonsils removed. The soothing chilliness of the frozen dessert helps numb the world altogether and provides some comforting and delicious relief.

Shocked, right? So were we, once we found this online. That’s the rationale we are reaching bent you in order that no more myths are spread.

Myth 9: Carbonated drinks are bad for you

Fact:

A sodium-free seltzer with a wedge of lemon or lime quenches your thirst without hurting your health. Soda, on the opposite hand, will contribute to health problems when consumed in excess, including weight gain, cavities, and high vital sign, consistent with the middle for Science within the Public Interest

The drinks without can be preferred to quench your thirst with no effects on health.

This brings us to the end of today’s article with various nutritional myths. We’ve busted 9 nutritional myths today. Tell, us which one shocked you the foremost within the comment section below.

THANK YOU!

MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE; NOT A SOCIAL STIGMA

Just a few days before I watched a dialogue from a Korean TV series named “Record of the Youth” on
Netflix which hit me like a truck.
It said, and I quote, “I think it’s abusive, to tell someone who’s hurting to be strong.”
It felt weird yet not untrue to some extent. As per the survey conducted by the Suicide Prevention in India
Foundation (SPIF) it was found that nearly 40 per cent of the total 1685 participants suffered from common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, due to pandemic.


The issue I am writing about isn’t related to mental health, but more focused on the surroundings, the societal response towards those who suffer.

Mental issue
Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) on Pexels.com

It is from my personal experience that whenever a person whether it be male or female, talks about their mental problem a typical reaction of the general populace
(including friends, family and other close members) is not to offer comfort or solace. Instead, they are advised to be healthy.
‘Everything will be alright if you hold on.’
Close friends often speak a typical sentence.
Is this the proper behaviour that the person suffering expects from them?
He/she themself knows better than anyone that they need to be healthy, they need to hold on. But if
they keep hearing people close to them repeating it, it might feel more hurting. It might feel like
rubbing salt on their wounds. This type of support does more harm than goodwill.
What I believe is a person in distress, especially one that is mental needs only one type of person, and that is someone who would listen to them without giving their own opinion, without judging them.

A good listener is all they need because there are already tons of thoughts in their mind. Their mind is in chaos, a piece of mess which they are trying to solve bit by bit. By telling them to be healthy, you are
telling them to forfeit the right to feel pain, the right to feel hurt, the right to feel my emotions and more
importantly the right to know themself. Agreed that the society is harsh, the world is cruel, but in this
cruel world if I as a person am required to live like this then wouldn’t it be more hurting, wouldn’t it
make the world a more harsh place to live.
But this is just from my perspective. After all, others cannot solve my problems, they cannot free me from
my suffering, but still, they can genuinely listen to it. At least try to comfort me a bit, by saying nothing just by
simply telling me.
‘It’s okay.’
After all, I am only a Human.

Written by -Arya

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