Ratul is an SSC candidate. He had cherished the possibility that the school was reopening from March 30, 2021. The ever-familiar school grounds, pushing the peers in the canteen to buy snacks, sharing tiffin with friends, hiding glasses- No, he can't think anymore- his eyes are blinking. The last year of school life was like a dream. In the aftermath of the second wave of the Corona pandemic, everything seemed to be uncertain again. There is an uncertain future in front of about 3 million SSC and equivalent candidates. His next door uncle asked if Ratul would have got autopass too. There was a different tone in the words of his uncle which made Ratul very upset.
Now it is the time for us to think about millions of such Ratuls. Most importantly, are the mental and physical health of our sons and daughters developing properly in this epidemic situation? The mortality rate and covid infections have increased manifold. People are just as enthusiastic about the corona vaccine as they are indifferent to health care policies. Wearing a mask and maintaining physical and social distancing are like a daunting task. The Department of Education estimates that about 40 percent of students may drop out due to the pandemic. Poor families were forced send their children to work. It will take 3 to 4 years for the vaccine to reach the hands of 600 million people in this world. But will we sit like this? Simply the answer is, no. We have to fight and survive. Such evolution has taken place over the ages. We also have to evolve with the elements of nature. We must change ourselves. This is possible only by following certain rules. Parents should not worry but focus on their children’s future.Parents should guide their children to move on with the difficult situation. Children should get in the habit of wearing a mask and washing their hands with soap. These habits were developed by Japanese after the SARS virus epidemic in Japan in 2003, which has given them the ability to fight back Covid-19. The second wave of the Corona epidemic is making us thinking a little more than earlier. In recent times, its infection and mortality rate has increased in Bangladesh as well as in Western countries. After being away from school for a long time, parents see some special aspects in their children.
Changing sleeping routines - Staying up all night and sleeping all day can be a habit for the children. As a result, the biological clock of the brain becomes unstable, which changes emotions and behaviour. Forgetting important things – mismatching common things too. Not being able to remember important things. Emotional Disorders - abnormal outbursts can be overwhelming, and some people's emotions can be debilitating. Some may cry more, some may be stunned, some may be overjoyed for no reason. Behavioural problems - sudden anger, becoming aggressive. Some people may have symptoms such as random talking. Different physical symptoms - palpitations in the chest, feeling of shortness of breath despite all the lungs being fine, sweating, cold hands and feet, lack of energy in the body, etc. can cause problems. Increased addiction -In most cases, addiction to the internet or electronic gadgets can increase in some cases. Drug addiction is also likely to be seen. Not being able to recognise familiar places or familiar people – Many times intense stress can lead to misconceptions about familiar people, places, times, etc. in the neighborhood. Children's special problems - those who are small children-they want to hold the parents more. Someone wraps himself up. Someone cries a lot, someone asking questions to parents all the time.
Doctors and mental health experts have spoken of several initiatives to protect the physical and mental health of children. Those will bring back special benefits to the parents: Routine - making an effective daily routine for the child. You should stop watching mobile phones, laptops or TV for at least two hours before going to bed. Attitudes must be changed. Staying at home cannot be considered as captivity. No one is under arrest. Everyone in the house is free … virus free and free from infection. These words must be understood by the children. Not addicted to technology – children may be socially connected, but not addicted to the internet. You have to use the internet logically. Eating habits - giving preference to vegetables, fruits, eggs and milk in the baby's diet. One day in a week children and teenagers can be given the desired food. Teaching Habits - Teaching textbooks at a specific time. Spend some time reading other good books such as biographies of scholars, biographies of prophets, children's stories, poems, etc. Entertainment - Watching programs suitable for children and spending time in drawing and other creative works. Movies are suitable for children and teenagers such as 'Baby's Day Out' and 'Paddington'. Involvement with the family - Involve the child in family activities. Involving children and adolescents in cleaning clothes, keeping the house clean, cleaning the bathroom regularly, wiping furniture, etc., will make them have a better time. Eliminating Mental Anxiety - Anxiety and worry about epidemics affect the children and to the adults. Exercise - It is very important to do some regular exercise every day. Getting up, doing light jogging while sitting at home. Continuing to socialise - Children and adolescents have almost lost contact with friends, teachers and peers. It is necessary to try to keep the child's social communication a little better by communicating with the child's friends and teachers. Ensuring a child-friendly environment - The World Health Organization emphasises the importance of ensuring a child fear-free environment. Explaining to children and adolescents that this is a temporary global problem. It will be fixed one day. People will win against disasters again.
