Coronavirus (COVID-19) – What Students (Studying in India and Abroad) Need To Know
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
This means humans have no in-built immunity to this new disease and most people who contract the virus will have no or mild symptoms. However, some will develop severe or even critical symptoms. From Wuhan in the Hubei province of China in December, COVID-19 has spread across the world affecting nearly 157 countries. Researchers think COVID-19 originated in an animal population – most likely in bats – and got transferred to humans through secondary source.
Coronavirus Diseases (Covid-19) Symptoms include –
- Respiratory issues
- Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
- In serious cases, symptoms can also include infection leading to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, which in turn can be fatal.
How can you prevent the spread of coronavirus and avoid infection?
WHO recommends –
- Washing your hands regularly
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- Cooking meat and eggs thoroughly
- People with symptoms stay home and self-isolate to avoid spreading the virus to others
As per the ICMR, Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India rose to 236 after 63 fresh positive cases were reported in a day, on March 20, the state governments are announcing shutdown of public places to contain the spread of coronavirus that has claimed more than 10,000 lives globally. Rhinoviruses and coronaviruses are recognized as the major causes of the common cold syndrome. COVID 19 is enhanced version of it. It actually put mucus around your lungs part. Drinking hot fluid is to save guard of the same. However, it is not the cure.
Good news is that healthy young people – including college or university students – are at low risk of contracting the virus, and even if they do, symptoms are less severe. However, they can be carriers without being aware of it. Hence, like everyone else it is important for the student community to stay informed about the developments of the virus.
For students in India –
- To increase immune system- take neem leafs daily, take raw turmeric daily, and take raw garlic daily. Take watermelon type fruits, take coconuts.
- Now is the time to show you are educated- stay home. Try not to get any common flu. Take care of yourself- try to take Vitamin C, Mg and take vitamin D and increase Zinc level of your body. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables along with zinc enabled foods.
- Also increase protein in your diet and drink lots of hot liquid – soup, tea, coffee. Gurgle with vinegar or salt water – don’t let any mucus stay in your throat.
- Clean your cloths and take a bath (use liquid soap) when you are coming back from streets and market. Use alcohol to wash your hands and face- clean it before you touch anyone. Please dump the cotton in dust-bean which you have used to clean face and hands and legs. Hang the cloths and usable items in sunlight, it helps.
- It is important to wash the metallic surface carefully; COVID19 can stay for 9 days on a metallic surface. If possible use hot water to wash them.
- India, I’m not sure if we have infra to fight against COVID 19 (Corona) , the 1st world country is trying to save them-self, just think if it goes towards country-side what will happen.. Dear all, it’s from rhinovirus family,
- The world is not going to end if you don’t go out for next few days. It is crucial not to let stage 3 happen in India, we have 1.3 billion (officially) population in India, not sure what will happen if the virus enters in villages. Also, don’t spread rumours. Stay home, avoid large gatherings to stop the spread.
For students studying abroad –
- Many such students are concerned about paying their students loans. Know that some governments have decided to temporarily reduce or waive student loan interest rates during this crisis. According to Caroline Kelly and Sarah Westwood for CNN.com, “The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a statement that “under the new policy, any borrower with a federal loan — including those in income-driven repayments and in forbearance — will have interest waived until the temporary policy ends”.
- You can check with your bank on deferred payment options. Also try to know more about student loan repayment from the bank or from the university’s financial aid officers.
- According to John Hammer for RhinoTimes.com , “Some storage companies like Bee Safe and Wine Cellar are offering one month free storage space for college students. “This is not just a free month of storage, but also all move-in, administrative and lock fees are waived and there is no minimum rental term commitment on any size self-storage rental with a valid student ID. That means a student can store items in a storage unit for up to 30 days with no commitment.”
- Those studying abroad must stay updated about the destination country’s official health information, they should also sign up for news alerts, and download relevant apps – technology can save you in many ways. The study abroad department advisor will be able to help with a lot of necessary information; if needed you can contact the local embassy for advice. Those in the US, know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) and the local state health department update the sites every day. Sign up for the alerts in order to get the correct information. Students staying in other countries, the local embassy or consulate will help you with links to trustworthy news sources.
- If you in a country with high rates of COVID-19 or if your country has specified that you should return home at the earliest, get in touch with the local embassy and stay updated on possible travel plans. Remember! Those coming back from abroad will have to stay in quarantine for two-weeks, irrepective of whether you were exposed to or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Stay prepared, plan accordingly and sty contacted to your government and university officials.
- Governments around the world are making tough decisions on closing their borders and limiting travel in and out of their respective countries. According to NYTimes.com, “Countries across the world have imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and the leader of the European Union on Monday said she would propose a 30-day ban on nonessential travel into the bloc. […] This list, pulled from official government reports and the United States State Department, will be updated as new measures are announced.”
The measures are integral to slow the spread of Coronavirus so that healthcare systems can provide treatment and allow researchers, medical professionals, and government officials time to develop treatments and implement public health protocols.
Social distancing all you need to know
In the US many colleges and universities are closing campuses. Harvard University is among the many who are going to close campuses and cancel in-person classes. “The decision to move to virtual instruction was not made lightly,” Harvard’s President Lawrence Bacow said in a statement reports InsideHigherEd.com. “The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups and spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other in spaces such as classrooms, dining halls, and residential buildings.”
Best practices and social distancing are the best things you can do right now.
How to deal with social distancing
- The appropriate social distance is staying three to six feet apart
- No handshaking or hugging, avoid contact with other people
- Limit visiting public places i.e.no going out for dinner, or gym
- Limit person-to-person contact and instead chat on the phone with your friends using services such as FaceTime, Skype, and WhatsApp.
- Celebrities have joined the social distancing initiative – musicians such as John Legend, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Pink are holding solitary, impromptu concerts on social media, while others are reading children’s books online to help quarantined families with bedtime and teachers whose schools have closed are offering their help to parents and children virtually.
Interestingly, many erstwhile great thinkers, artists, writers, and makers continued to work through historic quarantines like the plague all while staying both creative and productive. Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine. In 1665, Sir Isaac Newton made a breakthrough regarding the nature of motion and gravity.
States State Department, will be updated as new measures are announced”.
Remember, till now there is no vaccine for COVID-19. The National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA has said “scientists are working on a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle.” Many other nations are also researching to create a vaccine. However, it will take many months before a vaccine is available in the market.
Do your best ‘flatten the curve’
Author: Baishali Mukherjee
Profile- An independent writer and journalist for last nine years; presently working with Education World, Entrepreneur India, Scrabbl.com and Stoodnt.com. Worked as the content head for four books and have articles and features published in leading print and digital media spaces.
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