Tourism Sector on Decline after Strict Rules

The tourism sector in India has declined by more than 50% in the last 2 weeks following strict Covid-19 curbs and restrictions all across the country. Tourist hotspots in the hills and the beaches have been flocked by tourists as soon as the curbs were eased after the second wave in the country. However, in view of an inevitable third wave, restrictions have been again put into place. Expensive Covid-19 tests and unavailability of transportation lead to a fall in tourism, leaving the hoteliers staring at a loss.

Tourist hotspots like Manali, Shimla, Nainital, Gangtok, Goa, Kerala, Digha, and Darjeeling witnessed a sudden rush of tourists as lockdown eased. People with one or no doses of vaccines ventured out in view that as long as 1st dose vaccination certificate and Covid-19 reports are present, no one will get Covid-19. However, it is not the first time the tourists have spread the virus to the locals despite taking all precautions. Excessive tourism was one of the main reasons for the spreading of the delta variant of Covid-19 in India. Also, after the second wave, sporadic outbreaks are seen in some tourist hotspots in the country, spreading quickly among the locals.

The tourism sector has been hit hard by the pandemic throughout the first and second waves. Now, a third wave may sweep through the country if measures are not taken. Scientists have urged people not to venture out unless it is absolutely necessary. The Government is also taking the same path, allowing little transportation, banning large gatherings, and restrictions on hoteliers. Parks have been restricted to only those who are fully vaccinated, and hotels can allow only those guests who carry an RT-PCR Covid-19 negative test report. However, some restricted places like Lakshadweep have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases as the Government did away with mandatory 14-day quarantine. The rising number of Covid-19 cases in Kerala can be attributed to the tourism sector as well.

Trains are running throughout the country, though the local trains have been put off the track. Heritage trains have been non-operational since the first wave. However, numerous tourist facilities like boating, cruise, ropeway, and opening of shrines and religious places have opened, prompting tourists to rush in. Opening the tourism sector is also important as it will generate a huge chunk of the population that depends entirely on it. With the third wave knocking on the door, the Governments must unite and try to minimize its effect as much as possible. Most importantly, the tourists must take precautions as much as possible and must be fined in case of any violation. Also, it is urged to everyone to follow Government advice and Covid-19 protocols as much as possible to avoid any further outbreak of pandemic in the country.

Written by – Himadri Paul

What You Can Do at Home during Lockdown

We all are busy working from home or studying from home life. But apart from that, we do get a lot of extra time that goes unutilized. There are many household works that we could do to enjoy our life at home and enrich our amateur skills. Let us go through some jobs that can keep us occupied in a dull lockdown period.

1)Cooking : Cooking comes in the number 1 spot. Cooking is a passion for many of us, while it is a very laborious task for others. It is nice to try your hand at cooking this lockdown. It is not that you have to cook restaurant quality and Masterchef dishes. You may lend a helping hand to those cooking food daily at your home. You may also try making some new drinks or simple desserts, or you may decorate and garnish a particular dish item. Try your hand at chopping, grinding and baking. Most recipes are found on the internet and youtube, so you don’t need a high degree of knowledge or skill to start cooking. Start with basics like brewing tea, frying omelette, or kneading dough.

2)Room Decoration : This may seem unnecessary when no guests are coming to your home, but for people, who like their home tip-top, this is one thing they would like to do all day. Decorating a home doesn’t mean you need to buy furniture or make curtains. Keeping our house clean is also a form of decorating our home. Mopping the floor, sweeping the floor and walls with a broom, destroying the spider webs in ceiling corners or human hair underneath a bed, and even making your bed is a form of cleaning the home. Anytime you can experiment with certain adjustments in your room like moving the furniture to different places, put a separate sheet over the sofa, or rearranging your dressing table. Start with wiping wall clocks, or changing room carpets or dust the tablecloth in your room, it will take away a lot more time than you think.

3)Light Exercise and Yoga : For those who are not a fan of exercising daily, the lockdown period is an excellent time to bring it to a new hobby. It is not that you have to build muscles or lose weight. Start with light exercises and yoga that are taught at school. Exercise rejuvenates your mind, makes you concentrate harder on your work, and helps you stay fit and active at the same time. Start with breathing exercises, brisk walking, surya namaskar, and you are good to go.

4)Sun-Drying Unused Clothes : Clothes that are not regularly worn are likely to harbour moisture and fungus and smell damp. It is an age-old practice in India to turn cupboards out and leave everything on the balcony or roof to dry in the sun. Take them out in small batches, and put them in the sunlight. It is summer now, and the sunlight is likely to kill germs present in the clothes. Small batches will make sure that it is an occupying yet straightforward task. Who knows, you may find a dress that you have always overlooked. If you have a garden, then do a bit of gardening like watering the plants or fertilizing. This will ensure you get Vitamin D from the sun.

