Living in the New Normal - Some Questions & Answers

15 Jul,20

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our way of living immensely and we still don’t know how long we have to deal with it or when our lives will be back on track. This question remains unanswered even now. Even though we have entered the Unlock stage or phase, it may still take years for us to completely resume our old & ‘normal’ way of life, until a viable COVID-19 vaccine arrives in the market. Till that time, we have to live with masks, gloves and sanitizers, as our constant companions and best friends! 

As they say, precaution is better than cure, but in this scenario, there is no certain cure, so it becomes all the more important to take precautionary steps to ensure our safety. The most important precaution we need to remember social distancing i.e., maintaining 6-feet distance from each other. When maintaining physical distance is not possible, we must wear a mask at all times, keep washing hands frequently with soap & water and keep our surroundings sanitised. Also, be vigilant with your mask and if you see it’s getting saturated or damp, discard it right away appropriately and use a new one. 

Given the pandemic and the measures it has forced us to undertake, each and every one of us, will need to adapt as per the ‘New Normal’ to stay healthy & to survive! As a nation, the only way for us to get ahead of these tough times, is to follow the Govt. mandates, while continuing with our routines and lifestyle; with a few new changes. Here are some of the questions, people might have regarding this new way of life and how one can learn to live & deal with COVID-19, without disrupting their physical, mental & emotional health!

Should I go to a clinic for health issues?

Yes, you should access medical care because delaying treatment due to the fear of COVID-19 can put our lives at risk. Access medical care at the earliest to avoid any difficulties, be it regular health screenings, a check-up for chronic conditions or any acute illnesses. Nowadays, video consultations, medical services at home and telemedicine practices are being adopted by hospitals, which can help you get quality healthcare from the comfort of your own home. But there are conditions & illnesses, which require direct physical consultation from a doctor, and in such cases, one should visit clinics or hospitals, as required. These healthcare institutions are maintaining a higher level of infection control guidelines and hence are safe for your visit. 

Can I visit my parents or grandparents?

Elderly people are more likely to get infected by coronavirus than others and hence it is always recommended to be careful while visiting them. It is better to do an outdoor visit while maintaining a 6-foot distance, wearing masks and avoiding direct contact with them. 

Can I have my friends over at my house?

You may, if your group is small and you all can maintain 6-feet distance between each other. Also, sharing cutleries with those, who you are not living with, can be dangerous for now. So, a good idea would be to use disposable/bio degradable cutleries for such events. 

Can I travel?

Well, it depends on the mode of transportation, you are going to use. Using your own car is safe, while it is best to avoid travelling by train or air. Moreover, it is good to avoid long road trips, as stopping at fuel stations or toilet stops can increase the chances of infection heavily. One should also definitely stay away from a red-zone area. Also, if you have to travel at this time, then pack enough gloves, masks & sanitizers with you. Pack food to avoid eating outside and stay on the safer side. Also, while travelling, avoid touching your face and keep your hands sanitised. 

Can I go out for shopping in markets or malls?

Now with the Unlock phase, many market places & malls that were closed before are resuming their operations. It is recommended that you only step out when absolutely necessary. Even if it is for leisure, maintaining social distancing & wearing a mask & gloves too preferably at all times, is a must! We need to get used to this idea sooner rather than later, so that we can enjoy our family or fun time with safety!

Should my kids be allowed to go out & play?

Before sending your kids outside, always make sure about the safety measures they are taking. Like elderly people, kids are also more likely to get severely affected by the infection. Ensure that their group is small and that the area they are going to play is within your premises or society campus. It is good to verify that the children are all from nearby families, who you can easily trace back to and communicate with. Kids must wear face masks, use hand sanitiser and maintain social distancing.

Can I donate blood?

Yes, you can donate blood and it is safe in this pandemic too. Hospitals have adopted higher safety measures to keep blood donation activity safe for everyone. While going for blood donation, wear masks and maintain social distancing. 

The best option, for now, is to stay at home. Yes, it is not very fun to do that, but it is the safest way to stay protected and healthy for now. We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic will not last forever and taking some precautions for now, can help reduce the spread and will protect you from getting infected.

Sarvodaya Hospital & Research Centre, Sec-8, Faridabad, is offering screening & treatment for COVID-19 along with giving other medical advice over telemedicine facility and at the out-patient department. We are maintaining higher standards for infection control and working continuously to keep you safe.