By Somnath Paul
[Editor’s Note: The year 2020 has been unusual in every way, and the way we commemorate its ending is no exception. Social distancing, travel avoidance, financial uncertainties and countless other factors are making us rethink the usual celebrations. It’s also making us take stock of what we commemorate, celebrate, or mourn this year. Perhaps for the first time in human history most of humanity has, among their many interests and concerns, one significant issue in common: we are all dealing, in one way or another, with COVID-19 and the global response to it. For example, our Guest Contributor Somnath Paul, founder of the public relations company Perfect Communications, celebrates having avoided infection and reveals, in his own words, what he believes helped him keep it at bay!]
I am a public relations officer and my profession demands that I go out every day for work and meet many people. During the lockdown of course my movement was restricted, and my business took a nosedive. So, when the unlock began I was immediately out and about. What added to the risk of me contracting Covid-19 (over and above having to interact with a wide range of clients in close quarters) was the fact that the area where I live is very crowded and congested. I was almost convinced that I would contract the dreaded disease and apprehensive that I would subsequently infect my elderly mother, who is 67 and with whom I live. But the other option was to sit back and take more and more losses in business, which is not a consideration. My business is how I make a living for my family.
What made my risk even bigger, is that I was taking care of someone with COVID a few months ago. A close cousin of mine tested positive for the virus. He lived alone and his doctor advised that he quarantine himself at home but he needed someone to look after him, so I took that responsibility. I visited him regularly, bringing him his medicine, food, etc.
Everyone thought I was next in line. That’s when I decided that I would try to proactively prevent it.
Wearing a face mask was of course the first preventive measure I practiced without fail so that I would not breathe in droplets when he sneezed or coughed. I washed my hands with soap and water each time I touched any item in his house and I never touched my eyes, nose or mouth until I washed or disinfected my hands. As soon as I returned home, I bathed thoroughly and shampooed my hair.
But what I really concentrated on was my body’s own resistance to getting sick. I got plenty of sleep and ate a nutrient-rich diet in order to strengthen my immune system. I increased my intake of seasonal fruits and vegetables. I added more protein to my diet as well. I ate two eggs for breakfast each day and a (very spicy!) fish curry for lunch and chicken stew at least twice a week. I also resorted to a lot of home remedies such as drinking hot water mixed with lemon juice, three times a day. My mother followed this diet too and I can proudly proclaim that so far we have both been perfectly healthy.
I won’t be able to point to any specific source from where I learnt these different measures — I think they are mostly general health habits and some are traditional home remedies — and I cannot vouch for their efficacy for other people. But those are the measures I took, which I’m convinced really helped me stay well.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the writer and are based on his own experiences. The remedies mentioned do not constitute a health advisory. Covid-19 is a deadly disease and can require critical care. Please consult your physician about this and any other medical condition or health regimen. The individual stories of our contributors are meant merely to give our readers a glimpse into the lives and thoughts of our fellow humans and, we hope, to inspire hope, goodwill and enjoyment.