March 26, Delhi-NCR: I trust everyone is home and keeping as safe as possible. The good part of our times is, we have as much information as we need on the Corona infection, and sometimes a bit more. I guess that is okay too! Better to err on the side of caution now.
I live in the suburbs of Delhi at a place called Greater Noida, where urban India is meeting the rural in a curious sort of way.
A few of us have done some work here around the community action on Corona, live testing all the learnings we could muster from the survival courses, especially the parts on infectious diseases, and germ and chemical warfare.
The action centred on the idea that Corona is more (repeat more) of a social situation than a medical one.
When we started our work, the infection story was just beginning to build. The Prime Minister had not yet spoken. The community was in slumber. Our task was to awaken the people, get the leaders back up on the pedestal, and get them going on the task at hand.
Today, as a result, the community is living through the lockdown without too much fear and anxiety. People are housebound, and are maintaining it voluntarily. It is big achievement for a small community living in a township where people are known to be all mouths, a few raised fists, and no ears at all.
Of course, to get the community to settle, a lot of preparation had to be done.
Getting the messaging right was one part of the task. For our community it meant sending all our communication in simple English, still better, in Hindi. It also meant, the messages were always engaging and parallel, but never condescending or dictatorial.
Another part of the task was to build up the supplies and community reserves, and getting the people to understand and focus on prepping for an impending crisis.
These initial actions went a long way in keeping the fears, the anxiety and the uncertainty of the people within manageable limits, and eventually bringing them to a point where they could accept and abide by the lockdown.
I will put out the relevant communique here in the interest of experience sharing. As you can understand, the crisis policy now can’t be anything other than: You tell how you did it. We say how we do it. Finally, there will be a good idea to pick from the bunch and translate for use.
Before I do that however, here is a foreword in my capacity as a survival instructor.
We are safe so far because we could keep ahead of the virus. We are thinking ahead. We are planning ahead. This must be the hallmark of what we continue to do - staying ahead of the enemy.
In that context, here firstly is the communique that points to the next phase of our planning. I put it here in the hope that some of you may be able to extract a useful idea from it as the battle rages on.
We have a new hero!
The doctors, the nurses, the clinicians, the medicine people, the sanitation staff, the administration, the governments - and leading them all, the Prime Minister - are heroes of the moment. Without a care, they are front-lining the fight.
But the new hero is the person, who at the first sign of Corona infection, reports himself in for quarantine and treatment.
He is the one saving the lives of others. He is the hero. Let us celebrate this version of the hero from now:
Honour the person who reports his infection at the first sign.’
Please see the poster below. Use it freely by all means. The lady is someone I do not know. She has not given me permission to use her photo. Therefore, I have hidden her face under the crown and air-brushed her dress to conceal her identity. I do hope she would not mind my using the photo - it is for a cause.
Quoting another message for the emerging situation:
Here is the information you could use. I have verified it, and hence you may take it as it is. I am leaving my name and phone number below, to take responsibility of the information I pass to you.
In order of priority:
1) Please run an online self-check immediately for a possible infection. This may only be an elimination process. Do not use the results as a substitute to testing. Regardless, take the self-check and take it whether or not you fall under the risk category.
Please go to the Apollo Hospital online self-check link:
2) In case of any doubt or query, you may use the Govt helpline number:
If you are indeed home quarantined for being a risk case, you will be monitored for infection symptoms for 14 days by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Govt of India.
3) You will be happy to know, the Govt has allowed private labs to test for Covid 19. Currently, only the labs that have an NABL accreditation are allowed to test. Every such test will be sent by the labs concerned to the ICMR database in realtime, which means test results of cases in red will be logged and probably re-checked by the Govt.
The cost of the test at the private labs are not to exceed Rs 4500, of which Rs 1500 is for the suspect case test and Rs 3000 for the confirmation case.
4) The Lal's Pathlab is NABL approved. (There are other labs too.)
