Our thoughts on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Hi dear LHEE fans!
Welcome to our second instalment of the ‘Food for thought’ series!
We @ LHEE thought that it’s a good time to address the world-wide panic currently being caused by COVID -19 (a.k.a. the Corona virus)… and in our usual style, we would like to use this blog to reassure parents and help our children to look at the bright side of this nearly pandemic situation.
(By the way, the Corona virus is named after its resemblance to the sun – so you see, it does have a bright side )
Before we go into all the technical detail, let’s start off with a light-hearted post about Corona, that is also going ‘viral’ on social media sites:
Bollywood is already planning a new blockbuster. Here is the outline of a new movie in production:
Hrithik Roshan is a college student(!) whose girlfriend is vacationing in China. She gets infected with Corona virus and has been quarantined in a high security hospital in China. When the hero hears of this, he consults a local baba, who gives a special medicine ‘Hindustan Ki Mitti’ (soil of India).
The hero now faces several hurdles while trying to deliver this medicine to his sweetheart, like
- breaching the border (as there is travel restriction),
- overcoming extreme security (due to quarantine measures) at the hospital and on top of everything else,
- a villain trying to sabotage the mission by replacing the medicine with ‘Pakistan Ki Mitti’.
How the hero accomplishes his mission and reunites with the love of his life is the rest of the story.
The title of the movie is: CORONA PYAR HAI
What caught my attention was that this joke can only be understood by Indians. It is what we call a ‘cultural meme’ – there are references to strong icons that are part of our cultural fabric (e.g. Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan, Local babas, India Vs Pakistan, and ‘Kaho Na Pyar Hai’ which was one of the most successful movies exactly 20 years ago!)
Similar to cultural memes, we also have very strong cultural practices, which indirectly protect us from epidemics like the Corona flu. A lot of these practices are commonly followed, by just being an Indian!
To name a few:
- How we greet each other – our Namaste with folded palms completely avoids the need for a handshake, hug or kissing on the cheeks which are very popular forms of greeting across the world.
- Washing our hands – we must be one of the very few cultures who take ‘washing our hands’ seriously (our morning and evening ablutions, washing hands before and after meals, before we sit down for prayer…the list goes on!).
- Breathing exercises – Yoga needs no introduction to Indians, but it also acts as a quick check to find out if you have viral infections in the chest. Just follow this sequence:
- Sit on a chair with your back resting against it (or you can adopt the Padmasana /lotus position on the floor)
- Take a slow deep breath
- Hold it for ten seconds
- Breath out slowly
- If you can do the above 5 times slowly and comfortably, then the chances are your respiratory system is not infected with the virus.
- Drinking water – the award goes to Indian mums (Happy Women’s day, by the way!) for scolding their children throughout the day to drink water. The Corona virus requires a dry throat to start its infection; regularly drinking small sips of water during the day flushes out any virus from your throat into your stomach, where the virus is destroyed by digestive acids.
So, isn’t it a great time to be an Indian! What is the need for panic when we are genetically programmed to do ‘self-examination and quarantine’?
And did you know? This isn’t the first time the Corona virus has visited us. Over the years, different strains of the Corona virus have come and gone (e.g. the MERS virus, the SARS virus, and even a number of common cold and flu viruses are all different types of the Corona virus). We have beaten them all, so COVID-19 will be no different!
Just remember to tell your kids to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – something that can be easily done by singing the ‘Happy Birthday to you’ song two times. We currently follow this practice at LHEE.
Parents are also advised to wash their hands for the same length of time, but you don’t have to sing the birthday song . Instead, you can sing along to the title song of ‘Kaho Na Pyar Hai’ – click on the link and we guarantee you will feel better!
See you all soon – we wish you all the health and happiness in the world!