This college was a little different!

An unforgettable era, which can not be captured on a camera!!

College life is a story captured in a paperistic picta. It is like the save button to a mind’s eye. The black-white days have their beauty of ugly faces but this phase adds color to the journey. Even after living in a world mixed with sour and sweet people, this makes the heart to beat a little faster, the body to feel a little more pleasure, and the soul to rejoice a little longer!!

Every click is perfect with its imperfections. Blurry, abrupt, random, odd, and accidental snaps are what this time is all about. The slideshow from that first unknown hi to the known goodbye outlines the whole adventure of casual wear, crowded canteens, cool teachers, hilarious talks, loud giggles, bunking lectures, graduation, farewells, and the drift.

Every year many silly people graduate the college.

But this year was a little unusual.

This is coming from the one who has never been to college ever before. I have heard stories from everyone around me, saying ‘this is the best moment where you not only explore yourself but also the real world.’ But why does my college feels not the same as theirs? Am I not born lucky? Why do I see the screens instead of blackboards?

It was the day of summer when a deadly virus entered our region and took control of each and everything around it. Since then, the rule of ‘no mobiles in class’ changed to ‘only mobiles and not you.’ Our hands were filled with devices, rooms with assignments, faces with masks, and days with the lockdown. This time it’s not classrooms but google meet, exams but no papers, festivals but no celebrations.

It’s a tough time for both warriors and survivors to sit inside a room for days with taunting parents, not seeing friends for days, missing the old memories, and facing tragic situations have made this age even harder than before. Although, it is good in every mood. Even after all this, we learned many good skills without paying any bills, introspected ourselves without ringing the best friend’s doorbell, and spent time with kin without acting mean.

We take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little part of each other everywhere.

And you all became simply special.

Feeling alone

LONELINESS is packed with feelings and emotions. It can consume you at any time – day or night – and create havoc with your emotions. Feeling lonely can cause you to lose perspective and, sometimes, to lose all hope. Even before COVID, we lived in an isolated culture where people were starved for connection. And now with the fear of COVID, loneliness is even more intensified.

There are days when my life is filled with the sound of voices on the phone, or pictures of friends on Zoom and Facetime, and yet, I feel alone. There have been times in my life when I would walk in a church filled with people, or show up at a party where I knew everyone, and yet, I felt alone. At some point, we’ve all experienced feelings of being alone and the shadow of loneliness that follows close behind.

Being alone isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good, necessary, healthy thing. It’s a time to reflect, to appreciate, to think, to create, to process your life. Reflection and synthesis of ideas is crucial to learning and growing, and for many people this can only be done when they are alone. Kierkegaard nails this with one of my favorite quotes: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Damn, Kierkegaard, I bet you spent a ton of time alone.

So why are we so damned afraid of being alone?

Because we’re afraid others will think we’re lonely. There’s something wrong with lonely people, or else why wouldn’t they have people around them? There must be something broken about them! If you learn someone is lonely, you best stay away from them. Leave them to their cats. Loneliness results in more loneliness; it’s a beast that feeds itself. (Please know that I don’t believe any of this — or at least I don’t want to, but these are thoughts that I hear in my head, because Society)

I’m not lonely! I have 2200 facebook friends. Look at all the things I share. Look at all those likes! I have all the likes! And retweets. Don’t even get me started on retweets. I have to call them RTs because I get so many I don’t even have time for all those other letters. Look at me on Instagram! Follow me! #TeamFollowBack Connect with me! Please, please, connect with me. How am I so damned lonely?! Nobody else feels this lonely. Look at all the friends they have on Facebook. Look at all those likes they’re getting…

We are living in a time when it’s easy to feel uncomfortable being alone, because there are so many ways you can “be” with other people. So we’re never truly alone. And that makes it ever more uncomfortable when we feel lonely.

I saw someone post a photo on Facebook last Friday night of themselves with a glass of wine and the caption “Relaxing into a much-needed quiet Friday night date with myself. #DontHate”

The irony hurt. If you really want to be alone, WHY ARE YOU TELLING THE WHOLE WORLD, my brain yelled.

Then I realized I knew the answer: this person is uncomfortable being alone on a Friday night, and this is how they are trying to mitigate that discomfort.

They are seeing all of their friends posting photos of their fun nights out with dozens of people and having so much fun and internalizing all of this as something being wrong with them. Maybe they chose to be alone tonight, or maybe they got ditched by a friend, or maybe they wanted to go out and don’t really have any friends who wanted to go out with them, but, whatever the case, they were probably terrified they would slip from enjoying a night alone into being lonely on a Friday night. The first is good. The second is bad. And maybe a “like” or a reassuring comment would stave that off.

spend a lot of time on the road traveling alone. And during the day, when I’m performing, or visiting a campus, or flying, eating, writing — keeping my mind busy — I’m on the road traveling alone; I’m not lonely on the road. And I enjoy it. I enjoy the aloneness. I thrive in it. But at night, when I get back to my hotel room and plop down on the bed, I regularly toe the line between being alone and being lonely.

I am usually good at landing on the enjoying a night alone side of the line, but sometimes, usually after a particularly long stretch on the road, of if a show doesn’t go as well as I want it to, I’ll find myself stumbling onto the lonely side. It probably doesn’t help that I have this disgusting and self-body-destroying habit of having a huge pizza delivered to my hotel room and eating it by myself in my underwear. And, as I am typing that, I am reminded of this

Tips for safe internet banking

All through the year, banks and financial institution are taking up innovative measures to protect its customers from such banking frauds. But sometimes it’s our very own negligence that makes us fall prey to such thefts. Whilst, both the banks and financial institutions are doing their part, we should too adopt a cautious attitude to protect ourselves. So, to help you out in this process, we have a gathered a list of some tips for safe internet banking that you can consider doing.

