Message from OCA [INDIA] President Mr. D.Singh Jaaj with following attachment about the COVID19 Relief Operations by the Diocese of Amritsar:
Greetings from OCA-India.Trust you and your family are doing well during this most trying time on account of the Covid 19 virus.
I would like to use this opportunity to share with you that at the recently held meeting of the Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School on 11/05/2020,it was decided that the school along with OCA-India would endeavor to provide support and succor to the lesser fortunate who had been adversely impacted by the Covid 19 virus.Representing the OCA-India in my capacity as its President along with other eminent Old Cottonian’s on the Board of Governors,namely Mr.D C Anand the President Emeritus of OCA-India and Mr. Anil Mehra, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Board were in agreement to this proposal.
This as a background the school has committed an amount of INR 500000/-(Five lacs) as support for this project with the hope that Old Cottonian’s would match it with an equal amount.The contribution from Old Cottonian’s would be collected in the account of Bishop Cotton School,the details of which are as follows:
Bishop Cotton School
HDFC Bank Ltd.-Sec/5,New Shimla-171009
Current A/c No:50200039445899
You are also requested to kindly share your Contact details,Batch and House along with the amount deposited with the Bursar of BCS Mr.Rajiv Mehrotra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst the deployment of funds would be monitored directly by the Chairman of the Board of Governors,the President of OCA-India would be kept informed of the same. The contribution would be entitled to tax benefit for which an appropriate certificate will be provided under 80 G by Bishop Cotton School. We already have commitments of over one lakh. Upon exhausting the funds a complete statement of account would be circulated to all Old Cottonian’s as well as posted on the OCA-India website.
May I request you to kindly come forward and lend a shoulder to this noble project by contributing generously so that we may be able to provide assistance to the affected in their time of hardship and distress.
Wishing you all safe and healthy days ahead.
Davinder Singh Jaaj
The disease normally will not kill if you are proactive when you feel unwell by starting to monitor the symptoms. Keep a check on some health parameters and take timely treatment
As someone who has suffered from and survived Covid-19 and after reading up extensively on it, I think there is no need to panic. Consider these thoughts of a layman, who is not a doctor, scientist, economist or an expert in financial matters.
This disease is not the monster it’s made out to be and is a lot like any other virus, but only with a very aggressive spreading rate (highly contagious); and in some cases, the potentially deadly Covid pneumonia.
Everyone will get this disease. It normally will not kill if you are proactive when you feel unwell by starting to monitor the symptoms, keep a check on some health parameters and take timely treatment. The two most important checks to be done are for fever and oxygenation (oxygen saturation in the lungs) using a thermometer and pulse oximeter. Both give immediate readouts. Fever means you are fighting some infection in your body and fall in oxygen saturation percentage indicates there is infection in the lungs preventing them from functioning normally. Oxygen saturation of a normal person is between 94% and 100% (smokers, people with asthma or damaged lungs or any other ailment are likely to have a lower oxygen saturation level).
NEGLECT COULD KILL
The killer (or the ‘silent killer’) in this disease is Covid pneumonia, which is different from regular pneumonia with chest discomfort and breathing problems.
Covid pneumonia starts silently and the person feels no chest/respiratory discomfort, pain or shortness of breath. There are absolutely no signs or sensation of breathing problems, but it can initially cause a form of oxygen deprivation – a ‘silent hypoxia,’ which is hard to detect.
Respiratory discomfort is felt when the oxygen levels become alarmingly low and moderate to severe pneumonia sets in (50% oxygen saturation). This is a critical condition and develops into ‘acute hypoxia,’ for which the person has to be put on a respirator/ventilator. At this stage, chances of respiratory failure and multiple organ failure are high due to lack of oxygen causing death. This Covid pneumonia takes about two weeks to develop and reach a dangerous stage. Initial start might be slow, but later progression into acute hypoxia stage is fast.
Only about 35% of the people who get Covid-19 get the Covid pneumonia, of which about 25% cases, like I have, recover as the pneumonia is detected at an early stage. About 8% to 10% go on to the ventilator of which about 3% die.
WHAT TO EXPECT
SPREAD: Covid-19 is very aggressive and spreads quickly. Everyone’s likely to get it unless we get a vaccine (which is not going to happen soon, the earliest being a year). Lockdown, isolation, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other preventive measures are only going to buy time for our countries/states to be better prepared to fight the pandemic and to some extent reduce stress on our hospitals and medical care systems.
