How Can You Prevent Coronavirus From Spreading?

Yesterday Delhi, Today Noida!

The deadly coronavirus has reached my city Noida now. A renowned school in Noida, where children of the patient study, was fumigated on Tuesday. Everyone who attended a birthday party hosted by the patient last Friday in Agra is also under surveillance . Dr Anurag Bhargava, CMO Gautam Buddh Nagar, said that advisory has been issued to schools and offices in the suspected area to approach hospitals if there are concerns.

How Many Have Lost Their Lives So Far?

COVID-19 has already taken many lives across the globe. More than 3,000 in the mainland China, 26 in South Korea, 34 in Italy, 66 in Iran, eight in Japan, two in France, two in Hong Kong, two in the United States, and many many more.

The virus has even reached the Vice President of Iran and the famous cruise ship Diamond Princess in the middle of the ocean. This clearly indicates that the virus has a vast reach. Therefore, India should gear up and start taking immediate steps. Many Indian students were evacuated from Wuhan by an Air India plane. Indians have come from Japan’s Diamond Princess ship as well.

In India, three cases were discovered in Kerala, and were discharged later. But now, according to the Health Ministry, one case in Delhi, one in Telegana, and one in Jaipur have been identified as of now, and the number might rise any time.

Microscopic image of Covid Virus. Image provided by the author.

The Corona Story

Covid-19’s story begins from a city in China (Wuhan). Right now, the city is completely locked down, and has been completely isolated from mainland China. Coronavirus has been renamed COVID-19 by the WHO (World Health Organisation). Many say this virus has come from bats, snakes, etc. Many even say that the virus was discovered accidentally in a research lab. The worldwide death toll has topped 3,000 in China and the number of cases tops 89,000 in about 70 countries. This may even rise soon.

Image provided by the author.

One Country, Two Viruses And Their Losses

Both the viruses SARS in 2003 and COVID-19 in 2020 were quite shocking for China and the whole world, but their actions were immediate to control the viruses too. For instance, they constructed a hospital for the virus victims within a week in Wuhan itself  and industries have been shutdown. Due to rapid spread of the virus globally, the whole world suffers not only health wise, but economically too, many countries’ stock market has crashed, imports and exports supply has been completely shut, and the travel and tourism sector has been hit by virus as well.

Tokyo Olympics 2020, too, might get postponed, as might many other sports tournaments. Ultimately, every sector is suffering now: business is down, Sensex and Nifty are down etc. This year, we might also have recession because of the virus.

What To Do And What Not  To Do Due To Virus?

First and foremost, don’t panic because of the virus.

Since corona virus is large in size, with a cell diameter of 400-500 micro, so any mask can prevent its entry. Hence, there is no need to exploit pharmacists to trade with muzzles.

The virus does not settle in the air, but on the ground. So, it is not transmitted via air.

The corona virus, when it falls on a metal surface, will live for 12 hours. So, washing your hands with soap and water well will do the trick.

Doctors going for thermal scanning. Image provided by the author.

Coronavirus, when it falls on fabrics, stays for 9 hours. So, washing clothes or exposing them to the sun for two hours is enough to kill the virus.

The virus lives on your hands for 10 minutes. So, keeping an alcohol sanitiser in your pocket is enough for the purpose of prevention.

Don’t make any physical contact with others, because the virus can be shared through contamination. Therefore, wash your hands regularly with a sanitiser and use your Indian traditional (namaskar) way of greeting instead of a handshake.

Don’t touch animals like dogs on streets.

Indians coming from China on an Air India plane.

The Indian government has also placed restrictions on foreign passports and visa so that the reach of the virus can be minimised. 

If the virus is exposed to a temperature of 26-27°C, it will get killed. It cannot live in hot areas. Also, drinking hot water and exposure to the sun is good enough.

Staying away from ice creams and cold food is important. Gargling with warm water and salt kills tonsils and prevents them from leaking into the lungs. The Ministry of AYUSH has advised Arsenicem ALBUM 30 as a precautionary homeopathic medicine against COVID-19.

Adhering to these instructions is sufficient to prevent the virus. We can hope for the summer season to arrive soon, so that this virus gets killed automatically.

BE SMART. BE SAFE. BE ALERT. ALWAYS.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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