Digital advancements have made our lives much easier, we can now order food or purchase things in the comfort of our homes. These rapidly evolving advancements are also transforming the banking and financial sector in India. Whether someone is transferring funds, paying a bill or applying for such loans such technologies are enabling customers to do it in a more efficient and effective way. The number of users opting for internet banking is expected to double by 2020, making India an important hub for financial innovation. However, internet banking, just like like any other medium if not done with utmost precaution can prove to be risky. There are scams like phishing( fraudulent means for attaining confidential information) associated with internet banking which enables a third-party to access and misuse your personal information.

Banking online has made managing money a lot more convenient than it used to be. We don’t have to visit the bank to transfer our funds, or wait for the next paper statement to know what the balance is. All that information is at our fingertips. But while online banking has made things easier for us, it’s also made things easier for thieves.

Criminals don’t need to plan a heist to rob someone’s bank account anymore. All they need to do is wait for you to let your guard down and expose your personal information, or send out a virus that will collect the information. The only way to avoid becoming a thief’s next victim is to carefully guard your personal information and always practice these online banking safety tips. 

1. Don’t access your bank accounts on public Wi-Fi

When you’re on public Wi-Fi, hackers can more easily access your computer and steal personal information from it. You should never access your bank’s website through a computer, tablet, or mobile phone unless you’re on a secure Wi-Fi network with a password, or using your own cell phone data connection. This is much more difficult for thieves to hack, so it keeps your information safer.

2. Avoid saving your login information

Some websites give you the option to save your login information for future use, but if someone uses your computer or mobile device after you, they could gain access to your bank accounts. To at least help prevent this from happening, many banking sites now time out after a certain number of minutes of inactivity, and do not save your information.

3. Use strong passwords and change them often

Strong passwords have a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Many banks now require your online accounts to carry a password meeting these requirements. You should also change your password every couple of months, and use different passwords for all of your online accounts so that hackers will have a more difficult time gaining access to your information.

4. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible

Two-factor authentication is the next level of security that many banks are now offering. Usually, you give your bank your phone number, and it texts a code when you log in online. Some banks also enable you to request a code via email or a phone call. You must enter this code in addition to your password to log in. This way, even if someone has stolen your password, they cannot access your accounts. It’s another hoop to jump through, but it could help keep your money safe, so set it up if your bank offers it.

One plasma donor saves at least three lives

India is going through the second wave and suffering the loss of lakhs of lives. The country witnessed 4,12,000 cases in the last 24 hours which is the highest number of cases reported in a single day. The smiles from Indian faces is burning on funeral pyres. In such a drastic crisis, plasma and oxygen cylinders stand out to be two things which have not only become the life line of people but also has become the only ray of hope for people. India requires plasma, every day, the social media handles are flooded with millions of posts seeking for plasma. Let us try to find out why plasma holds such a significance in fighting the covid war.

Plasma is the liquid component of the blood which holds the white blood cells (WBCs), Red blood cells (RBCs). About 55% of the blood is plasma and remaining 45% are RBCs and WBCs. 92% of the constituent of plasma is water.

Now, the question arises, how does this plasma help a covid-19 infected individual? The answer to this question lies in the fact that whenever an individual gets an infection, the human body produces a response to it and produces anti bodies against the pathogen (corona virus). These anti bodies remain dispersed in the plasma of the individual and can be used to introduce anti bodies in another body to produce an immune response. Any individual who had been infected by covid 19 and has recovered can donate plasma given that the infection was moderate. Asymptomatic individuals cannot donate plasma. The age group which is legible is in between 18 to 65 years having a body weight more than 50kg and no other disease like diabetes, hypertension etc.

Donating plasma is an absolutely safe process. The donor doesn’t feel any kind of side effects or weakness at all. The donor just needs to take a 15 minutes rest post donation following which he/she can return to daily activities and routine. An individual is recommended to donate plasma after 14 days of complete recovery after infection and can continue donating plasma for about 4 to 6 times in the next 3 to 4 months.

A single donor of plasma saves at least three lives. The human body automatically regenerates plasma after 24 hours so, your need not worry about running short of plasma! All the people reading out this article, encourage people to donate plasma and save lives!

Founder Of Dreams – Labours Of India

In 2020, there were around 501 million workers in India, the second largest after China. Out of which, agriculture industry consist of 41.19%, industry sector consist of 26.18% and service sector consist of 32.33% and of total labour force. Labours – the founder of dreams, yes they are because off course they are doing a lot for us. From school buildings to metro, they have done everything. The vegetables what we eat daily, it’s because of the farmers who do farming. The farmers who works all the day, only get a little money for their own work, in simple we can say that they earn their bread and butter after struggling a lot.
Just think about the doctors who wear PPE kit whole day just for our treatment. The national registry of Indian Medical Association (IMA) shows that 747 doctors have died of Covid-19. Dr. Jayesh Lele, secretary general of IMA, told The Indian Express that according to their registry, the highest number of such deaths were from Tamil Nadu (89) and West Bengal (80).
Now let’s think about the policemen who works all the day for our safety. As per Indian Police Foundation Data, 1,50,226 Covid cases have been reported among personnel of state police forces and CAPF so far. Apart from policemen and doctors, there are a large amount of social workers who lost  their lives due to Covid-19. More than 87,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19, with just six states – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat till Aug 29, 2020.

