Returning to the new normal – Preparing for Unlock & post COVID-19 Life

As India begins to embrace the ‘new normal’, many of us are left wondering what to do next and how to stay safe after the unlock. Should we still remain indoors at all times, or is some amount of social interaction allowed?

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As India begins to embrace the ‘new normal’, many of us are left wondering what to do next and how to stay safe after the unlock. Should we still remain indoors at all times, or is some amount of social interaction allowed?

As much as we would like to give you a direct answer, the reality is that there is no right or wrong decision here. You need to evaluate what is best for you & the wellbeing of your loved ones.

While staying home helps the fight against the virus, it is can also affect several aspects of your health and wellbeing. Therefore, you need to create your own personalised safety guide for the new normal – one that keeps you safe and healthy at the same time.

Let’s look at some pointers that can help you in this regard.

1. Do you have any Comorbities?

The novel coronavirus affects certain people a lot more than others. Individuals who are 60+ years in age, overweight, or have any other underlying conditions (Comorbities) such as heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory illnesses are considered vulnerable and at high risk to COVID-19.

Therefore, if you tick any of these boxes or suffer from any comorbidity, you need to be more concerned about going out in public than someone who is young and has zero underlying medical conditions.

In the same breath, heading out to exercise, meet a loved one or simply to get the groceries is also important, and unavoidable in certain circumstances. So, what do you do then? Well, that leads us to point number #2.

2. If you have to step out, take the right precautions.

The world might be opening, but we need to remember that the Virus is still at large. And, to stay safe, we need to continue following all the basic COVID-19 safety guidelines that have been in place for the last few months. These include:

  • Maintaining social distance of at least 3 feet between yourself & others.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly & regularly
  • Wearing a mask in public places
  • Avoid touching your nose and mouth

You can also carry a hand sanitizer with you in case you step out. This will allow you to disinfect yourself every time you come in contact with outsides surfaces, handle money, or interact with someone.

One should also avoid crowded locations & any large gatherings. If you do have to venture out, make sure you shower as soon as you get back home and toss all your clothes into the washer.

3. Stay safe at work.

The phased Unlock has seen more and more businesses open their offices. This means that you might soon have to bid adieu to working from home and get back to your pre-quarantine routine.

Getting out of the house and seeing your co-workers after so many months might seem like a welcome change, but it is important that you do not let your guard down.

In fact, you need to up your personal hygiene game & ensure the virus doesn’t come home with you after a hard day at work – here are some ways you can do this:

  • Sanitize your hands after touching objects that are frequently handled such as handrails, elevator buttons, the fingerprint scanner at office, washroom doorknobs, and so on.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Eat in your own work station.
  • Avoid physical contact with others. Do not hug or shake hands to greet your co-workers.
  • Disinfect your shoes, bags and clothes. Hop into the shower as soon as you get home.

4. Build your immunity levels.

Your immune system is your last line of defence against the novel coronavirus. If you have a strong natural resistance, you should be able to fend of COVID-19 with ease.

However, if you have poor immunity levels and fall sick often, then it is time you strengthen your body’s defences. Here are some simple ways to do this while preparing for the new normal:

  • Get plenty of sleep – with the lockdown in place, we all turned to binge watching content to keep ourselves entertained. Most of us stayed-up way beyond our usual bedtime, watching episode after episode of every show that caught our interest. And soon, 2 AM was the new midnight. Such a sudden change in your sleeping pattern can affect your immune system.
    To get your body’s natural defences back on track, you need to start sleeping well. Try squeezing 7 to 9 hours of shuteye every night - this will help your body create an army of white blood cells that will help you fight illnesses!
  • Focus on a balanced diet – eating right is the key to good immunity. A balanced diet will go a long way in helping you prepare for the new normal. You should ensure that your diet provides all the vital nutrients that your body needs. Try and consume as many fresh fruit and vegetables as you can, along with a good blend of protein, wholegrain, vitamin A and zinc.

5. Pay attention to your mental health.

Wash your hands regularly, avoid crowded places, maintain social distancing – the physical safety measures for COVID-19 are well-discussed and known to almost everyone! However, on the flip side, very little has been said about mental wellbeing and how to stay positive during these challenging times.

Sure, the on-going Unlock ushers in new hope – it is great to see the country slowly open up once again and restore some sort of normalcy to our lives. But, at the same time, it is important to remember that there’s still a long way to go before things go back to normal again.

And until then, we need to pay special attention to our state of mind & mental wellbeing. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Avoid overexposure to the news; stay informed but not glued to the screen.
  • Take necessary breaks while working, just like you would at office.
  • Exercise a little bit every day. It doesn’t have to be for long, even 15 minutes is enough. (This will also help build your immunity levels).
  • Try meditation or any other activity that keeps you calm, such as listening to music.
  • Find time to be grateful, reflect on all the good things that have happened in your life.
  • Talk to someone, it is the best thing to do if you start to feel overwhelmed.

It has become evident over time that it might be impossible to stay indoors until a cure is found or a vaccine is developed. Instead, we need to learn how to live with the virus, face it and overcome it. We hope the information mentioned here will help you in preparing for the new normal.

Pro tip: To stay better prepared, you can get yourself a good health insurance policy that covers the expenses that might arise out of COVID-19. This will act as a safety net and reduce the financial impact of the virus.

In the meanwhile, stay safe, stay healthy and stay happy!


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