Editorial | Community awareness needed

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As the temperatures dip, and the cold winds announce the arrival of winters, we must brace up for the season, not just for the hardships it usually brings with it, but also the things that it will complicate in the wake of this covid pandemic. Now for nearly a year mankind is wrestling with a tiny creature that has left the world in a state of stupour. From economic activities to normal meetings of the people, everything stands in a state of suspension. The number of people who have been affected by this virus and those who finally lost the battle and died, is staggering. Still there is no solution in sight, and the only precautions that we can take are the ones that were publicised from the beginning of this crisis – wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Positively there is nothing that we can do to ward of this virus.

Now the season of biting cold is here to arrive and with this  the health hazards like flu, cold, chest congestion, and soar throat are going to invade the household space. Although many people, unlike earlier years, have taken flu shots, but still that is not a total safety. In this situation we will face many more problems. The winter ailments can be confused with covid symptoms and it can give rise to a situation of panic in many families. Consequently it will be a burden on the arrangements put in place for covid testing and rehabilitation.  Already we are way short of the required facilities, and an additional burden can turn the system upside down. Further, it can create psychological problems for the people who get sick. A simple flu can be considered as covid infection, triggering an asymmetrical response from the patient and the family. In this situation the concerned authorities need to gear up and think of some solution to the problems that are going to surface up in the coming weeks. One of the ways is to publicise the whole thing and sensitise people about this. In case of covid we have seen that the community spread of information finally pays.  Here also if people are made aware, in advance, about the seasonal health hazards, and are educated to take precautionary measures, much of the crisis can be nipped in the bud.