“The people who are the founder of our dreams are losing their lives rapidly”. Be there for them, help them and respect them.

Selfless Care – A Invisible Bond

What is Selfless Care? A care without any condition. We are living in the 21st century and here it is too difficult to be with someone without any reason, condition and motive.

There are three types of people:-
• The one who are self – centered
• The one who be with you for any motive
• last but not the least, the one who loves you selflessly.

In this world, it is more easier to find the above two types of people but it’s very difficult to find selfless people. In this era where money matters the most, just imagine when someone gives you their own meal and sleep with empty stomach- yes, only our parents can do this.
We meet different types of people during different phases of life and gather a lot of experience with each passing days. Sometimes some people hurt us but on the other hand we form bond with some people. Apart from parents, friendship is the only unconditional relation that can never ditch us no matter what condition. Now let’s talk about those people who taught us a lesson and made us stronger day by day.
• Just think about that friend who left you when he/she is done with you.
• Remember the day when a person hurted you so badly, so that you are unable to trust anybody.
• On the other hand, think of the day when your mom slapped you and made you smile after  5 mins.

One day you will be thankful to all of them who made you realize your worth, your ability, your capacity and on the same day, you will hug the people who stand by you all the time.

Your Life Your Responsibility – ( A Corona Age )

According to JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data, there 3,86,555 cases on 29th April 2021, which is simply very high in quantity. It’s our responsibility to be careful for ourselves and for our family members because if we die, neither it’s gonna affect to this world nor to political leaders.

                  “Corona-Corona Everywhere
                  Please Stay At Home,
                  Watch TV, Eat Healthy
                  Do What You Love.”

Here are some precautions that one should take:-
• Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
• Maintain safe distance.
• Stay home if you feel and unwell.
• Wear a mask.

Just keep smiling even if you’re corona positive, don’t be panic or lose your willing power. ‘Nothing is impossible’ that’s what we learn since childhood so don’t be sad, we will defeat it. You can do what you love to do at your home and I think it is a high time when you can focus on yourself and your future too. We are getting a lot of time, just try to make it productive from spreading happiness to help needy people. I got goosebumps whenever I take my country’s name – India because we have a large amount of people who believe in helping others for instance- doctors, police, army, staff, nurses, workers. These people are working day to night only for our lives so it is over responsibility to be safe and secure. Thousands of people are dying everyday and lakhs of people are infected by it. Let’s prove this world that we are citizen of India and can defeat this virus as well.

                      ” Believe in Yourself
                        Stay home, Stay safe
                        Get Vaccinated”

Russia Successfully complete trial of first COVID-19 Vaccine.

In MOSCOW state of clinical trail of vaccine which is produced by Russian institute of Epidemiology and microbiology on 18th June. The university has completed test and it was world first vaccine against by the coronvirus .

The director of the MOSCOW university of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector- Borne Diseases at sechenov, the objective of the stage of the way to the vaccine’s safety for human health, which was the successfully done. “The vaccine is confirmed. Lukashev told to sputnik for the safety of those vaccine that are in market. The vaccine development situation with the possibility of scaling up production.

The pandemic situation acted as only the institution but as a scientific and research technology center is the creation must important and complex produce as a drug. Vaccine is starting preclinical studies and protocol development, and clinical trial are currently underway.

The first trial of first group of 18 volunteers group of 23 volunteers. All volunteers, who were between ages of 18 to 65, has the spend 28 days in isolation, in the prevent them from of contracting to other infections. They are will be monitored for 6 months of their discharge as well.

VACCINE AND TREATMENT FOR COVID -19. Vaccine The world Health Organization is lists of the Russian vaccine in their are three phases in 1 of the clinical trial and any vaccine get approved of large scale production, undergo of three human trials.

The 9 Lakh marks in India and highly contagious virus which is a already claimed more than 23000 thousand of people lives.As the 8 May, two medications Trusted source had received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the food and Drug Administration (FDA). The remdesivir and a drug used to sedate people on a ventilator.

The EUA March for the antimalarial drugs chloro quine and hydrocholoro quine, but later revoked it Trusted Source after studies showed that they are unlikely be effective in treatment for COVID-19. An EUA allows doctor use to the drugs to treatment people with COVID-19 even before the medication have through the formal FDA approval process.

These drugs are still the beings tested trials to see the whether they are effective COVID – 19. This steps is needed to make the sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what proper dosses should be. It could be month before treatment area available that are known against COVID- 19. It could be even longer for the vaccine.

EIDD – 2801 This drug was creat by scientists at a nonprofit biotech owned by the Emory university. Research in mice has shown that it can reduce replication of multiple corona virus. Pharmaceutical company Merck and Ridge back Bioterapeutics LP signed an agreement in may to develop this drug. It already being tested in a clinical trial in the united kingdom. Unlike remdesivir, EIDD-2801 can be taken orally, which would, make it available to a larger number of people.

MERIMEPODIB (VX-497)

This drugs are development by the Viral Clear Pharmaceutical. has been shown by previously to have antiviral and immune- suppressing effects. It was tested against hepatits C but had only modest effects

The company is running a phase II trial of this drug. People with their will be randomized to receiver either by the merimepodib with placebo. The company hope have to result by late summer of this year.

How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Environment?

A BRIEF ON COVID-19:

The coronavirus disease- COVID-19 is a highly transmittable and pathogenic viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in Wuhan, China and spread around the world. Analysis revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like bat viruses, therefore bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not known, however, the rapid human to human transfer has been confirmed widely. There is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against COVID-19. However, few broad-spectrum antiviral drugs have been evaluated against COVID-19 in clinical trials, resulted in clinical recovery.

