Stay at Home- Pick up a new Skill.

It all started with an impulse decision, facilitated by a practical ‘nothing to do’ situation with closing of swimming pools and the need for social distancing to protect self and others from the spread of virus.

But why something that I have never done before! There’s a reason, we just did a modification to the kitchen in our Bangalore house and the cabinets were polished.

The varnish job was done by the contractor with much ease and we were stunned by the simple job and the contracted amount.

The realisation that the job is simple and the regret of the feeling that probably we were duped by the disproportionate charges led to the idea of trying it out on the other wood furnishings in the house.

That’s how the ‘project polishing’ started. And now I have the satisfaction of acquiring a new skill. Of course, this also has given the opportunity to spend time in the lockdown scenario.

There’s however a small glitch! The varnish is used up and I can’t buy a new tin now. But there’s much wood when we get back home in Kochi.

Friends, try and learn a new skill now that we’re locked down.

Stay at Home- Pick up a new Skill.

Staying Safe Against the Virus

I sent a route map prepared to describe my trip to the local medical shop during the ‘stay at home’ time to buy some random over the counter medicines to some of the whatsapp groups and received good feedback.

Perhaps it could give some broad guidelines to those going out as to what to do when they are outside and when they get back home. As such I am copying it here. Please read and adopt with required modifications and stay safe.

Route Map
Here’s a simple route map of my going to a medical store to buy some medicine during the lock down period.
I have had in mind, the various health department and government instructions and whatsapp forwards on precautions during the current virus threat.
I am narrating it here as suggested practice for benefit of others.
As public and private transport were closed, I walked to the medical store. On the way I was careful of minimum contacts with surfaces. I used my finger to press the lift button, but ideally a tissue can be used which is to be disposed off in a bin.
Be careful not to touch the face at any time during the outing.
Medical shop, like hospital, is a place where people with symptoms come.
Try not to touch the counter top and other things in the shop
Careful to maintain a distance from other shoppers
Pay the invoice, collect the medicine and walk back. Careful not to touch face with the hand.
On reaching back, keep the medicine, wallet and phone at a higher place.
Store the footwear separately, not to be touched at least for 12 hours.
Wash hands with soap water for about 20 seconds as specified.
Go to a corner, balcony or terrace and carefully remove shirt and trouser (outer cloth). Keep or hang them for a minimum of 12 hours.
Take the phone and wipe it with a tissue, preferably with sanitizer
Do the same for the eye glass if you are wearing one.
Wash the hands again in soap water
Take a shower using soap liberally
The medicine and wallet may not be touched for at least 12 hours.
And you are ready to carry on normal tasks in a ‘stay at home’ situation.
Always keep in mind to wash hands as early as possible after contact with public places and surfaces used by others.
Remember not to touch mouth, nose or eyes.
Avoid contact with others as far as possible. Keep at least a meter distance if talking with others.
I hope the above is taking abundant caution.
Please suggest practical modifications to ensure better care to be followed by everyone.

Staying Safe Against the Virus

The New Era, BC and AC!

Thomas L. Friedman, author and columnist is profound in his thoughts. He has just coined what it would be the new transition era BC (before corona) and AC (after corona).

Like BC ( before Christ) and AD (after dominion), Friedman’s BC may start hopefully from only a few months from now and counted backwards.

Thomas says things in some great style. For example in his book ‘World is Flat’ he referred to western world mothers telling children, something like this ‘finish your breakfast, people in India and China are starving’. But he said instead the words ‘finish your homework, people in India and China will take your jobs’.

On the era After Corona (AC) he says ‘Only generosity will save us’.

Then Yuval Noah Harari, captured people’s imagination with his Sapiens. His prediction on virus is equally profound. He says ‘In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity’.

We are seeing that surveillance oriented nations handle the virus better. So will there be a transition from freedom oriented to surveillance oriented!

Noah says ‘Asking people to choose between privacy and health is, in fact, the very root of the problem. Because this is a false choice. We can and should enjoy both privacy and health’.

Apparently technology can measure the temperature when a person presses on the keyboard of his mobile phone. That’s fine, but we have heard about ‘under the skin surveillance’. Scary indeed!

It’s interesting here. Consider, for example, washing your hands with soap. This has been one of the greatest advances ever in human hygiene

He says ‘Both the epidemic itself and the resulting economic crisis are global problems. They can be solved effectively only by global co-operation’.

For us now, what needs to be done is to follow instructions, stay at home, follow social distancing, wash hands and try to survive to witness the transition and hope for the best.

The New Era, BC and AC!

We Have a Role to Play

World is in turmoil, mostly due to fear! Fear of the virus that’s spreading. And once in fear mode, more fear comes in, like melting economy, dangerous global warming etc etc.

