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How to boost your immunity to fight Covid-19

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As the focus shifts to India and its rising number of Covid-19 cases, a new book suggests ways to boost immunity and overcome fear in the fight against the deadly virus.

‘Save your family and self from viruses’ by Shiv Nandan says people have to prepare themselves for the fight against Covid-19 and any other virus by developing immunity, which they can do with exercise and proper diet — the route to good health. The book suggests exercises for all ages, from five-year-olds to the elderly. These, the writer claims, will lead to strengthening the internal organs like the lungs, the heart, the liver, intestines, veins and arteries, the digestive system, the respiratory system, and help in blood purification.

This mysterious disease, besides attacking the lungs can attack the heart, kidneys and the brain as well. It is, in fact, a system-related disease not just a virus attacking the body, to combat which doable exercises have been suggested which would lead to building stamina and some muscle mass, claims the book. Discussed in the book are also details of a diet that will contribute to building immunity.

The result: no viral or bacterial infection has to be feared, including the present scourge Covid-19.

But there are other problems that Covid-19, the invisible enemy, has created because of months of staying indoors and not having much to do: stress and fear. To combat them, simple methods of meditation have been suggested which lead to a calmer state of mind, eliminating fear.

The book says: No infection, viral or bacterial, has to be feared. We cannot allow our lives to be destroyed by them. Instead, be prepared to combat them. And start living the normal happy life we ought to. Without the fear of any infection in our minds.

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Health & Fitness

3rd Covid Wave Unlikely To Mirror Devastating 2nd Wave: Top Medical Body

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Rapid scale-up of vaccination efforts, says the study, could play an important role in mitigating the present and future waves of the disease.

New Delhi: A potential third wave of Covid infections seems unlikely to be as severe as the second wave, says a modelling study by a team of scientists from the Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Imperial College London, UK. Rapid scale-up of vaccination efforts, says the study, could play an important role in mitigating the present and future waves of the disease.

India’s first wave of SARSCoV-2 infection began in late January 2020 with a peak attained in mid-September. This phase was relatively mild compared to the second wave that followed, from mid-February 2021 onwards, exhibiting a more explosive spread across the country. A major factor driving this second wave is the emergence of more-infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2, principally B.1.1.7 (Alpha variant) and B.1.617.2 (Delta variant), of which the latter has played a dominant role in recent months.

Third waves have emerged in other countries – like the UK and the USA – and are driven by a range of factors, says the study.

The results suggest that a third wave, if it should occur, is unlikely to be as severe as the second wave, given the extent of spread that has already taken place in India, it adds.

“Consequently, for a virus to cause a major third wave in the face of this pre-existing immunity, extreme scenarios for the abrogation of that immunity are required, or for that matter, for the transmission fitness of any novel virus,” says the article in the Indian Journal of Medical Research.

For the wave to be as devastating, at least 30 per cent of the population who had been infected earlier must entirely lose their immunity, or an emerging variant of the virus must have a reproductive rate (R) over 4.5, that is, each infected person should be spreading to at least 4-5 others and these must occur almost immediately after the second wave ends, according to the study.

The emergence of a third wave in India could be substantially mitigated by the expansion of vaccination, says the study, adding the rollout of vaccine should be in such a way as to cover 40 per cent of the population with two doses over a period of three months following the end of the second wave, which is on the decline currently.

Crowding, use of mask and physical distancing during social interactions are all key factors shaping transmission rate and therefore population-level spread, the study cautions.

“Lockdown-release mechanisms could be a plausible driver for a third wave in India, depending on how effectively lockdowns have controlled transmission during the second wave particularly when instated at an early stage of the second wave and prior to attainment of peak,” says the study.

The analysis, says scientists, is intended to be illustrative and not predictive.

“In the present approach, we considered essentially a uniform waning rate over the spectrum of severity. Second, the basic reproduction number (equivalently, the rate-of-transmission) was assumed to remain constant during each wave,” said the scientists explaining the methodology used in the study.

Source : NDTV

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Books & Authors

Fiction flourishes in contradiction: Pak author Mira Sethi

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In a country where assertive self-expression can be frowned upon, how to be yourself? Maybe through sneaky networks of solidarity, by improvising identities as one navigates life…

While many of the characters in author Mira Sethi’s debut story collection ‘Are you Enjoying?’ (Bloomsbury India) are professional performers, even those who are not, can be skilled chameleons.

“To live in a society with strong views about what constitutes ‘virtue’ and ‘vice’, means, as a citizen, having to alter and contort one’s authentic self in order to survive. Roshan, the queer chai-boy on the set of ‘Breezy Blessings’ says to Mehak, the actress: ‘About drama, you know nothing.’ She may be the actress, but as a queer person navigating middle-class Pakistani society, he understands everything about drama, and how to communicate effectively via code, innuendo, signal,” Mira Sethi tells IANS.