SYMPTOMS: From none to varied, with cough, cold, headache, bodyache, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, loss of taste and smell, diarrhoea, stiffness or stretched feeling around your chest and back. Some don’t feel unwell at all (and develop antibodies). Duration varies too with one feeling feverish for half a day and recovering and another for three to four days and yet another for two to five weeks. Some, unfortunately, do not survive.
TESTING: The most common swab test is useless for the following reasons:
1) It’s not in real time and you get the results after three to four days, which could mean the difference between life and death if silent hypoxia or Covid pneumonia has set in
2) Results are 70% accurate.
3) Acute shortage of test kits.
4) Lack of information on testing centres, both in India and abroad for people who suspect they have got Covid.
5) Testing expensive for the poor.
I feel using a thermometer and pulse oximeter could be a better indicator as both give immediate readouts. A CT Scan or an X-Ray of the chest will further determine infection in the lungs or Covid pneumonia.
TREATMENT: Viral infections have no treatment, only therapy (therapeutic treatment). Paracetamol is administered for fever and aches, antibiotics for any infection (pneumonia) and any other medication which would help, that the doctor advises. In my case I was given hydrochloroquine whereas a friend of mine being treated in The Hague was given codeine, an opiate used to treat pain, coughing, and diarrhoea.
Being healthy and having good immunity is important to fight the disease. Older people and others with medical ailments have to be more careful. To win you need to detect Covid pneumonia and nip it in the bud quickly.
Educating the public about the disease is vital. They have to be made to understand the disease and its novel characteristics which differ from other viral infections. Everyone should know that sooner or later they will get it. They have to be told not to take it casually but know that it will normally not kill if they monitor the symptoms, keep a check on health parameters and take timely treatment.
I recommend that people also buy a pulse oximeter and log in readings taken twice a day in a spreadsheet to detect any drop in their oxygen saturation levels.
The government should also set up small camps, booths in as many localities as possible for these checks and send suspected cases for treatment.
A lockdown is only good for buying time…..so once the government has control over the situation, it should be lifted and business should be allowed to run as usual to prevent an economic crisis.
(The writer is an actor and a captain in the merchant navy. Views expressed are personal. Any recommendations made in this article should be first checked with a doctor)
Government advice reinforced by our son Peter & daughter Marnie for Maggie & me to stay home and enjoy the confines of our garden. Leaves time for thought & olden memories …………
I once was confined to school hospital when taken ill with Mumps, this put the school into quarantine precisely just before the start of 10 days holiday for end of second term. Oh boy did I have to suffer indignation, abuse with threats for canceled all town leave. The Sanatorium was in the care of Sister Maclean, a well accomplished, competent elderly Scottish matron. She was quite deaf and wore an early primitive hearing aid that carried the receiver on the breast of her uniform. She was very thorough in nursing the sick. Whatever the ailment – the blue bottle appeared & you were forced to swallow a large spoon of Castrol in her presence. Some of the patients spitefully would take delight in her hard of hearing – face up to her mimicking only lip-service, as the dear Sister would adjust the receiver – they would come closer and bellow in a loud voice. A memory circles back to me of Prep School, when every fortnight we were by houses paraded up to our tiny sanatorium to be given, the purgative, Senna pod liquid to swallow and immediately say ‘Thank you’ before we were allowed to leave, just to ensure full intake!
For us boys, far more important and meaningful to us young hungry souls was the December House–treats or as we called them ‘JHUG-DAY CHEWS’ held in our dormitories. All festooned with hand art and decorations to accentuate end of year & home for winter holidays. Specially prepared food catered and brought in from Simla – delicious Indian curries, rices, chapattis and assortment of sweet fare we gorged and demolished. I recall remembering for the very first time in my youth to suffer indigestion – so chronic it lasted for a couple of days and leaving me with a stinking disgusting breath. The lower Boggs – then latrines, below the side of the First Flat became unworthy of shame almost forcing one to light up and smoke a cigarette.
Finally, in December approaching year ending, next followed in the evening, senior boys would stage their own theatre productions, in the Irwin Hall. Poetry, music, songs, plays and short sketches, sometimes ridiculous observations of School life and masters’ eccentric behaviour for us the riotous audience so wholeheartedly enjoyed & applauded.
Primarily the School conducted its function for education & sport. The main purpose to develop well rounded young men ready for their future. We were nurtured in deportment strict discipline, physical exercise following rules of clean living in hygiene, good manners & respect for all religions and fellow beings. Bullying was stamped out immediately. One only had to tell of a bully and a simple procedure followed. The bully was put in the boxing ring with an opponent, champion of his fighting weight who dealt out with gloves punching a very sound message while others watched on. My keen observations have found a host of Old Cottonians became leaders in the many facets of worldly undertaking.