ORIGIN:

The first human infections were reported at the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province in China when a cluster of 41 pneumonia cases was identified. Deeper analysis showed that it was a novel coronavirus. A third – 66% of the cases – had direct exposure to the Huanan Seafood market. Fish, shellfish, wildlife, snakes, birds and several different types of meat and carcasses were sold at this market. The market was closed immediately, and it has not reopened since. (source: ScienceDirect.com, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673620301835?via%3Dihub)

The strongest speculation of the origin has been that the virus is somehow linked to the market given two thirds of the first batch of people infected had had ties with it. But even this hasn’t been proved yet. Nevertheless, Bats, in particular, have been studied closely because they are considered to be the natural host of coronaviruses.

this is not my image, credit to the artist

EFFECT of covid-19 on the environment:

The objective of this article is to analyse the positive and the negative environmental impact of this abhorrent pandemic, Covid-19.

The Positives-

  • Improved Air Quality: 

The coronavirus has temporarily slashed air pollution levels around the world (source: European Space Agency). Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite also show that over the past six weeks, the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year. Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma. While not a greenhouse gas itself, the pollutant originates from the same activities and industrial sectors that are responsible for a large share of the world’s carbon emissions and that drive global heating. Take transport, for example, which makes up 23% of global carbon emissions. Driving and aviation are key contributors to emissions from transport, contributing 72% and 11% of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions respectively. (Source: http://www.ipcc.ch)

If we consider the case of Delhi, on 6th April, for the third week Delhi continued to breathe clean. The weekend before this saw the best air quality in the national capital region (NCR) in 2020, with an average AQI of 46. The weekend before that, it was at 159.  There was a remarked improvement in air quality in the NCR, as the harmful PM10 and PM2.5 levels were down by 35-40% in Delhi (source: The Economic Times).

The visible positive impacts whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary. This is because they come on the back of an economic slowdown and human distress. During the pandemic, these emissions will stay lowered. But what will happen when the safety measures are eventually lifted?  The people will be back to regular.

  • Some Cut Downs on Wastage:

During the coronavirus outbreak, the habits that are coincidentally good for the climate might be travelling less, like cutting down on food waste as we experience shortages due to stockpiling.

  • Rethinking how we use energy:

A benefit of no travel and a lockdown is we will spend some time rethinking how we use energy.

The Negatives-

  • Increase In Use Of Single-Use Plastics:

With as many as 12,82,931 cases recorded in 211 countries ( as of 8 April 2020, 05:30 GMT, Source: WHO), the United Nations’ World Health Organization has recently declared the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. It is natural then that citizens around the globe are hastening to take every possible measure to safeguard their health against the virus. The most widespread of these precautions is the extensive use of surgical face masks.

These masks are mainly made of non-woven fabric such as polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene or polyester. While they keep out bacteria effectively, the masks are plastic-based, liquid-resistant products that have a long afterlife after they are discarded, ending up in landfill or oceans.  

Given that surgical masks are supposed to be worn for no longer than one day, their disposal- along with that of empty hand sanitizer bottles and soiled tissue papers- is leading to a massive trail of clinical waste in the environment.

Take the case of Wuhan, for example. The Chinese city which has been at the epicentre of the pandemic and which is home to over 11 million people, is reported to have generated 200 tons of clinical trash on a single day (24 February 2020), four times the amount the city’s only dedicated facility can incinerate per day. (source: scmp.com)

  • Mountain Of Waste:

With consumers stuck at home, there’s been a surge in the amount of household garbage as people increasingly shop online and order meals to be delivered, which come with a lot of packaging. (source: time.com)

Meanwhile, China is drowning under medical waste produced by hospitals including face masks and single-use tissues. If the waste is not handled properly, the garbage collectors are likely to catch and spread the infection

  • More Hand Wash, More Use Of Water:

Today, the only defence against the pandemic is that we wash our hands frequently — 20 seconds each time. The fact is, clean water remains the most important preventive health measure in the world.

A proper hand wash involves lathering soap and scrubbing hands on both sides for at least 20 seconds, according to WHO guidelines. A 30 to 40 second hand wash would use up around four litres of water if the tap is on, or two litres with the tap closed, while scrubbing with soap. Around 20 to 40 litres of water is used up every day, with the assumption that every person cleans her hands at least 10 times a day, instead of a usual average of five times a day.

A family of five members would thus need 100 to 200 litres of water per day only to wash hands. This would result in the generation of around 200 litres of wastewater per day, a 20 to 25 per cent increase in water demand and generation of wastewater from human settlements. (source: downtoearth.org.in)

It is also important to note that a large numbers of people in India and vast parts of the still emerging world do not have access to water, forget its portability. 

  • Climate Issues Take a Backseat:

Before the coronavirus, momentum seemed to be building behind governments and businesses taking steps to address climate change. As 2020 began, wildfires were destroying vast swaths of Australia; and the climate activist Greta Thunberg had become a household name. But the spread of the coronavirus has thrown an even more urgent crisis at governments and business: how to save the lives of millions of people, prevent health care systems from collapsing, and shore up economies that must now enter something comparable to an induced coma. 

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, the coronavirus crisis has been having short term positive environmental effects but long term negative effects on the environment. Production has decreased, there’s less pressure on energy resources, less fuel burnt in transportation, fewer carbon emissions, and less air pollution. However, all of this is temporary and in the long term, the environmental impacts of the coronavirus such as water shortage, increase in plastic production and waste and issues relating to correct waste disposable, to name a few, will pose as a greater problem.