As the characters in the stories strive for personal freedom, the author asserts that they are in fact trying to throw off the straitjacket imposed by society — how does one negotiate personal freedom in a traditional society?

“I wanted to show both the resilience of my characters, but also the vulnerability of people caught between the pull of the past, and the lure of modernity. Family – the imperatives of fathers and mothers – is a major theme in the book; there was a desire to portray how the burdensome pressures of family (the past) interact with (modern) aspirations of young, urban people,” she says.

Taking around six years to write the book, ‘Breezy Blessings’ was the first story she wrote.

“I would email myself snippets, thoughts and observations. It was only after I wrote the first draft of ‘Breezy Blessings’ (in my gmail inbox!) that I opened a Word document, and began taking myself seriously as a writer,” the writer-actor says with a smile.

Stressing that she draws from the sights and sounds encountered in life – the power dynamics on the set of a show, the ways in which Urdu and English are mixed and her lived experience as an observer and participant in Pakistani life, Sethi works best in the mornings, before she has interacted with anyone, the space when her mind is blank slate.

“I sometimes won’t shower until 5 or 6 pm until I’ve had four good hours of writing. Flow-state writing is hard to achieve, but I find I’m able to do it if I start first thing in the morning. Of course, then getting up to make breakfast is an interruption.”

Talk to her about the brilliant fiction in English from Pakistani origin writers in the past two decades, and she feels that fiction flourishes in contradiction.

Adding that Pakistan is a society in transition, and there is a lot of tension to be harnessed in the space between the laws of the state, not to mention the ways in which they interact with individual desire and autonomy, the author adds, “Young people get their news – and their aspirations – from social media and television. Their desires are secular, but the frameworks into which these people are born are traditionalist.”

Ask her about the experience of growing up in a progressive family in a religious country, and Sethi, daughter of well-known journalists Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin, who has also been seen in Pakistani serials including ‘Silvatein’ and ‘Mohabat Subh Ka Sitara Hai’, says, “Identity politics play out in unusual ways in a country like Pakistan, where labels like ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ can mean different things depending on their context. I’m happy my book has been able to navigate the dignity of people who often don’t fit in.”

But has she felt the ‘burden’ of being born to famous parents? “Not when it comes to writing fiction,” she smiles.

For someone who feels that she would be a poorer writer if it weren’t for acting, there is another book brewing, “I believe so, but I’ll find out when there are words, stumbles and fumbles on the page.”

source: The Statesman

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Lifestyle

From weight loss to strong bones, health benefits of millets

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When you ask people about the most common food in India, they usually respond with wheat, rice and pulses. Food grains are ingrained in our culture, but there are better alternatives. Did you know, humans require more than 20 mineral elements for the body to function properly?

Calcium (Ca), one of the essential macro minerals, is needed in relatively large quantities in the diet to maintain good overall health. There is one ingredient which is not only simple to prepare, but also entails many health benefits — Millets.

Prabhu Gandhikumar Co-Founder TABP Snacks and Beverages shares simple ways prepare and use millets :

Boosts Immunity Level

Millets are high source of antioxidants and therefore are considered as an immunity booster to flush out harmful radicals from the body. It aids your body’s detoxification by supplying antioxidants such as quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, and other useful catechins, which aid in the elimination of toxins and the neutralization of enzymes in your organs. Thus, preventing variety of health issues.

Aids and manages weight loss in humans

Millets help you lose weight since they are low in calories and gluten-free. They’re high in complex carbohydrates and can help health-conscious people reach their fitness goals easily. Millets also help to lower your cholesterol levels and keep your weight in check.

Helps in Digestion

Millets have a high fiber content, which helps with digestion and prevents constipation, bloating, and acidity. Good digestion avoids digestive complaints which humans generally makes, like gastrointestinal cancer and kidney/liver complaints.

Reduces Cardiovascular Risks

Millets are high in essential fats, which provide our bodies with their own natural fats. It prevents us from storing excess fat in our bodies, lowering our risk of high cholesterol, paralysis, and other heart problems. Millets contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and increase circulation.

Millets fight back Type-2 diabetes

Millets, as you might have noticed, are high in magnesium, a mineral that is critical for starch digestion. Magnesium is needed for the production of many carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, including those that regulate insulin action. Researchers discovered that eating magnesium-rich whole grains can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, it can help to prevent osteoporosis and bone damage.

When embarking on a journey of healthy living or attempting to lose weight, you do not deprive yourself by refusing to eat; rather, you substitute those foods that do not help in weight loss with healthier foods that promote good health. Millets will keep you fit and strong for the rest of your life. It provides a significant amount of nutrients for our human diet. Millets should be a part of your diet for solid, healthy bones!

source: The Statesman

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