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 Table of Contents 
COMMENTARY
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-18  

COVID-19—A new normal Indian community


1 Tutor/Clinical Instructor, College of Nursing, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Nursing Officer, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Date of Submission10-Jun-2020
Date of Decision09-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance28-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Jan-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. I K Rohisha
Tutor/Clinical Instructor, College of Nursing, AIIMS, Raipur, Tatiband, GE Road, Raipur, Chhattisgarh - 492099
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1043_20

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  Abstract 


Novel coronavirus disease has affected the different segments of community. As the positive cases are increasing day by day across the world and in India, everything should be back to new normal. The community should be trained to live along with the virus. During or after this pandemic, there will be a new normal life for the Indians and they will be used to these life-style changes to protect themselves and the community from communicable diseases. The changes have occurred in the field of education, health sector, economic system, and the lifestyle of the people.

Keywords: COVID-19, Indian community, new normal


How to cite this article:
Rohisha I K, Jibin M. COVID-19—A new normal Indian community. J Family Med Prim Care 2021;10:15-8

How to cite this URL:
Rohisha I K, Jibin M. COVID-19—A new normal Indian community. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Feb 25];10:15-8. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2021/10/1/15/307869




  Introduction Top


Novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 has emerged as a pandemic all over the world. As per WHO report on April 27, it has affected almost 213 countries and affected around 2 million people globally. India is also affected with the deadly virus. The first case was confirmed on 30 January 2020 in the state of Kerala and as of 3 May 2020, there were a total of 40,263 cases diagnosed and 1306 deaths.[1],[2]

Is it possible to have “everyday life quarantined” as experts from South Korea suggested name for living with COVID-19? Experts from health field and the government report that novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is not going to end soon and will remain in community for months or years.[3] Public should be motivated and trained to live with the COVID-19. The health workers have a great role to make the community to learn to live with the virus by taking all needed precautions for a healthy and safe life.

During or after this pandemic, there will be a new normal life for the Indians and they will be used to these life-style changes to protect themselves and the community from communicable diseases. The new normal life stress on those changes will reduce the transmission risk of disease as nil or very less. Many countries and states have applied different models to combat the situation during COVID-19 and some had succeeded and some were failures. The successful activities can be taken into consideration while planning for new normal life for the public.


  New Normal India in Different Aspects Top


New normal in the field of education

Indian education system is developed through contemporary style of teaching and learning where teachers are considered as god, and a face-to-face interaction, love care, and warmth are shown by the teachers to the students. Education does not mean just giving a pass certificate but also a behavioural change.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the educational system started utilizing other modes of teaching learning. Online modes of learning are much utilized by the teachers to impart the curriculum from primary level to PhD level. This has taken a big way to continue the learning process all over India and Indian government has announced PM eVidya Programme, new dedicated education channels under Swayam Prabha DTH Channel. One channel for one grade for all classes 1–12, this will benefit the students even from the rural area who have difficulties with internet access.[4] The colleges are utilizing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Google Class, etc., for continuing the educational process.

Conduction of exams is also a big crisis in front of the educational department because of COVID-19 outbreak. The educational institutions will try the conduction of online exams, taking the viva through video conferencing, and utilize the e-technology for the smooth functioning of examinations.

More number of learning are enrolling to the online courses provided by various universities and through government. The knowledge seekers are finding way to not stop their learning skills and many of the universities are encouraging that too.

New normal in the field of health system

The government is trying to implement reverse quarantine for the public to reduce the transmission of disease. Reverse quarantine will help to protect the vulnerable population line, elderly, pregnant women, children, and the people with associated comorbidities from contracting the infection. This will help to reduce the mortality due to the disease. But most of them have to visit the health centres or hospitals for consultation. This is not easy when the COVID-19 spreads and restrictions to be at home exist. So, the health facilities are also finding new ways to provide the services to the public. After the COVID-19 outbreak and lock down, majority of the hospitals have started telemedicine and video conferencing to provide continuous care to their clients. The expansion of tele-health will be a part of new normal life after COVID-19.

The government will start giving more importance to health surveillance and preventive epidemiology. The grass-root level of health-care systems and the health workers will be more trained for the implementation of preventive measures, case finding, and reporting. The public themselves should be responsible for their own health, self-monitoring, and improve immunity to overcome the infection.

