• Dr. Peter Darmawan

The Corona Virus (Covid-19) and How to Win this Battle

An article by: Ankit Kumar Poojary (Secondary 3, batch of 2019-2020)

As all of you are aware, the novel-corona-virus has affected and is continuing to infect millions of people around the globe. This pandemic is alleged to have started from a food market somewhere in Wuhan, China. The first case was confirmed in December 2019 and it spreads like a wildfire around the globe, taking 287,702 lives and over 4.2 million cases worldwide in just 4 months (data: We have dealt with Coronaviruses before but it had never escalated to a pandemic.

Most countries have started implementing social-distancing measures in March and April as well as initiating a lockdown in some cities. What this means is that citizens are asked to stay at home instead of proceeding with their daily life routines. Now, let me ask you something. I bet that when the lockdown was announced in your country (or city at least), you were very happy and excited (be honest, students!). But now, after nearly a month in lockdown, were you as happy as you were when the lockdown started? The answer has to be a resounding 'no'. If you are happy, you are not human. Just kidding! It is good for you to remain happy. But surely you would have experienced several periods of time when you had absolutely nothing to do and wonders what you could do to fill up the time.

Tips to break the "chain-of-spread"

Before I move on, I would like to explain what is meant by the 'chain-of-spread'. The chain-of-spread is actually the main cause of this pandemic. It simply means that if an infected person gets in contact with another person, that person has a high potential to get infected and testing positive. This process can continue to spread the virus exponentially as long as the infected patient does not realise that he/she has been carrying the virus and is promptly isolated. So, our goal is to break that chain to reduce the spread and obviously keep ourselves safe. The following paragraphs are tips to do just that. Firstly, we must avoid, at all cost, to talk face-to-face with anyone without proper protections except for our own family members. This is because we can never know where the person has been and met. We should never take the unnecessary risk of contracting the virus from someone who might be unknowingly infected. If you really need to talk to that person, wear a mask, and this leads us to our second tip.

Secondly, wear a mask whenever you leave the house. Even if you go for a jog in the neighbourhood, keep that mask on because you will never know who you might meet on the way and spend a little time chit-chatting. Better be prepared than sorry.

Thirdly, keep a safe distance (about 1.5 to 2 metres) when talking with anyone other than those who are living in the same house as you. Let's say you start a conversation with your neighbour, for example. Put on your mask and keep a safe distance of a couple of meters distance from each other. As said earlier, we can never know if he/she had contracted the virus and we must not take that risk.

Most importantly, you must wash your hands often and thoroughly, especially after spending time outdoors or coming into contact with commonly touched objects. Even after a jog, you must wash your hands with soap for at least 15 to 20 seconds as you can never know what you have touched during the activity subconsciously.

Lastly, sanitize any objects you took with you when you went outside for any activity such as grocery shopping. Those objects can be smartphones, watches, etc. The coronavirus can remain active on metal surfaces for at least 6 hours and about 3 hours on glass and plastic. Also, let the vegetables or groceries you bought receive a little sunlight because that is the easiest and natural way to eliminate all sorts of viruses & pests. The coronavirus cannot withstand high heat and the ultraviolet light from sunlight. It is also good for you to exercise in the hot morning sun to get some sunlight and stay fit. Please exercise care not to get a sunburn!

Things to do during a lock down

Here are some things which I hope can help you stay happy and engaged during the lockdown. First off, do something you like. I don't know why I have to say this because this is common sense but again, by doing something you like or working on your hobby, you can kick the boredom away from your house! From reading books to gaming, there are no limits to your hobby!

I know there are many people out there who claim not to have a hobby. But that's not true. Everyone has a hobby. It is just that they have not discovered it yet. By keeping an open mind and allow yourself to do and experience new things, one day, you will discover something that you like, which can bloom into a hobby. For those people, second on the to-do list is to take advantage of the lockdown and find your hobby! Instead of feeling bored and sitting on the couch doing nothing for 2 hours, explore new things. For example, try sketching, or painting! Try starting a YouTube channel! In this generation, there are endless things we can do online too! Make blogs, play some video games, etc. Disclaimer: I am not saying you should stay on your phone or monitor for 6 hours straight. Try to control how long you spent playing each day.

Thirdly, play some board games with your family. There are thousands of board games in this world, and you surely have at least 1 board game at your home. This is the perfect time to gather together and spend quality time with your family while keeping the boredom away. Don't have a board game? There are cool virtual board games that can be found on the internet. Top on my list is where you play "virtual chess". Just sign up and add your family members or friends and battle with each other! Moreover, there are board game apps that are available to be downloaded to your smartphones.

Films are one of the most popular ways to tell a story these days. There are millions of films to watch online to keep yourself occupied. Streaming sites such as Netflix, HBO go and amazon prime video feature thousands of movies and documentaries. I am not encouraging you to subscribe for a plan, but if you spend some time looking, there are websites that stream films for free, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown period. For example, Netflix streams some of its highly-acclaimed documentaries for free on YouTube.

Also, another thing you can do is to try and cook something new. I bet you probably are used to leaving the cooking job for your mom or dad to do. But actually, there are thousands of cooking channels online that can instruct you to cook almost anything in the world! For example, try making steak, pizza, or baking a cake at home. The possibilities are endless! Simple tutorials done by experts can easily guide you through the process from start to finish. This is one thing you can do during the lockdown.

Lastly and most importantly, is to exercise. You can do so simply by playing basketball or soccer at home. You can consider going for a jog or ride a bicycle around the neighbourhood if it is not too crowded. There is a wide range of sports and exercises that you can do at home. Why I said this is the most important is because our body needs to stay fit during the lockdown as our daily activities are forced to be kept at the minimum. Our bodies did not get as much movement as it used to. Furthermore, there is no one to remind us to do sports like our beloved P.E teachers in school. All public sporting facilities are currently closed because of the high risk of contracting the virus. It is up to us then to keep ourselves healthy and fit in this stressful situation. This is the end of my article. I hope that you find my safety tips and things to do in the lockdown helpful. Peace out and stay safe everyone!

This article first appeared on Ankit's personal blog at

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