10 innovative things you can do during lockdown [Public Health Students Edition]
Nirdesh Baral and Sandip Pahari
COVID-19 has been declared as pandemic by WHO at 11th March 2020. As of 15 May 2020, more than 4.53 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in more than 188 countries and territories, resulting in more than 307,000 deaths, it has become a threat to the human existence. (More: WHO Dashboard) The whole world is focused to mitigate this problematic situation. Nearly, all the country round the globe has imposed lockdown to restrict the mobility of their situation to reduce the transmission of the virus. Public Health practitioners are working as in-charge in community, national, sub-continental and global health to minimize health impact of COVID-19.
In this article, we will present you ten innovative ideas that you can do during lockdown.
1. Support Lockdown and Stay at Home
As a public health student, you sure have the idea of the virus epidemiology and modes of transmission. You would already have discovered that “Lockdown” is only alternative to fight against COVID-19 pandemic in developing country as we lack enough medicinal technology and equipment to provide curative for the infected ones. Similarly, it is responsible of Public Health Students to obey this lockdown religiously and also advocate in community level maintaining social distance or digitally.
2. Bust myths and circulate facts
Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have encountered various myth heavily circulated across the social media and internet. We should be responsible and aware enough to distinguish as myth or facts. It is our duty to bust all the myths circulated across social media and create awareness among friends and family circles providing them logical and factual interpretation. Also, only message and news from verified sources such as MOHP, WHO CDC etc, should be shared. [You can take online quiz to aware yourself about myths of COVID-19 at : https://bit.ly/34D1tmG ]
3. Stay up-to-date about COVID-19 news.
Public Health is dynamic phenomenon; hence it is expected that a public health should be up-to-date about COVID cases and news of their nation and worldwide. Rather than only knowing the cases number, you must be able to explain trends and pattern rationally. You are also expected to know about the various strategies that countries are adopting to tackle against this pandemic.
[A live repository and dash-board for COVID-19 in Nepal, WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation dashboard, Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority COVID19 Dashboard, COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)]
4. Attend/Organize Awareness Competition
We all are aware that education spreads through interaction. If you are part of some organization and clubs you can organize various art/poster/quiz/painting/song/poem competition targeting different audience spreading positive vibes in this lockdown. For instance, Climate Action, TB Free World, Digital Studios have organized various competition for COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the competition award certificates, prizes while some offer E-certificates. Also, as a Public Health it is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and skill in these competitions and improve and learn something new during this period.
5. Learn new software
With this growing age of technology, tools and techniques for Public health has also been digitalized. Various extension, modules, programs, software are available both freely and paid available on internet. In this era, most popular software include Epidata, Epiinfo,ODK collect, Kobo Collect etc. Similarly, data processing software include SPSS ,Epi-info, R, ODK Aggregate,Epidata Analysis etc. In this pandemic, WHO have introduced GO-DATA with GOHRAN as best epidemiological tool to collect data during outbreak. It contains wide range of graphs to visualize epidemiological details.GO-Data is a must learn app for you.
6. Enroll Yourself
A concept of open university has been already popular in western countries. Without restriction of the geographical boundaries you can enroll yourself to various courses offered by the top universities and organization around the globe. Open WHO, Harvard Online Courses, Coursera etc are offering various online courses where you can enroll for free and gain top-class education from top lectures and get new insights over public health. (Recommended Online Courses for Public Health Students)
7. Critical Review of COVID-19 guidelines
Various health organization and government along are releasing new guidelines to tackle about the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the guidelines include Updated Testing Guidelines for COVID-19, Instant Hand Sanitizer Standard 2076, COVID-19 Resources(Guidelines, SOPs,Recording,Reporting formats, Interim Guideline for the establishment and Operationalization of molecular Laboratory for COVID-19 testing in Nepal, etc. As a public health student, you are expected to be aware about these national policies and critically review these guidelines and interpret rationally.
8. Study your course material
COVID-19 pandemic has postponed our exam schedule. As a student, you are expected to invest at least one quarter of day in learning. Studying should be continuous but not limited to course material. Along with the course, you could educate yourself about various health phenomenon and features. The continuous habit of studying will surely aid for your exam preparation.
9. Write Instant Articles
You could utilize your lockdown period by writing various articles based on your interest sharing your opinions and knowledge. Similarly, you can freelance as content writer or blog writer to gain extra income. Most of the website offer as low of $3 per article but vary according to quality and issue of articles. Along with income, article writing also make you professionally proficient in proposal and report writing.
10. Develop Proposal and EOI
Various donor agencies and NGO’s want to observe various health phenomenon and health determinants after lockdown. Hence, various research opportunities will rise up after lockdown. So it will be better to be prepared for grabbing such opportunities.
11. [Bonus] Burn extra calories
A lot of us will surely curl up to bed and stay lazy. It will be productive if you plan to do ruthless workout at least 30 min/day breaking your comfort zone and setting new boundaries. A wide-range of workout schedule could be found on internet as per your body type. Similarly, workout will sustain your body appearance and make you healthy both physically and mentally.
Nirdesh Baral, 7th Sem BPH Student, School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell No. +977-9816138346
Sandip Pahari, Assistant Professor, School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Email: email@example.com, Cell No. +977-9846261237
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