Written by: Maaz Yafeez Ganatra
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
― Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect
It has now been almost 5 months since COVID’19 was declared as a Global Pandemic. Virologists throughout the globe have been working day and night to find a vaccine for this deadly virus. Meanwhile, more than one third of the world’s population is either locked inside their homes or making only the necessary movements in order remain safe from this novel string of Corona virus.
“Deadly”, yes, that is the word used to describe this virus which has taken more than 200,000 lives up till now. Despite this number, what if I tell you that by making tiny little changes each day in our lifestyles, we collectively can eradicate the virus completely from the face of the earth, maybe even faster than it takes for the vaccine to develop.
Before achieving any big task, if we start looking at the end expected result from a macro perspective, it may open up a number of hurdles which may seem too difficult or even impossible to conquer. Every major success in life comes from making small tiny changes in your daily lifestyle working towards those goals which then end up creating an exponential or compounded effect and help us achieve something which seemed too difficult at one instance.
Hypothetically, if the entire world’s population had a habit of washing hands or sanitizing them after every hour, it is highly probable that we would not be facing this Pandemic that is destroying livelihoods of thousands of people with crashing economies and helpless governments throughout the world. That is the beauty of compound effect, the habit of not washing hands frequently made a compounded effect of this scale. Just like missing out on a few habits collectively can lead to such Global crises, in the same way adapting to a few habits can aid in stopping these crises.
As the germs of this virus cannot penetrate through dead skin cells, they remain on top of a person’s clothes or skin upon contamination and can only enter the body by contact with areas like mouth, eyes or nose. To eliminate the chances of this happening, it is essential that a person washes away these germs from their hands frequently. The first small step towards improvement is setting a reminder for yourself on a phone or any other device, so that the simple practice of washing or sanitizing hands is called to mind after every hour or so until it becomes a habit. When there is interaction with the outside world, a person is bound to come in contact with various surfaces and there is no way to know whether those areas are contaminated or not. If you sanitize frequently while being outside, that just may be what prevents the virus from getting into your system and in the instance of a global pandemic, every little action can either contribute towards life or death.
Another marginal change that a person can easily incorporate in their daily lives is keeping safety kits which include masks, gloves, disinfectants etc always in handy. If you have your own commute, place the kit in your car. If you use public transport, keep it in your bag for easy access. By making sure that you are well equipped and prepared, the chances of taking risks in an emergency situation are eradicated. Moreover, even though corona virus is not as deadly for younger people, in order for our bodies to successfully prevent and beat the virus, having a strong immune system is crucial. You can build a strong immunity by maintaining a healthy diet. Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, provide your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to thrive by incorporating healthy, whole foods and cutting down on junk food and packaged goodies. Avoid food takeaways because there is no guarantee of whether proper safety measures are being taken where that food is being prepared or not and make home cooked meals instead.
As there is no vaccine available for COVID yet, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. When going out for basic necessities, make a habit to maintain a proper distance from people especially if there is a person coughing or sneezing anywhere around you to ensure their safety as much as your own. Even inside your own home, try to wipe down and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like handles, doorknobs, mobile phones, tables etcetera at least once a day.
To further highlight the importance of taking precautionary measures, let’s discuss Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), a practical and tested method followed by WHO which contributes towards helping patients and health care workers from being harmed and effected by easily preventable illnesses. They believe that in order to bring about safer and high quality healthcare, implementation of IPC at the point of care is critical and by following this practice, the risk of getting avoidable diseases has been decreased by more than 30%. If we reflect this in the global situation as of this moment, imagine the extent of the impact made by taking into account the above mentioned measures. Small changes can instigate and determine the path to success. We can beat this together!