Count our blessing and with confidence believe PATINA will deliver GOOD!
Hello friends. Hope you and your families are safe and you are taking good care of yourself .While we wait for this pandemic to come to an end, I just felt like sharing this personal experience with you all. Hope you will find some time to read this and reflect.
The night before the Janta curfew, we met with a massive accident, about 100 kms ahead of Shimla. This happened at night, while negotiating a sharp bend on a narrow road, with one side dug up and the other falling away into a ravine.
Due to heavy rains, the road was muddy and slippery and made steering difficult. Whilst navigating the bend, a puddle and a large ditch on either side of the road, suddenly came into view of our headlights. I swerved left and right, to avoid both, but with the steering wheel slipping on the muddy road, I ended up crashing into a large solitary boulder on the edge of the road. Had the boulder not been there, that should have been it for me, my wife and my young daughter. We wouldn’t have survived the fall, and even if we had, at that time, no one would have come to our aid. Yet, miraculously, the car smashed into that solitary boulder and stopped and to cushion us further, the air bags opened absorbing the impact. Though the car was in bad shape, none of us were injured and instead of us, it was the boulder that had collapsed over the edge. Within minutes, another miracle took place. Three cars showed up, likely the last on that stretch for the night. It had begun to rain, and we were wet and cold so they came just in time. The guys were also in a hurry to get home prior to the curfew, but ended up delaying themselves and helped us to a nearby place we owned, an old orchard that my father had bought when I was very young,
It’s a very basic accommodation, with just a few essentials, but we thanked ourselves for having a roof over our heads that day. I still shudder to think how bad things could have been. What if the boulder wasn’t there, what if we had fatal injuries and what if those cars hadn’t turned up? With my wife and daughter by my side, stranded in the middle of nowhere on a rainy night, it would have been a nightmare beyond imagination. It can happen to anyone. Night driving is surely out for us . While we had been taught our lessons rather harshly we had been spared the worst by some divine interventions.
Himachal lockdown was enforced the next day. Still recovering from the shock and transport suspended, we couldn’t move from this place. As luck would have it, national lockdown happened soon after. So here we are stuck in this place, with no conveyance, a very basic accommodation and only bare essentials. The gas cylinder was empty but fortunately there was an electric heater which we have been using for all cooking. With frequent power failures during rains, no backups and long gaps before major faults are rectified; we were running the risk of having no cooked food. We finally got a gas cylinder replenishment on the 8th day and it was a joy beyond words.
It’s been ten days now .We are cooking, doing the dishes, washing clothes by hand, cleaning the place etc. We fetch basic groceries from a tiny shop which is a 2 km round trip on foot. A slightly larger hamlet is a 4 km round trip. We are fetching clean drinking water from a natural source nearby as the govt. connection is not yet functional and rain water collected in tanks is not fit for drinking. There is no tv, no fridge, no wi-fi, no doctor on call. When there is no power we are engulfed by pitch darkness, mitigated slightly by a candle and run the risk of having drained phone batteries.
I have experienced this life before, which helps, but it’s never been without help, preparation and never for so long. After ten days, are we tired, frustrated, miserable, bored, feeling pained? Absolutely not. We can get ourselves evacuated to Shimla but have decided against it till the lockdown is over. It may be a situation forced on us but it’s a divine opportunity given to us and we don’t want to waste it. No four walls to be confined to, no RWA directives or restrictions, freedom to step out into nature and time to reflect on the ecological imbalance created mostly by people like us and how nature finds it ways to restore it. We are “far from the madding crowd” but connected to the world more than ever. Yes, I would have loved to be part of the front line, like many who are running the show for us, but this is the next best option. We are still managing from here and doing our bit in whichever way we can, thanks to the mobile internet.
It’s a different world here and I feel blessed to experience this unlike many in the urban world, despite the lack of comfort gadgets. People have more hardships here but they are lot more content. They may not live the life we do, but they are connected to the world in a way that we do not understand. It’s important that we count our blessings, wherever we are, and whatever the situation. This accident has only made this experience of ours more profound. It’s the “silver lining” that every cloud has. They say everything happens for a reason. It’s a divine coincidence that today is Ashtami and also my birthday. Having survived miraculously, I am celebrating both occasions with the locals here, something I would have never imagined or planned.