Lessons from Covid-19

Today I complete six weeks of house arrest and must admit this is one of the best learning experience for me. This learning is better than what I learnt in school, college and at work. Numbers are still climbing and I only hope the hot weather and astrological predictions will help us see the numbers come down from May 5, 2020 and we will also have the vaccine at the earliest. It is very sad many have lost their lives and I can’t imagine the hard times people are going through when their dear ones get admitted in hospital and they cannot even spend time with them in person when their dear ones leave the world. Once, the lock down is lifted and things return to normal there are many things that won’t be the same. I don’t know how many will lose their jobs, how many companies will have the cash to pass through recession, how many will default in loan payments and what will happen to their investments, very hard to even imagine. This Covid-19 is one way helping us understand the basics of life and what is essential for our future. Here is my list of learning and how things will change in post Covid-19 days.

LCP We are all used to the term Business Continuity Plan, BCP. The purpose of BCP is to make sure the essential services are rendered to Customers as Business Usual even during an emergency or calamity. None of us would have imagined that we will be sitting in our homes for weeks and months because of a virus. The worst hit are the senior citizens who cannot do their morning walk, cannot go to hospital for check up and have no other choice but to watch the TV News and keep worrying more. Am also worried about kids less than 10 years who are missing their school and cannot even step out and play. Parents have no other choice but to force their children to watch YouTube and TV. All of us must now assume we might have this lock down every year and do a Life Continuity Plan, LCP so that we take care of our family members well.

Work From Home As mentioned in one of my earlier Blog, My Covid-19 Experience, one thing that has zero impact during the lock down days is work. During the post Covid-19 days many organizations will ask their employees to work from home if there is no requirement for them to come to office and if they don’t have face to face meeting with their Customer. This will help Companies reduce cost of operations and this will also help employees to either do more work or do their personal work during the hours they use for commute. In a city like Bangalore where most people have to spend around 2 hours in their car, bike, bus or metro to commute to office, working from home will help them have this 2 hours at their disposal. This also means lesser pollution on the road and people who cannot work from home can have a safer drive or ride to work. Companies will also think when employees can work from home, it doesn’t matter whether their home is in India or US, Bangalore or Chennai or any village. Companies will allow their employees to work from any location and people on assignment in International Location might be hit hard. They might be asked to return to their homes in India and work from home.

Business Travel Airline and Hotel Industry will be hit very hard for a year or two as people will neither travel for Business nor for Pleasure. With the talks on pay cut and job loss people will not have the mind to go on a vacation to enjoy.

Animal Life and Nature These are the best days for wildlife and nature. Most of the dirty looking cities now look beautiful. Quality of Air is extremely good. The wildlife will be happy to roam around in their homes which is the forest as the poachers and hunters will also be in their homes going through lock down. I have started thinking it is better we have compulsory lock down for at least 4 weeks in a year, this will help the wildlife and nature immensely.

Personal Lock Down – It will be good if we have understood the benefits of lock down and go through a self imposed lock down for at least 2 weekends in a month. This will help us do the domestic work ourselves and will help us have better health by not eating the junk food which we normally eat during the weekends. We can have good time with our family at home, do domestic work, watch some nice movies on Netflix and write a Blog or read books.

Social Distancing and Hygiene This is not something new for us in India. What was taught by our Parents when we were kids we forgot it for many years. Now, most of the world has learnt the importance of social distancing. The only way we can stay away from any virus in future is by Social Distancing and maintaining good Hygiene.

Social Media Distancing It is very important during these tough days we stay away from Whatsapp forward. Most of the forwards are not checked, they can be fake and other than bringing fear on our minds it does nothing. I have also learnt that it also makes sense to stay away from most of the News Channel. The only News channel that I watch is WION. They hardly have any debates and they show what happens around the World as an information.

Fitness I always liked running in Beach, Lake and Park. I have been doing this for ages and am not comfortable to run even around my community. Today, I have learnt that Walking and Yoga is enough, I walk inside my house for a hour every day and do pranayama, surya namskar and few asanas when I start my day. Post Covid-19 I will go back to running inside my community and continue with yoga at home. I must also get exposed to sunlight regularly as this is the main source for Vitamin D.

Covid-19 has helped me learn some of the basics in life. Hopefully I will make use of this learning in future and be a better person. I will be very happy if you could share your views or your learning in the comments section, lets learn from each other.

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Importance of Vitamin D

I didn’t know the importance of Vitamin D until my Orthopedic Doctor in Chennai asked me to do a Blood Test for Vitamin D. With deficient Vitamin D, I started going through internet on Vitamin D and with the recent Covid-19 pandemic we read and hear more about immunity to stay healthy and safe. Let me start with some of the health issue I had in the past before I come to why I went for Vitamin D test.