Why it’s okay to not be productive right now

Pandemic or not, your self worth is not proportional to your productivity

Like me, if social media has become your only out to boredom, you may have noticed conversations about the notions of ‘productivity’ rocketing. Whether it is your twitter mate updating you with their daily baking sessions or an Instagram friend showing off the pages and pages of work that they finished, or your family groups bombarding you with motivational posts about how to spend your free time, if you have any. There’s so much pressure right now to make the most of this ‘free’ time. It’s exhausting to even try to keep up. The rhetoric around productivity is so romanticised, glamorised and even glorified. However, every time I come across a reminder to be productive, I find myself thinking whether is it really a practical thing or can being productive everyday be a damaging to oneself?

As a university student doing her under graduation, the increase of workload, since the onset of Coronavirus in India, hasn’t gone unnoticed- being given a task after task, a deadline after deadline took a toll on all students. At the start of lockdown, I had internals, I was constantly pulling all nighters revising for the tests, completing assignments and keeping up with the daily workload of the online lessons. In this sense, it felt like nothing even while being locked up in our homes. There was always something that had to be submitted, something that needed to be revised or something that I needed to start working on. I was trying, as was everyone, but oftentimes, it felt like all the efforts amounted to nothing in the end. The workload didn’t end with the end of the semester, having to take-up internships in the middle of a pandemic caused immeasurable pressure and paranoia. My work plans are disrupted by distractions, I find myself unknowingly overextending and the balance between work & free time has become invisible. Not to mention the stress is unavoidable, and I constantly find myself waking up wishing for the day to end.

Is there anything that can be done?

Last year, if someone told us that we would be trapped inside our homes in a state of quarantine due to a deadly pandemic, we would have laughed it off. So, at the time our worst and unimaginable fears are coming true, being plunged into uncertainty does not mean that we have to function effectively alongside it. And therefore, being productive is no longer as important as it was before.

It is of utmost importance to acknowledge that not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to use this situation to hone their skills, try new hobbies, explore new passions or build something unforgettable. In the midst of rapid unemployment, losing your loved ones, anxiety caused by separation from friends and family, isolation and loneliness, bad mental health is inevitable- and that’s okay. It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay needing to take time off. It’s okay to listen to your body. Don’t be mad at yourself for not being able to deal with the situation as efficiently as your friend or your parent or your Instagram mutual. Getting out of the bed at a reasonable time is a task enough. Not putting off taking care of yourself and your needs is a task enough. Keeping up with your friends and checking up on them is a task enough. Spending time with your family is a task enough. Doing these tasks is no where near the perfect productive day I imagined – and it won’t be for a long while. I was meant to be getting excited about interning opportunities and travelling more and capturing more. Now when everything has gone south, the task of prioritising yourself is a rebellious act.

How can we change this mindset?

If you’re anything like me, university and work mean that I can not entirely ignore all my responsibilities in favour of self-care. Prioritising what you have to do is a good start to make sure you can do what needs to be done. Practice different methods or working. For me, sitting at my desk for more than 7 hours, staring at the laptop screen is quite overwhelming, mentally exhausting and doesn’t leave me feeling fulfilled. Taking breaks to perhaps watch an episode from a show that I’m currently hooked to or to mindlessly scroll on twitter ensures that I feel the balance.

This unsettling environment can be taxing. Forgive yourself for making mistakes.

3 Ways for Students to Make Money Online Without Getting a Job

USE Depop

Similar to eBay, Depop is a platform for those who want to sell their clothing, jewelry, artwork, and anything else under the sun. The app is well known for being populated by vintage lovers and those who want to reduce their carbon footprint by practicing sustainability. The app also includes item recommendations based on your taste, top sellers based on style, and world favourites. Users can decide to follow shops and sellers in order to keep track of the items they are selling.

Starting up on this app is very elementary. The user only needs to connect their Paypal account for transactions and other payments. In addition to payments, many sellers and users on the app also participate in trades where they trade items from either store of similar value. After this step, the only thing left is setting up an account with a profile photo, a biography, and social media links, if that’s what your heart desires. From here, you can post photos of whatever you want to sell and choose the price.

If your item is a clothing item, a jewellery piece, or an accessory of any sort, wearing it in a photo for reference is normally preferred by buyers so they can see how it may fit another individual. Always take as many photos of your product as possible. This usually increases the likelihood that someone will buy it because you show all the angles of the product as well as the flaws it may have. Include a bunch of tags related to your item under the post. These tags are used for when other users search an item through keywords.

Youtube

For creators from all walks of life, Youtube is one of Gen Z’s golden media platforms. From compilations to make up tutorials to daily vlogs to art tutorials to photography tips, the platform is extremely versatile. And this is where you come in. Like the previous idea, take something you like and start a channel on it. If you’re really religious, start a channel on things you have learned or practice. If you love makeup, become a practicing beauty guru. Or maybe even just do daily vlogs and stream your routine in quarantine. The possibilities of Youtube are endless, but that doesn’t always promise you money. Many Youtubers correlate their large incomes from Youtube to brand deals, views and hard work But the message on success in the Youtube space is clear: you need to be patient. Success on Youtube doesn’t just come with the click of the upload button, you need to work for it or do something that is worth remembering. 

SELL YOUR ART

This option is much more universal than you think. Whether you are a skilled artist or not, selling paintings or art on eBay is much more simple than one would expect. If you’re an amateur then start by making a small abstract piece. If you’ve mastered an art form then you have an upper hand, show your art skills, create more art pieces since you have more time on your hand.