5)Knitting and Handicrafts : Do you like weaving? There is a lot of DIY stuff, a short form of doing it yourself, that keeps your mind relaxed at this tense hour. You may learn knitting in lockdown and if you already know it, then make sure to keep the boring evenings occupied by knitting or sewing. Mend pores in old clothes, put up torn buttons, make covers that cover expensive clothes or quilts. If you know to weave, then you can sometimes keep busy knitting a sweater with wool. You may make your cushion with a new piece of cloth. Decorative stuff like coloured bottles, pen stands, wall hanging materials can also be made with minimum requirements. Start with searching youtube for DIY crafts and try to implement the one suitable for you.

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

Covid-19, Lockdown and Diet

Covid-19 is a new disease in India that seems to have no medicine as of now. Though researches are going on at full speed, there is still not enough conclusive evidence to suggest that a particular drug or a natural supplement is effective for Covid-19 treatment and safe for human use. However, doctors and researchers agree that certain types of food are good for boosting immunity in the body while some are harmful. So let us find out some crucial points that may help us choose what food to eat during the lockdown period or if you are affected by asymptotic or mild Covid-19.

1)Add Immunity Boosters :

Immunity comes from within our body. But immunity in every individual is not the same for a particular disease. That is why we see some people mildly affected by Covid-19 while others are seriously affected. It is thus very essential to boost up immunity in our body in the lockdown period. With Covid-19, there are numerous food items labelled with immunity boosters. But the real immunity boosters are available in our homes. Turmeric, garlic, ginger, cumin, cloves, mustard, cardamom and cinnamon are excellent immunity boosters. Most Indian food we prepare at home contain these spices. You can make turmeric milk at home with cardamom, ginger tea with cinnamon, fragrant jeera rice with cloves, garlic, cumin and mustard. These foods make sure you are consuming a sufficient amount of immunity boosters every day.

2)Include Whole Grains :

Refined grains only contain empty calories that are not so useful in fighting disease. Unrefined/whole grains contain essential vitamins and minerals that are essential in this hour. Instead of maida or refined flour, it is best to consume whole wheat flour or atta. Brown or hand-pounded rice are the better options than white rice. Cornmeal or makai is again a better substitute for cornstarch. Millets like jowar, bajra, and ragi, widely available in western India, are also very good for health, protect us from diseases, and provide energy requirements to the body.

3)Get Natural Sources of Vitamins and Minerals :

Vitamin C, vitamin D, antioxidants, and some minerals help reduce severity of Covid-19 symptoms. So doctors usually recommend having a dose of multivitamin and mineral pills so that there is no deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body. However, a better and a natural way of enriching vitamins and minerals in our body is eating their natural sources. Natural sources tend to absorb better within the body and are free from any side effects. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A. Amlaki is the richest natural source of vitamin C, as rich as any vitamin pills. Eggs, oily fish, and mushrooms are very rich in vitamin D. Minerals like iron are available in most lentils and legumes containing vitamin B9, magnesium and potassium. Leafy vegetables like spinach are excellent sources of vitamin K. The richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids is flaxseeds and oily fish. Antioxidants are present in almost every local fruit and vegetable. Berries, apple, banana, garlic, broccoli, dark chocolate are filled with antioxidants that protect your body cells from free radical attacks.

4)Green tea and herbal tea : 

It is believed that green tea has curative properties of many diseases, including Covid-19. Though there is not enough evidence, drinking green tea regularly is a good option for boosting immunity. Similarly effective as green tea is tulsi tea which is holy basil boiled in water. Hibiscus tea in limited quantities is good for health. Note that you should have these only if your doctor allows you as they may interfere with allopathy treatment if you are undergoing any.

5)Sweetener and salt :

In the lockdown period, you should try to cut down sugar intake as much as possible. It is best if you avoid sugar entirely. Instead, use honey for sweetening. Honey is believed to have medicinal properties other than just sweetening the food. Jaggery or unrefined sugar are also good options. However, if you have greater than regular blood sugar or diabetes, then you should avoid all of these. Instead, have stevia, which is very sweet but negligible in calories. It would help if you cut down the salt intake and that your blood pressure does not increase substantially.

6)Portion size :

It is known that Covid-19 affects obese and overweight people more. Lockdown is the ideal time to shed off extra fat from your body. So your portion size should be small, as small as you can, without feeling hungry. However, on the other hand, if you are affected by Covid-19, then you need more energy to fight off the virus, hence need a substantial amount of food. Thus, there is a need to choose the right food that will not make you fat and provide you with energy. Eat more proteins as they will repair the damaged cells. Eat less refined carbs or refined oils. Give up on junk food. Do not overeat. Just eat enough that seem to satisfy your hunger. Take small portions of food but eat frequently. Your meals should have a variety of food sources. Increase the intake of fruits and salad. Refrain from consuming alcohol or smoking.

7)Dietary Supplements :

It is not necessary to have dietary supplements unless your doctor says so. A healthy diet is enough to meet the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. However, an increasing number of people are deficient in some nutrients or others. Hence, people above 40 years of age and others suffering from nutrition deficiency should take supplements on the nutrients they lack. It is also an excellent option to consult dieticians and eat the right choice and quantity of food at the right time.