In addition to parents, children need to pay more attention to their own skills. The demand for new skills will increase in the 'new normal' world. Young people need to learn creative skills right now. We need to make ourselves a little more efficient through online platforms or any other medium. There are many exceptional things to learn. Who learns what will depend on their goals. Human Qualities also need to be practiced - sociologists opine that a kind of human solidarity with human beings may be created in the next world. The value of human qualities will increase in that world. Don't be discouraged - don't be discouraged by the thought that 'I lost a lot of time because of Corona, I went far behind'. You need to plan ahead so that you can make the most value of your life. Changes in social behaviour - keeping distance at work or on the road, adhering to health safety rules cannot be taken lightly. They must be adhered to as strictly as possible. Life's priorities need to be set - there are many things in life that are necessary, some that are fairly necessary and some that are absolutely superfluous. So we have to give priority to the necessary things in our own and social life by eliminating all the redundancies. Education, health and science - In the 'new normal' world, education, health and science are of paramount importance. Get rid of all kinds of superstitions and give utmost importance to the study of science and innovation. This will speed up mental development.
Things to do holistically during Corona: On the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence, the first wave of Coronavirus has been successfully dealt with under the leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Due to the tireless efforts of the Bangladesh government, many people in this country have already received the first dose of Corona vaccine. Many have already taken the second dose. The second wave of coronavirus has threatened the whole world and our country in an alarming way. The government is already announcing a nationwide lockdown to get out of this predicament. We are as close as ever to get success in tackling the second wave like the first wave. None of us should be intimidated by the coronavirus, but as a responsible citizen we will do our part to win the war against corona. We all need to keep in mind that the best strategy to fight this virus is not to stay away from daily life but to do everything according to the Corona protocols. We will follow all the necessary activities of our institutional and family life in accordance with the Covid-19 protocol and will resist the virus. Strong immunity is the most important thing to deal with. Regular exercise, nutritious food, rest, and above all a healthy lifestyle will help to increase immunity. Covid-19 vaccines will protect us from coronavirus. At present, it is important to refrain from coming to the hospital unless there is an urgent need to speed up normal medical services. We will all maintain courage and discipline without being disturbed in this situation. We will deal with coronavirus with patience, endurance and wisdom as well. Lockdown or quarantine should not be spent on social media but on professional knowledge, self-purification and the benefit of one's family and colleagues. There is no substitute for adhering to corona hygiene to get rid of this condition. It is our responsibility to ensure our own safety as well as the safety of our families and workplaces. With the second wave of the Corona epidemic, we need to dream of a brighter future. The government is trying to save the country from the damage of this epidemic. Everyone has to move forward with physical and mental preparation. Parents need to be much more aware and caring. Seeing butterflies on the flowers on the school premises, the child will run to catch the butterflies. The teenagers will return home sweating after playing cricket with their friends. The need is to sustain children and adolescents with care and awareness at this time.
Parents should have confidence in all the measures taken by the government and be more caring for the future of their children. Continuous motivation and keeping the children abreast of the situation are two antidotes to bring back normalcy amongst them. Let the slogan of the parents be today, "Be aware, be careful, be active in protecting the physical and mental health of the children even beyond the second wave of the Corona Pandemic".
The writer is an army officer in the Corp of Engineers, Qadirabad Cantonment, Natore