April 8

The Second Wave:COVID 19- Everything we need to know about it and protect ourselves

There was a small but significant respite from coronavirus, with steady decline in cases in the last few months of 2020. But the sudden spike of Cornovirus cases with rapid mutations of virus has again put us on our toes. Life has again come to a standstill with expeditious number of cases, challenged medical facilities, fresh lockdowns and vaccination hesitancy. Novel strain of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is again back with loud bang forcing us to again loom in fear and uncertainty.

What serious is the current condition?

With a very high number of daily new cases since end of March, April 5 registered around 96,982 cases. Few states are witnessing massive surge and contribute about 70-80% of these numbers. This has put huge load on healthcare with increased threat to non-availability of beds, ventilators, medical care and oxygen. This worsened outbreak has again put us in scary conditions of health scare, loss of lives and livelihood.

Who is at greater risk?

Similar to first wave this time also our elders above 60 are more exposed to life threatening conditions caused by coronavirus. All people with co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension, heart or lung diseases and autoimmune conditions are at tremendous risk.

Has the virus changed, should I be bothered?

Yes, because the virus has mutated and according to the recent reports and studies, virus has become more dangerous and capable of spreading at greater speed. At the same time it is also causing severe illness and complications. The viral load is higher in patients as compared to the first wave. This could be attributed to various mutations virus underwent over the course of time like Brazilian variant, South African variant, Kent variant, double mutant Indian variant, Brazilian variant. These mutations can also reduce the efficacy of the vaccines; but as of now, there is no such confirmation.

Also, unlike previous wave of pandemic, this times virus is affecting young people too, causing severe complications in some cases. However, still most cases remain asymptomatic or mild. But it has potential to cause severe bilateral pneumonia, organ damage and unforeseen complications in long term.

Corona virus second wave precaution

Why are we experiencing second wave?

There may be many factors responsible for this spike.

Human carelessness: With sloppy attitude among people regarding mask, sanitation, hygiene and social distancing virus has again carved its way among us. Coronavirus was never gone completely but, it could not infect so many people as before; because we all were very careful in breaking human chain. But then due to pandemic fatigue and negligent hygienic measures people were less bothered about it, as cases declined. However, situation has reversed now with rapid upsurge of fresh cases.

Mutation in virus with increased ability to cause infection is also responsible for increased number of cases.

Reopening of various activities and relaxation of lockdown along with lax attitude of people in overcrowded areas is culpable.

Are the symptoms experienced same or different?

There are many new set of symptoms reported this time with this new wave of infection. These symptoms are:

Gastrointestinal symptoms like- nausea, vomiting, loose motion, abdominal pain

1. Cold

2. Pain in joints, headache, weakness, appetite loss

3. Fever and cough

4. Breathlessness

Should one be scared?

No, getting scared does not help but taking adequate precautions can.

What are we supposed to do when we are in between second surge of infection?

Mask, Hand hygiene, Sanitation and Social Distancing still remains our most important weapons in the battle against Coronavirus pandemic.

Vaccine is most important in developing antibodies against the virus. Covishield and Covaxin are currently administered in India above 45 years of age population. The effectiveness of these vaccines against all these variants is still not known; yet they are our most important tool against coronavirus. Get yourself vaccinated when your turn comes and protect yourself.

Even if, you are vaccinated take all precautions. Antibodies take at least 15 days post 2nd dose of vaccine to get fully developed. No vaccine is hundred percent, hence it is very crucial to take all covid precautions even after getting fully vaccinated.

Take both doses of vaccinations; otherwise you may be left vulnerable.

Go for vaccination even if, were infected with COVID earlier. Since, antibodies can wane with time, it is important to take vaccine.

Follow all guidelines as instructed by the government which are designed by the health experts for benefit of our lives. Each life matters and our joint efforts can save us and our families.

Get yourself checked for RT-PCR test if, you have any symptom or you came in contact with the positive patients.

Isolate yourself completely, if, found positive.

Follow doctor’s guideline and local authority’s instructions.

Avoid public places or overcrowded areas. If, not necessary, do not go out.

Eat healthy and fresh foods to boost immunity.

Keep your rooms ventilated and clean.

Keep your shopping/ meeting time short. Follow physical distancing.

If, you are suffering from any other disease, do take medical treatment. Timely treatment of grave diseases is important too.

Avoid falling prey to fake news. Do not get anxious and confirm from official sources.

Practice meditation and yoga. Staying physically fit and mentally healthy is paramount.

Let technology be your friend to stay connected with friends and family. COVID induced isolation can be damaging.

With around 818.80 lakhs people, received their vaccine till date in India; we need to increase our numbers further. Go for it, when you are provided opportunity to take it. This time pandemic has greater spreading potential and we need to act fast. According to government, next four weeks are going to be critical and we cannot keep our guard down. With lots of stress regarding health, life, economy; we have only option to follow all preventive measures against coronavirus to protect our lives.

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