Only home collection is allowed: which means the lab technician will visit you. He will make you sign Form 44 and take two swabs (samples): one from inside the nose, and one from the back of the mouth. The result would be available in 48 hrs max.
To reach Lal's pathlab, click on: drlpl.in/COVID19
Other prepping messages: Quoted verbatim
Please read the plan below carefully. Your cooperation is requested. The plan will come into force at 12 noon tomorrow. If there are any improvements you can suggest, please do so early. (The rules are being laid down in the life interest of each and every member here. Hence, the rules will have to be implemented without exception.) Once again your cooperation is expected.
- Gate entries will be strictly controlled. The gatekeeper will log every entry sitting outside the gate, and in his own hand;
- Until further instruction, no person other than the residents of **** ***** will be allowed inside the compound;
- No maids, no drivers and no presswala will be allowed inside the campus, until further instructions;
- Subzi sales will continue from the gate; the vendor will be asked to comply with sanitation requirements; he will not be allowed to door deliver;
- No guests of residents will be allowed entry;
- Residents who are coming into the campus - whether in their vehicle, or otherwise - will have to stop at the gates for screening and for sanitation;
- Residents who are coming from abroad or from any other infection zone will have to register themselves at the gate and at the office. They, and their families, will have to remain homebound for the govt mandated 14 days, during which all their needs will be taken care by the office.
* The above are rules for all residents to comply without exception.
* The rules will come into force by 12 noon tomorrow.
Public area use:
- The lift call buttons and the interiors will be sanitised and cleaned every one to two hours;
- Garbage area will be sanitised properly;
- All housekeeping staff will come wearing face masks;
- All society staff will be masked and sanitised;
- All garden chairs will be removed;
- For couriers and other deliveries, drop off point is the gate. Office staff will make the deliveries once a day. In case, where there is an urgency, residents will have to come to the gate to collect the delivery;
- Gym, study area will be closed for use.
* The above are rules to be complied without exception.
* Residents are generally advised to keep indoors;
* Group walking and other activities that bring people in proximity to one another is strictly discouraged;
* Children are barred from meeting and playing outdoors.
Rules around senior citizens, and other prone groups:
- The society staff will call the said residents once everyday to check on their well-being; and help them with supplies they need;
- A doctor and a nurse will be on stand by for any help;
- An emergency call out phone number will also be circulated to all.
* The above rules are to be complied without exception.
General recommendations for all residents:
- Please keep your house provisions well-stocked to cover you for a month, over and above your routine supply;
- Please purchase and keep critical medicines in adequate supply to cover a month, over and above your routine supply;
- Please buy and keep re-usable face masks, at least 3 hand sanitiser bottles, liquid soap and dispensers; wet wipes; and tissue papers - recommended for use at home, for hand carry and for vehicle use;
- No need to hoard beyond this. Hoarding more will not be in public interest;
- Keep your vehicle tanked up, even if you are advised not to move out;
- Please keep adequate cash with you at all times;
- Please keep two full body distance from everyone you meet;
- Please cooperate with office staff to help them administer based on the laid-down rules;
- Please inform the office manager immediately if any staff is not following the rules. Also send a whatsapp alert on it;
- At no cost dispute or argue with any office staff. Please feel free to call the office for any redress you may want.
* These are advisories. Please follow them in your life's interest and for the welfare of other members.
Community shop notice:
- The shop is being asked to stock up food and essentials adequately;
- Some critical reserves have also been built, which include medicines and sanitation products, and are being maintained separately. These are reserves and are not for routine supply - to serve only during crisis, and for rationing purposes only.
Quick recap once again:
- No maid, no driver and no presswala allowed in the society from 12 noon tomorrow;
- No guests are allowed in the society;
- All incoming residents will have to stop at the gate for sanitation and other checks;
- Travellers will be required to register separately and remain housebound along with their family for a mandatory 14 days.
- Plan changes will be notified from time-to-time after reassessing the situation, or following govt advise