The covid-19 pandemic: Crucial Lessons for 2022

For the last two years, since the eruption of the covid-19 pandemic, our life activities have remained paused due to changes that it brought in the daily life of the people across the world and new physical and mental stamina is yet to come to make life fully normal as it was in the pre-disaster phase.

In fact, it was a human disaster which affected more than 200 countries and locked all human wishes by putting them in a state of house-arrest with utmost in-house precautions and people were bound to live with anxiety, isolation, and frequent loss of loved ones forever, who till recently lived with us attached in the beautiful chain of individual, family and social relationships.

Despite one dose of the vaccine administered to most of the people of the world and a second dose to near 50 percent of global population along with beginning of a booster or precautionary dose in developed countries including India in January 2022, the fear of its spreading looms large all over the globe and it’s a matter of close concern for nations of the globe

In the pandemic phase, nothing appeared permanent as everyone’s plans were cancelled or were constantly changing because of the influence of this health emergency. During the period we all were immunity conscious, wanting to live with good health all the time irrespective of age, climate and place, and it became an undeniable fact of life to protect our bodies against viral invaders. The major problem of the time was how to eat, how much to sleep and what type of exercises to complete. Physical aspects apart, there were several mental issues like, depression, isolation, loneliness, mental stress and psychological problems.

Before the daily bread earners, shortage of cash and other household goods remained at the top of their priorities. Closure of schools and colleges and several restrictions in public places minimised children’s outer activities. Suddenly, people learnt how to live simply with life-supportive activities, such as, more sleep, meditation, eating well, feeling lighter despite external chaos. On the other hand, the coming of the covid-19 pandemic motivated us to give more to others and inspired us to kindness and charity for needy people across the world.

Despite one dose of the vaccine administered to most of the people of the world and a second dose to near 50 percent of global population along with beginning of a booster or precautionary dose in developed countries including India in January 2022, the fear of its spreading looms large all over the globe and it’s a matter of close concern for nations of the globe.

In European countries and the USA and other advanced countries, still there is no respite from the disease and waves of infections are continuously occurring affecting millions of people with significant death rates while in many Asian nations due to increase of cold the second and even third wave approached and many Indian states and regions have started imposing Covid-19-related precautions, particularly in South Indian states even though they relaxed hardly, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu which registered significant number of Covid patients on regular basis.

The current variant of the coronavirus is called Omicron. The World Health Organisation on November 26 designated the variant as B.1.1.529 and named it Omicron and issued an advisory on the basis of evidence presented in its different forms.

As per the decision of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAGVE), it has several mutations that have an impact on behaviour and it spreads easily with severity of illness. There onwards, it has expanded in many countries of the world like Covid-19 and nation’s governments are revamping their health systems to fight the virus and control it at the earliest. Beginning in South Africa first, the new variant is more transmissible compared to other variants, like Delta, and today can be found in most countries of the world with difference in number and severity of illness. Howsever, people with a history of Covid-19 infection are more likely to fall easy prey than others and recovery periods may prolong for days or weeks.

Most of the countries where Omicron has shown its presence and is also spreading with speed, are facing both types of infections simultaneously. In many countries of the globe Covid-19 infected people are coming in number of lakhs and the new variant has also registered its presence.

Although, people with both doses of vaccines are safer than others but still they are facing the after effects of covid-19 and are fearful about this new variant. In most countries, booster doses have also been initiated to avoid further infection and make people healthy and fit, it is taking more time than assumed by many and is likely to continue for the whole of the year 2022. In this situation, the new normal of post-Covid phase is something different to which we are not yet accustomed. In earlier days we didn’t take self-care seriously, moving more frequently, least caring about immunity, wearing no mask, maintaining no distance practising no sanitation or washing of hands by habit.

Now, in the same kind of situation, we try new things and pandemic-related precautions like more focus on reducing stress, boosting immunity, getting more rest, different ways of connecting others, socializing outside, maintaining safe distance and to be more acquainted with social media. In addition, apart from physical precautions there are a number of mental or psychological tips that must be followed in the coming year.

With the presence of both types of infections- Covid-19 and Omicron people all over the world are fearful about its severity as they have witnessed in last two years, however, the availability of different vaccines and most of the people taken the required dose its effects are hoped to be less, if not least. At the same time the WHO and its entire team of experts are busy day and night in getting rid of this deadly disease which has cost the lives of millions around the world. The intensive and extensive ways of studying the virus with its new variants- delta and Omicron etc., are continuing to suggest preventive as well as curative methods for the welfare of humanity. In the context, several developed countries of the world are also busy in making perfect and long lasting vaccines and medicines to defeat the infection at the earliest in a short span of time to save human life, money and resources as well. Despite all odds it is clear that the worst has become a thing of the past and a better future is in the pipeline which will see the light of the day in 2022.

Dr Rajkumar Singh
Dr Rajkumar Singh
The writer is head of the political science department of the B.N.Mandal University, Madhepura, Bihar, India and can be reached at [email protected]

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