Living through a pandemic during the social media age

Wuhan Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), woman and man in suit with blue medical face mask. Concept of coronavirus quarantine

In the face of the coronavirus, social media is a great way for individuals and communities to stay connected even while physically separated. With the advent of social media in the 21st century, not only are we learning the latest news updates, but we’re also using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to provide personal and business updates. For businesses, this means leveraging social media to support employees and customers like never before. For the government, it means doing its best to efficiently share factual and up-to-date information.

Taking a look at how individuals, businesses, and government agencies have been sharing information and interacting with others on social media in the past few weeks, here are two important roles that social platforms are playing during the COVID-19 outbreak:

An influence on public response to the outbreak

Billions of people are free to publicly share their opinions on COVID-19 across various social platforms. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen individuals, organizations, and businesses use social media to spread awareness of COVID-19, as well as the public actions that can be taken. 

Here are a few of the most distinct ways social media has influenced the public since the virus reached epidemic and pandemic levels:

Social distancing and home quarantine are trending

Until a few weeks ago, many of us hadn’t even heard of “social distancing,” which refers to staying at least 6 feet away from others to help prevent the spread of infection. Now, social media users, from friends and family to celebrities and governments, are regularly calling for social distancing.

Boasting and shaming panic buying 

Many people have been excessively purchasing household goods, sanitization products, and food in fear that necessities will no longer be accessible — just like they do when there is a hurricane or some other natural disaster. This over-purchasing has become so commonplace that social media users have coined a phrase to describe it: panic buying. 

On social, panic buying is being discussed in two distinct ways: 1) people are posting about their own panic buying, showing images of carts filled with toilet paper, water bottles, and frozen meals; and 2) people are posting pictures of empty shelves or other people’s carts as a way to shame supposed panic buyers.

A source of information as well as misinformation

Never have we had more realtime information available at our fingertips in the face of a worldwide event. Such information can help keep us safe, providing us with a better understanding of what is occurring and how it might impact us and those we love. Yet, social media can also spread falsehoods, including miracle preventative measures, false claims about the implementation of martial law, conspiracy theories, and more. 

Finding trusted sources of information regarding COVID-19 is extremely important.

Social media companies are working to combat misinformation on coronavirus

At a time where many of us are grappling for as much information as we can get our hands on, the public is especially susceptible to false and sometimes hazardous claims, which are then passed on to others.

untrustworthy sources on social media

The best rule of thumb for making sure information is accurate is to check original sources and make sure that (a) those sources are indeed trustworthy, and (b) the information was relayed accurately. Just because someone claims to have learned something from a reliable source doesn’t mean they’re relaying that information accurately. 

If you’re the one presenting information, whether on behalf of a business or your personal account, it’s your responsibility to cite and fact-check your own sources. Be wary of using verbiage that is alarmist or absolute. There are still so many unknowns about the virus, and nobody is sure what the coming weeks and months hold. It’s always best to be cognisant of this and avoid unnecessary bold statements.

The Changing Landscape of Education During COVID-19

illustration by Sara Gironi Carnevale

Learn about the impact on children due to COVID-19 that has forced the schools to adapt with online education.

Imparting online education to children amid the COVID-19 crises has emerged as the go-to solution for schools looking to resume the classes amid the need to continue social distancing till a vaccine for the pandemic is found. Conducting online classes is helping education institutions across the world to beat the coronavirus lockdown and push ahead with the academic calendar. 

However, this trend has raised numerous concerns among the educational experts, at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). While some of them have expressed alarm about the potential dangers of internet exposure for young kids, others say they are scared that this digital shift may alienate the economically disadvantaged students who lack access to the technology needed to attend the digitally conducted classes. 

The internet exposure puts children at high risk of online sexual exploitation and grooming, as predators look to exploit the coronavirus pandemic. Online grooming is a worrying product of the internet and social media age, in which predatory adults builds online relationships with gullible children and trick or pressure them into sexual behaviour. 

Moreover, under the shadow of COVID-19, millions of children’s lives have temporarily shrunk to just their homes and screens of devices. It is high time we should adapt ourselves with the current situation and help our children to navigate this new reality. 

According to a report issued by the UNESCO, ‘Half of the total number of learners, about 826 million students kept out of the classroom by the pandemic, don’t have access to a household computer or a smartphone device. While 43 percent have no internet at home when the online based distance education is being opted by the schools and educational institutions to ensure continuity of academic year for students in different countries of the world.’ 

Challenges of Online Education 

There are many challenges when it comes to imparting the online education: 

Students who reside in small towns and villages struggle to get a good internet connection speed and mostly are unable to attend the online classes. This will especially prove disadvantage during the exam time as half the students will fail for sure because they will not to connect due to bad internet connection. 

Many of the students don’t have the devices, smartphones and laptops or money to keep the internet connection while also paying the school fees. These are the real challenges which hinder the process of the online learning. 

Not just students, some school teachers and educators are also struggling to get a hang of the technology. The school wants them to make PowerPoint Presentations (PPTs), record the video lectures, and take online classes through different apps and online platforms, but they aren’t instructed clearly as to how this should be done. This is more common among adults of 60 years and above who find the online medium to impart education quite challenging due to lack of hands-on experience with the latest technology.

The lack of real-world interaction among the students and teachers is another challenging factor that could have a negative impact on their relationships compared to regular classes. 

