Message from a New Yorker
Message received from Ex-RBite Shri Sitendra Kumar, via email on April 12, 2020:
M G Warrier
"In this age of pandemics, the necessary precautions to be taken by all those staying in Housing Societies----An advice by a New Yorker.
I am from NY/ NJ area and you all know very well what's happening in USA and the hardest hit is NY City in the entire nation. I have few comments/ observations for your review. There are some great minds and I shall let their wisdom do the best in the moment of crisis.
Few ground rules: As every family has a 'head of the family'/ 'head of the household'. Pls treat the society/ community as one family and based upon unanimous decision, have a head who guides everyone to safety during this time, this is paramount. These are unprecedented times & you need 1 voice to be followed, all echoing/ reflecting the same. Now, that we have hypothesized that entire community of 700+ flats is one BIG family, it's the duty of the entire family to protect the family from outsiders. You have to assume that entire World outside your community gate is infected & you take decisions only based upon that underlying fact, you have to protect your family and remember, I said above family is NOT 1 or 5 or 100 flats, it's a collective 700+ families together and why I say that? Because as you have heard the story in the childhood, one rotten Apple in the basket can perish all other Apples, pls follow this analogy for this period, religiously. Unless you are all altogether in this, this ugly beast will beat you in a knockout.
Given that above ground rule is accepted by all. Now, few things you can/ should do to mitigate this trying situation:
- Stay at home (behind the door) as much as possible. Kids, ladies, elderly, don't step out.
- Have 1 person (perhaps a relatively young male) step out, only during the time of need. Ask yourself before stepping out. Do I really need to step out? Is sky falling, if I don't? Can I/ my family live without tomatoes or onions or anything that's not critical for survival for the time being or a longer period? If the answer is yes, stay back.
- Keep a separate pair of shoe/ chappal etc. outside your home/ flat door and only use that, don't bring it inside.
- Use a tissue/ paper napkin to touch any surface/ buttons outside your home: Be it lift/ elevator, rail guards on steps or anything outside the door of your home.
- Cover your face and nose, just a simple handkerchief, plain cloth, scarf will do and do not touch it once it is on your face. Remember, covering your face is not to protect you! It is to protect others from you. The concept is, I cover my face to protect you and you cover your face to protect me and this way we protect each other. Face covering is to prevent sneeze, cough or anything that may spit water droplets out in the air or on object/ surface.
- Do not spit on road or open area, that's anyways not a good manner and during this time absolutely no no. So, covering your face outside, will limit that behavior.
- DO NOT PANIC! While this is an invisible enemy but it doesn't have feet to travel, it looks for host to survive & transmit. So, pls follow guidelines, because remember you follow it, means you are protecting me and I follow it, means I am protecting you and that ways we are protecting each other and consequently everyone.
- Needless to say wash hands regularly for 20 sec. each time. Do not touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose, especially when you are outside.
- Hand sanitizer is not needed for people who are behind their flat/ home door. However, it's highly recommended for people who are constantly outside the home: Community gate guard, workers at essential services stores etc.
- USA says that 25-50% of people may be asymptomatic, means you carry the infection but still seems fit but risk others who are vulnerable to this virus, particularly elderly, mainly over 50 years and the % increases as you go higher to 70 yrs.+.
- Bringing anything inside from outside your home door, pls wash it under running water thoroughly.
- If possible, make a roster of how to best arrange essentials for household, be it garbage/ trash collector, bread, egg, etc. and plan it in such a way that there's no rush/ crowd and always a min. 6 feet distance b/w any 2 individuals.
- If you have fever/ pain, DO NOT take Ibuprofen tablet instead Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer, take that. Do not self medicate, reach out for help.
- Keep a check on who is going out and who is coming in the society/ community gate at all times. Remember, you are ONLY as safe/ healthy as the people inside the gate. The moment you allow an infection to come inside the Summer Palms gate, all hell will break loose. Just in case, God forbid it happens, follow isolation/ containment plan/ guidelines. DO NOT hide, communicate to the head of the community/ society asap.
- Eat healthy, drink lot of fluids (plain water), Vitamin C boosts immune system, if you have otherwise just drink water at regular intervals. Gargling is good to keep your throat clear but that's not going to protect you against Covid-19, it's good to keep away from allergies, other bacterias a this time & keep the general anxiety at bay.
- If you have a pet and he/ she needs a walk. Pls be cognizant that this is no normal time & you will follow all guidelines while you go out, we all have to work together.
Keep the mantra always on: I do everything to protect you and you do everything to protect me and this way we protect each other!
Good luck to entire 'Summer Palms community' family. "If you are together, you win, you do solo, everyone loose". Pls take care.