Amidst the increasing threat of COVID19, most of the multinational organizations have made it mandatory for their employees to work from home. The decision is very welcoming and precautionary in the context of increasing fear, stress and anxiety among people. The WHO has declared the COVID19 a pandemic and has warned countries of the perilous disease which is supposed to increase in the coming months. An estimated 124000 people have been affected by COVID19 and the death toll has risen above 6400 people by now. In India alone the reported cases have gone up to 74 in number till now and are still counting.
COVID19 is a viral respiratory illness which amplifies among people living in close quarters. The increasing cases of COVID19 affected people has set alarm bells for those who are still working from their office spaces and have not been getting any relief from their employers. The most vulnerable of the lot are the people working in hospitality, academics, healthcare, shopkeepers, vendors, daily wagers and the likes. The reasons for them not getting any option of ‘working from home’ are obvious—their nature of job does not let them operate from their homes. But this increases their chances of being vulnerable to the virus manifold.
Imagine an employee working with a hotel. Can he attend to the guests by working from home? Can a teacher teach her students online and avoid coming to the classroom, unless facilitated by the organization? Can you expect a doctor or a nurse dealing with COVID19 cases every day, take leaves or request for a ‘work from home’ thing? Or worse, can you expect all the shopkeepers in your neighborhood shut down their shops and sit at home till the situation is under control. And lastly, can you expect a daily wage earner to not go out and work in a construction site or pull a rickshaw on the busy and congested roads swarming with thousands of people?
One of the measures to take against COVID19 is to quarantine ourselves, if affected by it. This is doable but those who are there out in the world, earning their daily bread, unaware of the presence of affected persons around them, have no choice but to take risks. In such a situation what is the way out? What the people in such professions should do? Should their employers be extra prepared against such a looming threat?
The best way out of such a situation is to be extra prepared and extra conscious. If you cannot avoid going to your work place or the nature of your job does not let you work remotely, it is needful to take the precautions as laid down by WHO seriously.
Washing our hands frequently
Our work places have no dearth of water or soaps (if there is, let your employers know of it) and so we must frequently sanitize our hands. The frequent washing of hands keeps our hands germs free. We must also not keep touching our eyes, nose and mouth frequently if we are around people infected with any type of influenza or minor cold and cough.
Avoid shaking hands with fellow employees
You won’t be considered rude if you decline someone’s gesture for a handshake. You can politely tell him that you are being extra careful. To ease your discomfort, here is an update. The royal family of Britain itself avoided the handshakes this time at the Commonwealth Day Service in Westminster and preferred to greet the dignitaries with ‘Namaste’ because of the large number of reported cases of corona virus in UK. It is therefore no surprise that handshakes are being ‘officially’ considered harmful for people now days.
Put on your masks if you are sneezing
There is a lot of confusion about wearing or not wearing a mask to avoid the COVID-19 threat. But you need not wear a mask all the time. WHO has clear guidelines on when to wear a mask and how to dispose it. You should wear it only if you are sneezing so that the people around you do not get infected. And a mask is only beneficial if you take the other measures along with it, like, washing the hands regularly, and also doing it before wearing a mask. The mask should also be worn accurately with no gaps around its lining. Do not keep on touching your mask frequently or removing it often and keeping it wherever you go. Do not re-use the mask and dispose it if you feel it is dirty or it has been long since you wore it.
Use alcohol based hand rubs
There are many hand rubs being sold in the market and I have even see people doing person-to-person selling of some new hand rub brands claiming them to be anti-corona virus. There is also a shortage of hand rubs in medical shops these days which has also led people to buy these fake products amidst fear. But we should always find out the fact before making such hasty purchase.
You can buy a hand rub of any brand but make sure that it should be alcohol based and NOT GEL BASED. The gel used in the hand rubs is sticky with glycerin base, and if not wiped or washed properly after use, gets swallowed with food. The kids get to swallow it more as they tend to put their hands in mouth often.
Make money transactions from UPI payment Apps
The currency notes and the coins circulate from hand to hand and are more likely to carry the virus or other germs. Avoid any contact from currency notes by using UPI method for all your day to day financial transactions.
Even after all that, if you feel you are under some discomfort, or feeling cold, or pain of any sort, do visit your doctor without delay. The minor precautions, if taken seriously, can help us avoid any kind of respiratory illness in and around our workplace. Be it Corona Virus or a common cold, the washing of hands and keeping a safe distance from infected persons, is always recommended.
Let me know what else can be done to avoid COVID19 in the comments section below. Share and spread good health and love and not the virus!