A New Reality

 As the security concerns of the video conferencing apps such as Zoom emerged in the early days of lockdown with regards to conducting online lessons, meetings and private appointments, most schools have started searching for alternatives to keep the academic year 2020-21 going and not suffer much with disruption owing to coronavirus pandemic. 

The COVID-19 has spawned up an unprecedented dependence on technology that keep up the operations running across different sectors and its potential long-term impact on the economy and lives of people across the world. Studies are been conducted on the increasing dependency on the gadgets among the children and adults to monitor its impact on mental health. 

Now it is more vital to provide child protection services to ensure they remain open and active throughout the pandemic, by ensuring that the devices they use have the latest software updates and antivirus programs for precautions against cyber attacks and threats. 

Additionally, UNESCO has advised the use of television and radio broadcasts as an alternative to reduce the already existing inequalities among students seeking to continue their education with the online classes.

Three Ways To Prevent Virtual Communication Fatigue While Successfully Working From Home

During the coronavirus-led lockdown, the concept of ‘workplace burnout’ has taken an all-new meaning, with employees having to deal with virtual communication fatigue. 

While working from home has been a sought-after perk for some employees, we have entered a new reality of frequent online meetings and an inability to disconnect from the job, which has created a new stressor, known as communication fatigue. With the coronavirus pandemic, companies across the globe opted for the work from home model to ensure the safety of their employees, and to follow the social distancing guidelines. 

As time went by, several organisations realised the benefits that work-from-home provides both for businesses as well as their employees. Many large organisations such as Facebook are considering permanent work from home policy for their employees. Twitter has already implemented work-from-home measures during the lockdown and declared it a success. 

In this context, the concept of ‘workplace burnout’ has taken an all-new meaning, with employees having to deal with virtual communication fatigue. Today, with the array of communication and conferencing platforms available, employees are continuously connected virtually with their colleagues, seniors, clients and more. 

This communication overload is resulting in employees feeling drained at the end of the day with virtual communication fatigue being one of the most talked-about topics today. With this perspective in mind, below are four ways to identify and prevent virtual communication fatigue: 

  1. Virtual time off 

As the work-from-home trend continues, many people within the workforce are noticing the blurred lines between work and home since they both are part of the same space today. It can be tempting for employees to schedule back-to-back meetings to get through the day quicker, but doing so can cause signs of fatigue to appear earlier than expected. While most of us take the support of caffeine to look and sound fresh, it can only do so much when up against consistent virtual meetings. To combat virtual communication fatigue that comes with a busy virtual meeting schedule, the cure is as simple as scheduling breaks during the day. Taking breaks at regular intervals will help you to recharge before the next call appointment and allow for extra planning so the next interaction goes as effortlessly as the last one. And your break doesn’t have to involve sitting at your home workstation. An effective break should include moving around to get your blood flowing and introduce a change of scenery. Talk to your family members, quickly whip up a salad or just take a power nap. 

  • Set a deadline and create an itinerary for every video call 

We’ve all been there before: one co-worker begins the meeting by asking how everyone is doing, what’s their current favourite thing to do and before you know it, half an hour is gone by without any discussion of the true topic at hand. As much as everyone loves to hear all about each other’s lockdown life; too much talk can cause meetings to go longer than planned. To prevent this, create an itinerary ahead of time. By scheduling minutes and other talking points, your meetings will run effortlessly while also limiting everyone’s virtual time to prevent communication fatigue. 

  • Block your front camera view 

One of the biggest contributors to video call fatigue is keeping the self-view feature open during meetings – no matter how wonderful your look turned out. As humans, we’re not used to staring at ourselves constantly. Regardless of how you feel about your quarantine look, self-view induces a feeling of anxiety; worried about how we look, sound, or what’s going on with the lighting and background. To prevent any sort of communication fatigue from view yourself, simply turn off the camera feature whenever you’re not presenting or not expected to talk. If you’re worried about how you’ll look on camera, open up your camera app before a meeting to make any last-minute adjustments, test the lighting, or make a quick location change. If closing the self-view isn’t possible on the platform you’re using, you can block it off by taping a piece of paper.

CAREER IN QUARANTINE

In these pandemic situations,  students, workers and jobbers have a bad effect on their careers. No one is allowed to work at the offices or study at the schools during lockdown days due to the huge break out of corona virus (covid19) worldwide. It has been more than two months since the prime minister has announced the 1st stage of lockdown in India. This decision has a brutal impact on not only country GDP but also careers (of youth especially).

HOW DOES QUARANTINE AFFECT CAREERS?

Career of a student depends on the quality of his education and the good quality education can be given through practicals, labs, experiments apart from classroom teaching. Better equipped labs, qualified staff can result better quality education. When the educational institutions are closed how can the students learn anything related to academics?

Apart from students’ career, many employees lost their jobs, new jobbers, who are going to start their professional career, have been locked at home. Government is providing few bacis necessities but what about their career life? This was the major problem arised during 1st stage of lockdown.

WHAT TO DO IN LOCK DOWN?

There are few beneficiary ways for students to make their lockdown days useful and productive. Many institutions have started provided classes through online with the availabe resources ( online applications, softwares and websites). Though they cannot provide best education as in school premises but it is atleast useful for some extinct. Besides there are few youtube channels which teach online courses for free. But if they feel like not appropriate then there are few sites which offer online trainings and teachings ( paid and unpaid ). How to prove to any company or organisation that we have learnt such a course? Yes, the websites provides certificates either physical or softcopy for those who finished the course.

And what about the employees and jobbers? Few companies provide online working facilities but thousands of employees lost their jobs. Some of them searching for online jobs ( part time or full time ) and internships. They may not be much satisfying for the employees but atleast they got something to work.