An analysis of the coping mechanisms of running outpatient and inpatient palliative care services in these COVID-19 times—the New Normal was done in New Delhi on June 2020. The authors are reporting that the changes to be brought in adaptation to new normal life in the field of health system for palliative care are drug dispensing for longer duration, rational use of PPE, social distancing, creating a telephonic network, developing communication skill through eye contact, expressions, voice modulation, hand gestures, reducing contact time, and appropriate use of telemedicine. The authors also emphasized that the clients should be coached on use of telemedicine communication etiquettes.[5]

Travelling in new normal situation

Indians are travelling a lot officially or for stress relief, both internationally and nationally. But COVID-19 has put a full stop for the travelling plans of public, and buses, trains, and flights are planning to restart with so many restrictions to pick up the economy. The travellers will experience new restrictions to develop new habits while travelling. The travellers should mandatorily wear masks and also have a sanitizer to disinfect when the hands are touched to an unknown surface. Use of lavatories and excess luggage will be restricted for the travellers. Social distancing will be mandatory to reduce the chance of infection. This situation is not going to be easy for Hodophiles but government has to implement strict restrictions for the safety of public.[6]

Life-style modifications in post-COVID-19

Indians are used to celebrations and fun parties, but COVID-19 has brought restrictions or an end to that. Government has strictly imposed the rule to have less social gathering during marriages, cremations, parties, etc., A restriction is kept with number of people who can participate in these events to reduce the disease burden. In the new normal life also, Indians should stay satisfied with fewer parties, restricted visitors, and few guests for marriages and avoid unwanted celebrations. The gathering possesses a high risk of transmitting the disease to huge number of people and also the virus can enter into an area where no case has been reported.

Indians have started developing the habit of wearing mask whenever they leave their home, even for buying groceries or veggies. Also, frequent hand washing to prevent infection also is adapted by the public. Government is imposing measures to prevent the spread of virus, but public participation is important. Low cost and doable activities like wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and physical distancing should be made as habit by the community people to contain the spread of virus. A southern state “Kerala” had started a campaign “Break the Chain” to develop the habit of mass handwashing among the people, offices, and public places. Through this campaign, Kerala government has stressed on the importance of keeping personal hygiene to get protected from COVID-19. The second part of this campaign was also started on April 2020 which was titled as “don't spit you will fail.” Through this campaign, the government is encouraging the public on various protective measures to prevent infection and improve public hygiene.[7-9] Maintaining social distancing, preventing throwing away of used masks openly, restricting spitting in public, besides encouraging drinking of enough water, eating good food, and use of handkerchief whenever sneezing or coughing are part of the initiative.

Indians were more conscious about their bodybuilding and exercise pattern and many were members of gym or fitness centres. Even if people are not the customers of gyms, they have developed a habit of walking outside, self-exercising from the parks, etc., COVID-19 restrictions also had affected these people when government has imposed restrictions on gyms, fitness centres, swimming pools, etc., but this has stopped our healthy habits. Many apps are present which will provide easy guidance for doing exercises at home, and also gyms and fitness centres are encouraging people to join online classes where they can get themselves active daily. Alternatives should be explored by the people to maintain healthy habits. After the spread of coronavirus, people became more conscious about their health and eating habits.

Economic system in post-COVID-19

Economic system of the whole world is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and India also is moving in same situation. As the lockdown is in process and many of the economic generating strategies are stopped, it brought a huge negative impact on our economic growth. The COVID-19 is reducing the output of the country and the GDP is falling significantly in 2020. The public should also understand the situation and utilize the opportunities which the government put in front of them. The budget allocation for Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan is a good step for making India a self-reliant country. Our Prime Minister has quoted the importance of five pillars on becoming self-reliant and his speech included as follows: “Self-reliant India will stand on five pillars, viz. Economy, which brings in quantum jump and not incremental change; Infrastructure, which should become the identity of India; System, based on the 21st century technology-driven arrangements; vibrant demography, which is our source of energy for a self-reliant India; and Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity.” He also emphasized on the importance of strengthening stake holders in the supply chain and fulfil the demand of the country. [10,11]


  Role of Primary Health-Care Providers in New Normal Situation Top


Primary health-care providers are the professionals who are in near contact with public and who focus on holistic aspects of health. They should be able to make themselves adapt to the electronic media to provide uninterrupted health-care services to the public. Their tactic and strategic plans should be collaborated with other levels of health care to handle the changes during this pandemic. The primary health-care providers should mould themselves to diverse work styles, assessment techniques and tools, and treatment modalities. They also should focus more on psychological aspects of the public, posttraumatic stress, and adaptation issues occurring when public are adjusting to a new world. Strengthening the research activities to contribute to develop the primary health-care services to the public in the new normal life will be an added advantage for early adaptation of public to new normal life.

