On Saturday, 20th June, You Can Foundation organized a webinar on “wellbeing and precautions in times of covid-19”. In times when there’s so much information regarding the noval corona virus, it’s hard to distinguish useful from fake information. To clear up the doubts and provide accurate information, You Can Foundation invited Dr. Sheikh Yasir Islam. He is an associate professor of medicine at Lady Hardinge Medical College. Dr Saloni Singh was another guest for the session, to talk about how fake information is causing mental health issues and ways in which we can overcome it.
The session started with the moderator and You Can Foundation founder, Monis Shamsi asking Dr Yasir about what actually is corona virus. Dr Yasir explained that it’s same like any other virus. It’s a micro organism that’s invisible to naked eye. He also mentioned that it’s not a new virus. It’s just a different version. When asked how different it is from a viral fever, Dr Yasir said that what differentiates it from a viral fever is that our body has not yet developed immunity against corona unlike viral fever.
Dr. Saloni made an important point while talking about the role of information on our mental health. She said that during previous pandemics, there was very less influence of social media but now it’s not the same. There is a flood of information most of which is not evidence based. All this information gets in our head. We need to be responsible while consuming information. We have to make sure that we are getting information from a reliable source. And most importantly, we have to intake minimum of information. Self-discipline is very important.
While answering how contagious is this virus, Dr Yasir raised a very serious point. There is a notable lack of reaction on our body to this virus because of which we are not even aware that we have contracted the virus. Even though this virus has the fatality rate of only 2%, it’s reach is so extreme that even such a less percentage is huge.
Dr Saloni gave significant tips on how we can overcome fear and anxiety. She suggests that we need to surround ourselves with positivity. We should stay connected with positive people in our lives. She also suggests that we need to do some physical and mental exercise like working out and meditation.
Covering the principles that we must follow, Dr Yasir said there are 2 principles that we must follow- physical distancing and personal hygiene. Since this virus spreads by droplet infection, following these 2 protocols will reduce the chances of transmitting. We must make a habit of washing our hands and face on a regular interval. Wearing a mask is also important as when we sneeze or cough, the droplets remain inside our masks. He also mentioned that we have to work on our habit of touching our face. This virus enters our body through 3 places – eyes, nose and mouth.
He also informed us about the ways in which we can boost our immunity. According to him, we should maintain a healthy diet and a good lifestyle in our day to day life. He also urged the school canteens to change their menu from unhealthy fast food to nutritious meals.
Dr Saloni then told us about the connection between emotional illness and mental illness. She said that happiness is our biggest immunity booster. We need to be present where we are.
Concluding the session, moderator took up the question raised by the participants. After all the questions were answered, the session ended with moderator Monis Shamsi thanking both doctors and the participants for joining in.
You Can Foundation, founded in 2013, is an NGO that was started with the vision of empowering the youth by providing them volunteering and learning opportunities in the development sector.
Voice of Margin on many occasions has collaborated with the You Can Foundation.