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New Variant: 7 new interesting things to know Omicron

It is time that we took a serious look at the implications of what it means and that the pandemic is not over yet; there is a need to follow protocols diligently

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Deadly Virus
Source: @ The Times of Israel

With India’s first two cases of the Omicron detected in Karnataka, it is time that we took a serious look at the implications of what it means and that the pandemic is not over yet; there is a need to follow protocols diligently

Evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected easily with Omicron) as compared to other variants of concern. However, there is limited information available. This is what we know so far

Spread

The virus’ rapid rise in South Africa is what worries experts. It implies that the variant can spark explosive increases in COVID-19 cases elsewhere.

Though South Africa raised the alarm, there are now reports that the virus was detected 11 days before in the Netherlands. Does that mean that the virus originated in this country instead of SA?

Symptoms

Covid symptoms linked to the new omicron variant have been described as extremely mild by the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, told the BBC last week that she started to see patients around November 18, 2021, presenting with ‘unusual symptoms’ that differed slightly from those associated with the Delta variant. The Delta is the most virulent strain of the virus to date and is globally dominant.

Patients don’t have a sore throat, but more of a scratchy throat. No cough or loss of taste or smell — symptoms that have been associated with previous strains of the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, this is what we know about Omicron.

Transmissibility

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta.

The number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but epidemiologic studies are underway to understand if it is because of Omicron or other factors.

Severity

It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta.

Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of a specific infection with Omicron.

There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants. Initially reported infections were among university students—younger individuals who tend to have the more mild disease—but understanding the level of severity of the Omicron variant will take days to several weeks.

All variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant that is dominant worldwide, can cause severe disease or death, in particular for the most vulnerable people, and thus prevention is always key.

Effectiveness of vaccines

The WHO is working with technical partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing countermeasures, including vaccines.

Vaccines remain critical to reducing severe disease and death, including against the dominant circulating variant, Delta. Current vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death.

Effectiveness of current tests

The RT-PCR tests being used globally continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron. This has been seen with other variants as well. Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests like rapid antigen detection tests.

Effectiveness of current treatments

The Corticosteroids and IL6 Receptor Blockers will still be effective for managing patients with severe COVID-19. Other treatments will be assessed to see if they are still as effective given the changes to parts of the virus in the Omicron variant.

What countries should do

There are several actions WHO recommends countries undertake. Enhancing surveillance and sequencing of cases; sharing genome sequences on publicly available databases like GISAID; reporting initial cases or clusters to WHO; performing field investigations and laboratory assessments to better understand if Omicron has different transmission or disease characteristics.

Countries should continue to implement effective public health measures to reduce COVID-19 circulation overall. Use a risk analysis and science-based approach.

Increase public health and medical capacities to manage an increase in cases. Important that inequities in access to COVID-19 vaccines are urgently addressed. Health workers and older persons receive their first and second doses, alongside equitable access to treatment and diagnostics.

What people should do

Keep a physical distance of at least 1 meter from others. Wear a well-fitting mask. Open windows to improve ventilation. Avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces. Keep hands clean. Cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue. Get vaccinated at the earliest.

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Lifestyle

The ultimate kit for the body

Keeping fit during the present pandemic and increase immunity to fight the looming third wave is the best way to move forward.

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two girls doing pussups
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

We all want that perfect body. More so today due to the COVID-19 ad need to build our immunity to prevent getting infected. While there are many things that one can do, we are somewhat restricted since not everything is open – gyms with 50 per cent occupancy and swimming pools not open yet.

But this doesn’t mean that we have to totally give up on the exercise. In fact, this is perhaps the best time to put on your shoes and get that perfectly healthy body that one always wanted. Here is a list of super-easy hacks that can actually help without much hassle.

Lightweight shoes

If one is chasing something then running is a must. More so, if one wants to lose weight or clear the cobwebs — mental and physical problems. Running will help burn those extra calories that one may have put or are eating because one is at home. Early mornings are usually the most soothing time to hit the road. There are fewer people. This means that there is social distancing. A good pair of shoes can achieve mental peace and that body goal.

Hydration factor

Drinking enough water is not many people’s priority despite being aware of its multiple benefits, right from good skin to weight loss it curbs all problems. What can be better than plain water?

Doctors and nutritionists agree that drinking eight to 10 glasses of water has proven to help in weight loss much faster. Many celebs mention detox water in their diet. The digestive system is dependent on your water drinking habits. Promise the body to stay hydrated properly. Take four cups of water, add one sliced cucumber and sliced lemon. Refrigerator before drinking throughout the day.

Fitness tracker

Since the time this gadget has come in, it has changed the lives of many. However, there are people out there who don’t monitor their workouts. It is very important to have a workout journal, it helps you track down physical activity, check body composition, and have a monthly target for effective and faster weight loss.

Since many of us are still working from home, tracking workout patterns can be difficult for many. This is when technological innovations like fitness trackers can be of great help as it helps us to track heart rate 24/7, steps, distance, calories burned, hourly activity, active minutes, floors climbed.

All the busy people out there trying to strike a balance between work and gym can simply add this to keep a count on their day-to-day physical activity.

Dumbbells

Weight always adds extra power to the weight loss journey and that is why people usually tend to join the gym. But with only 50 per cent occupancy allowed, it may not be possible to lift weights every day.

