Bihar has been witnessing a sudden spike in covid-19 cases from the last few weeks. Like other parts of the country, Bihar is also hard hit by the second wave of the pandemic. According to the state’s government bulletin, in the last 24 hours, Bihar has recorded 11,801 new cases. The tally of the Covid-19 cases has risen to 89,660.
If we turn the pages of history, we can find out that pandemic usually comes in phases and lasts for several years. The influenza pandemic hit Europe in 1831 and lasted for around six years; the outbreak of it was recorded in three phases in 1831, 1833, and 1837, another influenza pandemic that started in 1899 lasted for five years and did cost millions of lives in Britain. In the same year, Russia got worst affected by flu which continued for two years. The most talked-about and devastating pandemic in history, the Spanish Flu of 1918, affected people’s lives in three waves (waves came in between March 1918 to November 1919). Thus, if we go by history, the second outbreak of Covid-19 cannot be considered unusual.
But what are the factors responsible for the second wave? If we talk about the whole country, then the virus mutation (double mutant strain) is primarily responsible for the rise in the infections; another major cause is the careless attitude of the people towards the virus and the unprofessional way of wearing masks. If we talk about Bihar, fatigue towards pandemic, overcrowded public transports, marriage seasons, and holding political and non-political gatherings have contributed to covid cases’ resurgence. It is a comparatively more tedious task to contain the spread in Bihar because it constitutes the third most populated state in the country. After monitoring the whole situation, the Chief Minister of Bihar has imposed a night curfew in the state and has advised people to adhere to the Covid guidelines.
The news of the increase in cases, deaths of people, shortage of oxygen cylinders and beds is coming in every day and taking a toll on people’s mental health. Some questions are revolving in everyone’s minds like: how lethal is Covid-19? Why are the symptoms mild for some and deadly for others? What to do when one tests positive? It is normal to get stressed looking at the sudden spike in cases. But despite the fact that covid cases are increasing and people are also losing their lives fighting the virus; Covid-19 is not as fatal as we think it is. All we need to do is be more cautious and keep all our fears at bay. Suppose you are experiencing symptoms like fever, sore throat, dry cough, running nose, abdominal cramps and diarrhea; you should get yourself tested. If you test positive and are experiencing only mild symptoms, you should immediately isolate yourself at home. The first thing one should do is take medical advice from the doctors over telephonic conversation or video call. Many doctors are giving free medical advice on the phone, and the Health Department of Bihar has also issued a district-wise list of doctors.
Our frontline workers and medical staffs are already overburdened. Hence you should only rush to the hospital if your fever is not subsiding even after taking advised medicine or your spo2 level goes below 94 percent on room air, or your respiratory rate is more than 24 per minute. But the symptoms will not worsen if one acts according to the advice given by the doctors and keep an eye on their oxygen level, pulse rate, and body temperature.
According to the doctors, people with comorbidities such as respiratory diseases, diabetes, kidney malfunctions, and obesity must take extra precautions. A balanced, nutritious diet and proper fluid intake can help develop the immunity to fight against the virus.
The current scenario of the country has created a nationwide state of panic, as a result of which rumors have taken over facts. We all are confused, anxious, and worried, but we can slow down the spread of the virus if we hold on to our rational sides. Hoarding of medicines and oxygen cylinders would not benefit you; rather, by doing so, you are pushing someone to a fatal consequence. It is the time when we all should come together, empathize and help each other in whatever ways possible.
This too shall pass and we will come out of this pandemic victoriously.