8)The Bottomline :

Incorporate local and seasonal fruits into your diet. Have less quantity of refined carbs and unhealthy fats. Maintain portions and do not overeat. Reduce sugar and salt intake, increase spices like turmeric, cloves, garlic. Make a habit of munching on nuts, drinking herbal or green tea with honey when hungry. The more you eat healthily, stay healthy, and think positive, the fewer chance Covid-19 can infect you severely.

The above information is taken from official sites of the internet. For a daily routine diet chart, follow WHO’s prescribed diet, http://www.emro.who.int/nutrition/news/nutrition-advice-for-adults-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.html. For more tips regarding what to eat during the lockdown, you can refer here, https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/food-and-nutrition-tips-during-self-quarantine. However, if you are following a particular diet, or is under treatment, then it is better to consult your dietician or doctor before implementing any changes.

Written by – Himadri Paul

A FLASHBACK TO COVID-19!

Hello folks !!

So finally we’ve entered 2021 in a very adventurous way. As now you all know of the adventure I’m talking about , the  adventure of COVID-19. Did you ever think of adventure at home? I know now you all are nodding your head. I am also one of you who never experienced it before COVID-19.

Now let’s talk about the past few months of our lives. “Corona virus started spreading in the Wuhan district of China and slowly got spread in the whole world.” This has been the hot topic of discussion for a year now.

WHAT IS CORONA VIRUS?

By this time everyone knows what Covid -19 stands for. So the ‘Co’ in the name stands for corona, ‘vi’ for virus and ‘d’ for disease. The number 19 is used as it started in the year 2019. Initially the disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel corona virus’ or ‘2019-nCoV’. This disease is linked with the same family of viruses as server acute respiratory syndrome and common cold.

All about COVID-19 - The Hindu

How it got spread ?

The disease got spread when contacted a person who is infected with covid-19 through physical greetings. Handshakes, hugs , and any other physical contact was noted for the same. It is also said that covid-19 is found on the surfaces of metals , woods , clothes etc.

How CAN one prevent themselves from covid-19 ?

It is advised to the whole world to use sanitizers, wear face mask and to wash hands frequently with soap or germ free hand-washes. In the beginning no one took WHO seriously. But when it started spreading in a large number and many countries announced lockdown, the people came to know how dangerous it really is.

COVID-19 AND INDIA

At first when covid-19 was spreading fairly over the world, Indians thought that this virus wouldn’t came to India. Is will get destroyed before entering India and in our this attitude we kept ignoring the safety measures issued by WHO for the whole world. But when the first case was suspected (i.e on 30 January 2020) then people started to follow safety measures but still there are a lot of people who ignored everything.

Lockdown in India

And finally the day came-23rd March,2020 on which a nationwide lockdown was declared by government of India. It was for 21 days only but due to the carelessness of people the lockdown kept on increasing . People started filling their food and other important necessities in their home for next 21 days. Under the lockdown only some things were unlocked like Hospitals, grocery stores, milk dairy etc. The lockdown was a good experience for all of us. It is because the main thing we did was spent time with our families , gave time to our hobbies and ourselves , many of us found a new version of ourselves. We watched Mahabharata, Ramayan, shakitman and many more of these old shows. And with the help of  all these entertaining stuffs we passed our lockdown.

Unlock 1.0 and 2.0

Unlock 1.0 was introduced after almost 2 months of corona virus induced lockdown. In this the restrictions imposed during the lockdown were relaxed to a great extent but social distancing was followed strictly. The strict restrictions were continued in the hotspot zones of the country. The decision to give relaxation in some zones of country was taken in regard of reviving the country. In the same way as unlock 1.0 the unlock 2.0 was also declared after a month of unlock 1.0. In this unlock more services and sectors were relaxed from the restrictions but with maintaining social distancing. Metros , trains ,public buses etc. started, cinema halls got opened , restaurant, hotels etc. got opened, public gatherings up to 50 then 100 people were allowed and now in current times we can see that the world is getting normal day by day.

VACCINATION AND NORMALISATION OF THE SITUATION

So the most asked question of the year 2020 is when will the vaccine come for covid-19?? Am I right? Yes of Corse you all will agree with me . So firstly, congratulations as the vaccine is here it’s been more than two weeks that the doses of vaccine are regulating in the country and now there’s a big hope that everything will come to normal soon.

Many countries and many candidates kept themselves engaged in the making of vaccine during the whole lockdown. India is too a part of this race and finally there’s a vaccine in India which is started regulating over the country . In India there are two vaccines. One is developed by Oxford University and UK based  drug maker AstraZeneca the other is by our own Indian company Bharat Biotech.

So, I would like to end this article by just praying that everything will come to its old normal and happy state soon.

Take care everyone and stay safe.

THANK YOU

Written BY – Nishtha Farma