Invest in good dumbbells. They are great when it comes to curbing extra fats from the body. Buying dumbbells prevents one to spend extra on a gym subscription every month. Also, it can be an added benefit as one can do it whenever there is time — early morning or late night.

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Lifestyle

What to do when you miss your ex

It is always tough to deal with a situation when you have to get over the ex. Here are 16 ways to move on when you still love your ex.

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What to do when you miss your ex

It is always tough to deal with a situation when you have to get over the ex. You miss the closeness you shared and the love you still have for that person unfortunately the other person has moved on and so should you. Here are 16 ways to move on when you still love your ex.

What to do when you miss your ex

1. If you love a person, fight for him/her as hard as you can. No matter how strange or weird it seems, fight for the love of your life. You may not succeed but at least you tried. This will help you avoid regrets in the future that you may have with regard to that relationship.

2. If despite fighting for that relationship, the person leaves, the next step is how to let go. You must accept the reality. You need to tell your brain it is all over.

3. There’s an adage: If you love someone set him/her free, if it’s meant to be, they will come back to you. Leave everything to destiny.

4. Stop thinking about that person all the time or the good times you spent with each other. This will hurt you. Return his/her things.

5. Focus on other important things in life. Focus on your job, family, and friends.

6. Stay away from all social media accounts for some time. You may be tempted to look at what he/she is doing. This is a strict no-no.

7. It is just as important to stay away from common family and friends. Communicating with them will only remind you of him/her. If you don’t do this, it will only make it hard for you to forget him/her.

8. Always have a friend whom you can speak with regarding your ex. You need a person who can listen to you instead of pass judgment on your relationship. Look for a person whom you trust and who understands what you are going through.

9. It is important to give yourself time to get over the ex. Be patient. Don’t force yourself to heal fast. Some people take more time to get over it than others.

10. Depression is a common symptom when the ex walks out. Don’t brood. Surround yourself with people who care about you. Ask a friend to give you company. Or go stay with a friend. Take yourself out of the situation that was familiar.

11. If you don’t a family member close by, take up a hobby or an activity that will keep your mind from thinking about the ex. Take up painting or learn a new skill. A new skill can help you further your career and advance professionally. It will give you a sense of achievement.

12. Your ex is not the only person you love. There are many others who can appreciate the love you shower on them.

13. Learn to love yourself. Tell yourself that you can love yourself. You can be your best friend. Sleep properly, treat yourself well, avoid stress and eat well.

14. Don’t dwell on the pain. It will make you eat junk food and engage in unhealthy activities. Instead of developing destructive habits and up in a worse situation look for constructive things to do.

15. Find romance elsewhere. You may think that your ex was the love of your life and you won’t find anyone else. This is not true. You gave to move ahead — despite the temporary heartbreak. Love should not be restricted to any person. You can keep a pet and show it, love.

15. It is not very easy to be happy for your ex since you are miserable but it’s a sign of maturity. Love should not be selfish. It should be about being happy for others even if it is your ex. Like you celebrate your friend’s success, do the same with your ex.

16. Be happy in all situations. Life is about ups and downs. It is not all roses. It is important to be happy. It may not be possible for you to imagine that it is possible to be happy without the love of your life but this is very much doable. Remember, after a dark night, there’s bright sunshine the next day.

Disclaimer: The above list is not exhaustive. The idea of this article is to let people know that it is possible to move ahead in life. Always take professional help as and when the need arises.

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Lifestyle

Best five ways you can charge your electric vehicle

Since the time electric vehicles have come into India, the question is how to easily charge them. Here are a few tips. Read on…

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can you charge two electric cars at home
Source: @Inventya Ltd.

Electric vehicles are slowly but surely taking over the automotive market. With electric scooters joining the four-wheelers, the question is how to charge them efficiently. With their many benefits, ranging from reduced emissions to low running costs, it’s easy to see why they are becoming increasingly popular.

And while this uptick in demand is great news for the environment and our wallets, it does present one small challenge – how do we keep all those electric cars juiced up? Here are five easy ways suggested to charge your electric vehicles.

Plug into a standard household outlet

Most electric vehicles come up with a charging cord that plugs into a standard household outlet. This is the slowest way to charge your vehicle, but it’s also the most convenient one of all other options that already exist in the market because you can use normal outlets in your house. This is also known as ‘Trickle charging’.

Level 2 chargers can be used for both home and commercial charging stations

They use a 240 V (residential) or 208 V (commercial) plug and must be installed by a professional electrician. They can also be installed as part of a solar panel system. Level 2 chargers deliver 10 to 60 miles of range per hour of charging, which means they can fully charge an electric car battery in as little as two hours. They are an ideal option for both homeowners and business owners.

Charge your electric vehicle using public charging spots

This is the fastest way to charge up your EV vehicles. Several ultra-fast charging stations can provide more than 150kw of power. DC charging is 10X faster than trickle charge and can boost up your charging from 20%-80% within 40 minutes. The power does not flow continuously in this, as of the charging power gradually decreases as the battery percentage increases.

Battery swapping is an alternative

This is a good way to charge electric vehicles, which involves exchanging discharged batteries for charged ones. This de-links charging and battery usage, so the vehicle can stay in the operational mode with minimal downtime.

Induction pads

These are the breakthrough technology that will eliminate the need for charging cables but still let you charge up your car on the street outside your home? So-called induction charging pads work like the wifi charging pads for smartphones – magically charging up the unit without plugging it in.

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