The real danger is continued spread of the fear. The virus, though very dangerous is not taking lives in a big way. Effective precautions are seen to contain it’s spread. However the ‘hope’ is not seen to be encouraged.

People in the know are working hard on solutions to the problem. Luckily, there’s no significant blaming game. A lot of work is coordinated.

This is the time, we as ordinary people, are to play a role. First and foremost, don’t be instruments in spreading a rumour. There are experts to suggest the does and donts.

Social media is a weapon. It’s a weapon capable of spreading despair and rumours. It’s also an instrument to spread hope and love.

Let’s be instruments for spreading hope and love. People are getting isolated/ quarantined for common good. It’s not easy to lead the isolated life. If we know someone who’s quarantined or isolated for monitoring, why not be in touch with him on social media.

Let’s not discuss despair. Talk about the friendship, of the brave things when we were together in school, work or in groups. Better, chart out plans for a get together, picnic or some such nice things after the turmoil is over.

Greet good mornings, talk through the day. Do it individually rather than in groups. Whatsapp is a powerful tool, and address people individually and personally, taking the whatsapp numbers from group.

An important point to remember is that those who are willing to be in isolation is doing it for others/ us also. They are angels of goodwill.

Nobody should feel alone. We are all together. After all, what are friends for!

(Picture courtesy Pinterest)

We Have a Role to Play

Virtual Friends in Focus. Like Never Before!

There’s no denying the fact that the best way to enjoy and cherish friendship is with direct interaction. In fact virtual connections are being called the bane of this era.

Perhaps it’s now, that the importance of virtual connections and interactions are much in focus in a positive way.

Personally I am a proponent of virtual connections and social media interactions. Perhaps it removes many barriers in physical interactions like logistics, time and availability.

Now, why virtual connections are in focus! We are in one of the most difficult phases of our lives. The Corona virus has made the world to plunge into an atmosphere of fear. People are afraid of each other, afraid of inadvertently contracting the virus or passing it on to loved ones.

Most social interactions are being reviewed! Sports and entertainment cancelled, travel in jeopardy and the world is afraid and lonely.

Here’s where the virtual world has a role. Interact and support our dear ones. Let it be known that nobody is alone. Love and affection can cure anything. The virus, economic downturn all are temporary.

The opportunity comes with huge responsibility. Don’t ever spread rumours. The social media is for sharing love and friendship and not to frighten.

Just talk to friends, let them know that we’re in it together. That we will make a better world.

Communicate and let it be known that we do care.

Virtual Friends in Focus. Like Never Before!

Build Facilities, Will Win.

Jayanagar Sports Complex, Bangalore

The basketball court in Jayanagar now got the board supported by the crane like structure. What it does is that the players can concentrate on scoring without fear of a head injury, hitting the post when it was nearer to the play field like it was before.

In fact I see such facilities coming up or constantly getting improved in Bangalore. The swimming pool complex in Jayanagar is getting upgraded to Olympic standards. There are 50 meters pools and heated pools in many places.

First five of the 25 states in medals tally in Masters National Games in Vadodara

Certainly it’s the facilities and opportunities that put the state of Karnataka, way above in the medals tally.

I do hope that other states would take notice and build sports infrastructure. After all, health wellness are equally important to winning medals.

Some campaigning will be in order.

Build Facilities, Will Win.

Speeding Fine! On New Year

I got filmed for speed on the National Highway during daytime on new year day 2020. The offence was clocking 76 kms per hour and the photo showed no other vehicle nearby.

Well Kerala keeps 70 kms as limit on National Highways passing through the state. And there used to be a 10% margin of error before fines are imposed.

Not anymore. The ₹1500 (over 20 dollar) fine is three times the previous rate but ₹3500 less than what was initially proposed. Apparently the state government expects people to be grateful for such a massive reduction though it’s still a 300% increase.

Everyone knows that we can’t fight it but pay as the rules for recourse are painful. And I paid.

I am not a speed driver and I keep applying the brakes to bring the vehicle speed down. Well we used to press the accelerator for any speed when we were driving old model cars. But now with better roads and new cars, the brake is used to control the speed to the old limits.

That’s not all the story. It’s practically impossible to speed on congested roads on a regular day. Then how will the fine department meet the stiff targets set for them!

Catch all and sundry for violation. No grace or allowance for margin of error. Interestingly on the day I got the fine notice, social and mass media were full of the story of a drama company getting fined some ₹24,000 for carrying drama cutouts of certain height in the vehicle. The conclusion in the media is ‘what else they can do to meet the targets’

Apparently the remuneration for playing the drama was ₹25,000. They still made ₹1000 for the entire troupe.

My regret, is that people don’t still recognise me as a daredevil habitual speed offender.

No high, gutty macho image!

Speeding Fine! On New Year