COVID-19 wave III: the dos and the don’ts

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Pankti Parmar is a 2ndyear medical student, studying at HBT Medical College and Dr.RN Cooper Hospital, Mumbai. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The coronavirus outbreak, an RNA virus by origin, created havoc worldwide starting from the first ever case which was reported towards the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China. Over the following weeks, it spread to 18 countries (excluding China), and on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Subsequently, on March 11th, it was declared a pandemic as it had spread to 113 countries! Worldwide countries tried and responded differently to this virus outbreak.

A delay in detection, contact tracing, lack of adequate safety measures led to its more and more spread which eventually overburdened the health care systems of the particular nation. On the other hand, some other nations put in place effective strategies to contain the infection and have recorded a very low number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

At the community level, the most important measures for reducing infection spread rely on case detection, isolation, wearing proper masks, sanitizing hands and contact tracing of positive cases, followed by quarantine of those exposed. Other strategies include the closure of places of mass gathering, like schools, libraries, places of worship, malls, and cinemas, and the suspension of all social events, such as sports, celebrations, and meetings.

Yet we, according to statistics and data, are now under the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak. Reason? Taking all those measures mentioned above for granted, lifting up the curbs when cases were very low and most importantly lack of following the proper guidelines by the government.

In spite of watching thousands and lakhs of lives getting buried, I don’t think we have implemented things that we learnt. As the impact of COVID-19 is not limited to human infection and death, other associated issues should be addressed too, like social discrimination, greater incidence of panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and other psychosocial issues, disrupted supply chain and declining stock markets are the final consequences of these social changes, thus hitting the global economy, especially in developing countries like India where people earn daily wages to have a single loaf of bread.

Even the healthcare workers are increasingly looked upon as someone who can spread the virus in the community. How can one possibly avoid the surge of the third COVID wave if we as a community continue to encourage such norms.

Although vaccination drive has been started in most of the countries now, the covid-19 pandemic would take several months, maybe even years to keep it under control. In conclusion, since December 2019, COVID-19 has emerged as a public health threat and concern around the globe.

It adds to the list of previous epidemic infectious disease outbreaks which remind us that we live in a bubble where it is necessary to respect the relationship between animal life, social life, and the environment to survive, thrive and evolve accordingly. Emerging pandemics show us that humans are not unerring and communities need to be prepared!

About the author

Pankti Parmar is a 2ndyear medical student, studying at HBT Medical College and Dr.RN Cooper Hospital, Mumbai. She’s a part of Medical Students Association of India(MSAI) since 2019 and has been a keen volunteer in organizing various projects such as abortion related ethics, organ donation, career opportunities after medical studies etc. Apart from that, she keeps herself engaged in reading new research articles and finds IFMSA a great platform to share her ideas and thoughts. She thrives forward to connect and collaborate with other organizations and improve the healthcare system as much as she could.

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  1. What will happen in COVID-19 wave III in still not known. Thank you

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