Key points

  • India is in unlocking phase and Indians are learning to adapt to new normal life in different fields.
  • The education system is taken by online platforms; exams are conducted through survey modes.
  • Health professionals updated their knowledge through online and short-term courses to provide treatment to the best possible way to the public and COVID-19-affected patients.
  • Need of strengthening of preventive epidemiology and primary health system.
  • Physicians are treating their clients through telecommunication and public became more responsible for their health.
  • Health awareness should focus more on preventive aspects and modifications to be made in the lifestyle.
  • “Break the chain” of coronavirus transmission, social distancing, quarantine, and reverse quarantine became the strategies to contain the virus.
  • Although restrictions in travelling and negative impact on economic growth continue, India is trying to be self-reliant in different fields including health system and education and find a better opportunity.



  Conclusion Top


COVID-19 reduced the pollution and made the Earth a better environment and rejuvenated Nature's beauty. But indirectly it has affected the development of the nation and created insecurity among the people. COVID-19 helped us to evaluate our health system and what changes to be made in the grass-root level to face such a crisis in future. There is also a great social stigmatisation developed among individuals and it affects both physically and mentally. The lessons learned from COVID-19 should make India to live and grow independently and self-reliant. Humans always learn to adapt to the changes and born for that. New normal life is of adaptation where humans learn more about virtuality, become meaningful, and about closeness on families and social distancing in public. At the end, people should accept the fact that life will not be as easy as before and not going to be same again.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)-events as they happen [Internet]. Who.int. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
COVID-19 pandemic in India | Wikiwand [Internet]. Wikiwand. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/COVID-19_pandemic_in_India.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
South Korea Publishes Two-Year Plan for 'Everyday Life Quarantine' | Politicopathy [Internet]. Politicopathy. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.politicopathy.com/2020/04/24/south-korea-publishes-two-year-plan-for-everyday -life-quarantine/.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
PM eVidya Programme, new dedicated education channels under Swayam Prabha DTH Channel: FM Sitharaman [Internet]. Timesnownews.com. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.timesnownews.com/education/article/pm-evidya-programme-new-dedicated-education -channels-under-swayam-prabha-dth -channel-fm-sitharaman/593070.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Khurana DK, Raheja SG, Dayal M, Pande D, Ganapathy U. COVID 19: The new normal in the clinic: Overcoming challenges in palliative care. Indian J Palliat Care 2020;26:S81-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Coronavirus lockdown | With India all set to open domestic travel health ministry issues travel guidelines [Internet]. The Hindu. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-health-ministry-releases-guidelines-for- international -arrivalsdomestic-travel/article31663487.ece.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Jacob. Break The Chain: Kerala launches mass handwashing campaign against Covid-19 pandemic [Internet]. India Today. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/break-the-chain-kerala-launches-mass-handwashing- campaign-against-covid-19-pandemic-1655819-2020-03-15.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Covid-19: Kerala launches 'break the chain' mass campaign [Internet]. @businessline. 2020. Available from: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/covid-19-kerala-launches-break-the-chain-mass-campaign/article31080894.ece. [Last cited 2020 Nov 19].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Kerala to begin #breakthechain2.0 [Internet]. Mathrubhumi. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/kerala-to-begin-breakthechain2-0-1.4725661.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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[Internet]. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.narendramodi.in/pm-modi-s-address-to-the-nation-on-covid-19-related-issues-549614.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Narendra Modi address to nation on May 12, 2020 | Updates [Internet]. The Hindu. 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 01]. Available from: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-pm-modis-address-to-the-nation -on-may-12-2020/article31566800.ece.  Back to cited text no. 11
    




 

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