Image Courtesy: Physicsworld.com

Fractures – I first had a fracture in my left shoulder more than 20 years back. I had a fracture on my right wrist 18 years back. My right shoulder was dislocated 15 years back and I underwent arthroscopy. I always start my day running, I used to go to Marina Beach in Chennai to run. After I moved to Bangalore I switched from running to walking so that I won’t get hurt. My trip to Milan 3 years back motivated me to go back to running and I started running very well. In Dec 2018 when I was in Chennai I met with a freak accident while running and had a nasty fracture on my left elbow. My Orthopedic Doctor did a surgery to place a plate and multiple screws to connect the broken elbow bones. I used to do physio for more than 3 hours a day and thankfully the elbow is normal now. Even when I was recovering from this fracture at Chennai, I used to walk in the morning. When I returned to Bangalore I started running and I will be very careful while running. I always thought I either don’t know to fall down or my bones are not strong resulting in fracture.

Throat Infection – My throat used to get infected very regularly. Whenever there is change of season or water my throat gets infected. I will go to a Doctor and after I take the medicine I will be fine. I thought my throat was very sensitive and hence the infection.

With due respect to my Doctors I must admit none of the Doctors have tried to find out why is the regular fracture or infection. Around 3 months back my legs were paining and I was thinking it must be due to running. I was regularly running more than 10 kilometres a day for many years. When I was in Chennai I visited my Orthopedic Doctor, X-rays of the leg confirmed there was no issue with bones or joints. He suggested me to do a Blood Test for Vitamin D and I was shocked when I got the report. My Vitamin D count was deficient as per the table and I started taking medicines for the same. Now, my legs are not paining and finally I learnt the correct reason for regular fracture and infection.

I went through internet and understood the below benefits, symptoms and source for Vitamin D. Below details are picked from MedicalNewsToday.

Benefits – Promoting Healthy Bones, Supporting Immune, regulating insulin levels, influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development.

Symptoms of Deficient Vitamin D – Regular Infection, Bone and Back Pain, low mood, hair loss and muscle pain.

Source for Vitamin D – Getting sufficient sunlight, Fatty Fish, Egg Yolk, mushroom. fortified milk and fortified cereals.

Am a vegetarian and I hardly was getting exposed to sunlight until my Doctor helped me understand the importance of Vitamin D. What was surprising is none of the Annual Health Check up gives importance to Vitamin D and this is never considered. Last 3 months I make it a point to go out and get exposed to sunlight as it is the main source for Vitamin D. With the recent articles on Covid-19 and Immunity am glad I got my Vitamin D checked at the right time.

Am writing this to educate my friends with the importance of Vitamin D. I hope the Annual health checkup done by Private Hospitals also include checking of Vitamin D count. This will help people to stay immune, have strong bones and stay healthy.

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Is there Facebook Helpdesk

I first signed up for Facebook more than a decade back. This was the time my school classmates reunion started. We thought it was easy to stay connected in Facebook rather than on emails. I was able to connect with lot of my classmates and other friends in Facebook. After a point I was connected with almost all my friends and since I didn’t find staying on Facebook useful, I left Facebook by following the process of account deletion.

I again came to Facebook a year back when I started blogging. This was primarily to share my blogs with friends. I was completely occupied with work for a while, instead of remaining inactive I erroneously closed my blog account and Facebook account.

One more time I signed up for Facebook account around 3 months back with the same email id and my account was started. When I added my profile photo and phone number I immediately got a pop up in the browser that my account is disabled and I have to submit some documents to confirm my identity. I went through the type of documents and submitted relevant documents using Facebook help center. I got a pop up that Facebook will get back to me shortly. I waited for a month and since I got no response, submitted the same documents again. I again waited for a month and submitted the same documents to confirm my identity and am yet to get any response. In this experience I have the below fundamental questions or suggestions.

SLA – I completely respect Facebook policy that they must be certain am not creating any fake id. Since, am coming back to Facebook again they must check my identity and if required can also ask some questions. What I don’t understand is even after submission of all relevant documents I haven’t heard anything from them in the last 3 months. I hope Facebook help center have a SLA to address any concern or on the issues like the one I have. They must check the documents and get back to the Customer if they have any additional question.

Facebook Helpdesk – In most of the business these days we have a helpdesk. Once I have a concern and report to Facebook or on the issue I have where I submitted the documents, I must ideally get a ticket number. I must know at any point of time why my account is disabled and what is the status of the document submitted. There must be also an escalation matrix where customers can escalate if there is a delay in addressing the concern or if the account was wrongly disabled considering their policy.

Whatsapp – Whatsapp is owned by Facebook and my Whatsapp account is very much active. Facebook can check about my usage in Whatsapp if required to ascertain about fake id and also how am using the account. I don’t use Whatsapp against their policy and I have never used Whatsapp for any inappropriate purpose.

I would have definitely sent my concerns or suggestions to Facebook if they had a helpdesk. Am writing this with the hope someone in Facebook will read and consider my suggestions. I request Facebook to have a helpdesk and also have timelines to address customer concerns. Am sure it is only going to help Facebook.