On 1st July, India recorded 46,617 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total to approximately 3.04 crores. Out of these cases, active cases have declined to 5.09 lakhs. Over 2.95 crore people have successfully recovered as well after testing positive. Out of all the states, Kerala seems to be the only state still reporting more than 10,000 cases per day.
Statistics reported 853 new deaths on Thursday as well taking the overall death toll to over 4 lakhs. In this, Maharashtra accounts for more than 1.25 lakhs, while Karnataka accounts for 35,000. Although the numbers seem astronomical, the Health Ministry has said that there has been an 86% decline in fresh COVID-19 cases in India, since the second wave hit its peak in March and April.
As India thus grapples with the massive rampage done by the second wave of fresh COVID-19 cases, many fear that the third wave of the new variant may coincide with the onset of monsoons. Indian monsoons often bring a respite from the scorching heat. However, they are also accompanied by a host of water-borne diseases. Apart from the rise of humidity, there is also a significant weather change that leaves you more susceptible to viral, bacterial, and fungal infections.
How do the monsoons interact with COVID-19?
Rains bring with them numerous air-borne and water-borne diseases like viral fever and the common flu. The third wave is reportedly likely to hit India soon. With the monsoon season already in motion, it is yet to be seen if they will cause a possible spurt in the number of cases. Experts, however, believe that the rainy season and COVID-19 are likely to play out together.
Speculations in 2020 were that monsoons would increase the spread of the virus, but that was not the case. Instead, we saw a downward curve during this season last year. However, there is no conclusive proof for the behaviour of the virus this time around, and the jury is still out on whether the monsoon will cause a rise in fresh COVID-19 cases yet again.
How to protect yourself against COVID-19 during the monsoons
This year, the biggest weapon in our arsenal to fight COVID-19 is the vaccine. Make sure you register yourself for vaccination through the CoWIN website or app and book your slots.
The other way to protect yourself against the virus is wearing an appropriate mask (an N-95 mask or a surgical mask and a cloth mask) whenever you are out in public. These are some tips to protect yourself against COVID-19 and other infections this monsoon:
- Always keep an umbrella with you whenever venturing outside the house. This will protect you from getting drenched, and also save you from getting a cold.
- If you are going outside, make sure you have extra masks in your bag. Once the masks get wet, they lose their ability to filter. Do not wear damp masks. Always reach for a spare one when your mask gets wet.
- Wash your masks immediately after you are done wearing them. Change your masks often, as this will prevent you from getting other fungal or bacterial infections.
- Don’t forget to follow hygiene measures. Washing your hands after going outside and before every meal is still essential. If it’s not possible to use soap and water, carry a conveniently sized hand sanitizer.
- You can also keep tissues at hand to avoid sneezing or coughing in public. However, make sure to dispose of the used tissues immediately and carefully.
- Regularly clean your house to keep COVID-19 and other viruses at bay. It will also ensure that there is no accumulation of disease-causing fungi, bacteria, and dust that can compromise your health.
- Poor air quality and circulation have been equated with respiratory illnesses like allergies and asthma, as well as COVID-19. Proper ventilation helps with regulating air quality and protects you from a host of viruses.
- Avoid wearing damp clothes at all costs. If it is not possible to sun-dry them, try to remove the dampness by using a dryer or an iron.
COVID-19 especially affects your respiratory system. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to protect your immune system and strengthen your immunity to safeguard your lungs during the monsoon. Additionally, this will help protect you against air-borne microbes like seasonal flu and influenza viruses which spread more during this season.
These are some measures you can take to protect your respiratory system during the rains:
- Try to stay away from cold food and drinks, as these directly affect your respiratory tract.
- Make a habit of consuming warm water during the morning or at night.
- Inhaling steam once every day will help clear your nasal passages and relieve you of any breathing issues. Be careful regarding the temperature of the water, as excessively hot steam can burn your nasal passages.
- Supplement your efforts with a homemade kadha (a blend of spices) to boost your immunity. However, ensure that you do not have too much of it, as it affects everyone differently.
- One of the organs that are most affected by COVID-19 is the lungs. Therefore, include lung exercises in your day-to-day routine. Even regular practice of yoga and pranayama will help boost your lung capacity and immunity.
- Avoid eating stale food or food from roadside eateries. Always try to have freshly prepared, home-cooked food.
After the second wave and the subsequent lockdowns, cities are once again opening up public spaces. However, remember that staying home is the best way to protect yourself from COVID–19. As the third wave approaches, stricter safety protocols are advised. Even common flu infections can lead to a drop in immunity, so ensure that you take all necessary precautions during this monsoon. With India ramping up its vaccination drives, get yourself vaccinated to further protect yourself and others. By following these safety protocols, basic hygiene measures, and abstaining from going outside unless necessary, you can tide over the monsoon safely and easily. Here is Everything You Need to Know About the Third Wave of Covid-19.