TRYST WITH YOUR BRAIN

Strategies to help you stop spiralling this quarantine season

The COVID-19 pandemic can stressful and incredibly frightening for some people. It may involve fear and anxiety about the disease which can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both children and adults. This is why it is crucial to take care of your mental health now more than ever. 

The following four solutions can be enacted in different ways, depending on your surroundings. 

METHOD ONE: Writing

Writing about the problems you are facing is a good start to getting through them. Start maintaining a journal or if you’re more electronically inclined even a new note on your phone would do. When you’re faced with a problem, write how it makes you feel, its ideal outcome, even if that counts as the worst-case scenario, and then write the possible solutions.

Don’t worry about maintaining grammar. When sentences start pouring out of you, your brain works to solve whatever’s going on. Later you might want to read it over and see if any possible solutions jump out at you; or don’t, if this act of writing was enough to make you feel better about the situation. 

PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: You might find it helpful to write a letter about everything you are feeling about the situation addressed to the person who caused it. If the problem is caused by a situation or circumstance rather than a person, address it to your feelings, the Universe, some higher power you believe in or even to yourself. The11 simple act of writing can lend you an immense amount of clarity and/or relief.

With your family around: Since everyone’s at home and on their phones, all the time, pulling yours out and pretending to send a text won’t draw any extra attention. Breathe and vent in your notes. Nobody will be the wiser.

METHOD TWO: Making Art 

Maybe after you start writing you immediately start self-editing and judging your own feelings. You might even be worried that if you put your feelings down on paper, someone could find and read them, and you will have to suffer the consequences. Instead, how about you grab magazines, crayons, paints, brushes, a sketchbook, or whatever medium you want to go for, and start making something tangible? Art offers a safer means of expression for people concerned with invasions of privacy by parents or relatives.

 PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: Go for it! Get every craft supply you own out of that cupboard and make a giant mess. You could start a long-term project that you can get back to whenever you’re not feeling great. You don’t have to be Van Gogh to benefit from this. The mere act of scribbling all over a piece of newspaper and going letting loose will make you feel a little better.

When you feel unsure of yourself, temporarily refocus your attention on making something that helps you resurface, like picking up a pen and scrawling aimless loops on a piece of paper. Your version doesn’t have to revolve around drawing or painting: Try paper-maché or do origami. 

With your family around: Acknowledging where you are and what you’re doing can quickly recenter you if you start to panic or dissociate. Draw the street you live in; the person at the table next to you; the contents of your fridge. Focusing largely on the details of what’s physically real can take you away from intangible feelings and can bring you back into yourself. If your family is artsy too, try craft tutorials or paint some old jeans- anything that distracting enough and gets your creative juices moving.

METHOD THREE: Talk It Out

Sometimes spiralling makes you want to shut every thought you’ve ever had away in a safe, never to be seen or heard from again. Sometimes when you’re already doubting your judgment, sharing your thoughts with someone, even a trusted friend, can feel icky. But if you’re capable of surpassing those feelings, even temporarily, sharing your thoughts and experiences with someone you trust— whether that’s your someone in your girl gang, parent, sibling or a twitter pal—can result in having fresh set of themes to help you work on what’s bothering you.

If your problems involve experiencing violence at home or you’ve been abused or assaulted, the legally mandated 

lockdown can present unprecedented challenges that are unfamiliar territory. If you are experiencing abuse, reaching out to the ones you trust is crucial. 

PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: Just start talking out loud. Try and suspend your feelings- with just enough practice, you can become your companion this way. This act of speaking your problems instead of bottling them can give you some cognitive distance from the issues bothering you. When you spill what’s on your mind in a space where no one around is there to hear you, it can lead to major realizations. 

With your family around: The only thing harder than opening up is figuring out who you can trust. If I have a family member whom I love dearly but who makes sure to tell me everyone else’s gossip, maybe they aren’t quite the right confidante when you’re already feeling unstable. The kind of confidante you’re looking for here is someone who will sit and listen, then ask the right questions-what have you tried so far? what do you need? how can I help?

If you aren’t up for face-to-face contact with a family member nor a call to your trusted friend, but you still want to talk to someone about facing any mental health issue due to the ongoing lockdown, call one of the many helplines designed to support people experiencing unpleasant feelings. The government has launched a crisis hotline which can be reached at 08046110007

METHOD FOUR: Exercise

If you need a temporary distraction to process your thoughts and feelings but an art project and poetry just isn’t doing it for you, try going for a long walk on your terrace, flailing around your bedroom wildly to ‘Starboy’, giving Pilates a shot or even practicing headstands until your hair permanently stands on end? 

Physical activity will reduce stress and fatigue and eventually help you to feel more alert. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do- it’s all about moving your body in ways that feel great and work for you. It doesn’t have to be a giant commitment. Just set small goals.

PLAN OF ACTION:

When you’re alone: This is a good time to experiment and find out what kind of physical activity works best for you. You could follow stress-reducing yoga videos, a zillion of which can be found on YouTube, If you’re feeling something which is more high-energy, the internet is filled with amazing dance tutorials available as well. Working out with your confidante over video call can also be an effective alternative, you’ll both get to blow off some steam and clear your heads, which is a great place to be in if you want to ask for advice or even spill your guts.

With your family around: Pick an activity that the family likes, yoga or hula hooping- the family favourites or any other and get going! High-energy activities like planks, push-ups, squats can be difficult, but rewarding, and doing it with another person makes it into a fun challenge

Union health ministry toll-free helpline for mental health issues: 08046110007