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Smile has no side effects, even during Covid

Smiling is said to boost your immunity



Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

By Shilpa Bhasin Mehra

Published: Wed 19 Jan 2022, 9:59 PM

Aaiichu… bless you. I miss those days. How an innocent sneeze raises such an alarm these days. It is looked at with fear, suspicion and disdain. How a cold meant soups, herbal teas and steam (seems like a century ago).

A flu was called a common flu just because it was common. A cough was handled by honey, lozenges and the good old gargles. That’s it. End of story. Then how did this story take such a drastic turn in 2020? How did something so innocent become a villain?

We need to be cautious but not paranoid. Every simple cold is not Covid 19. And on the other hand, an asymptomatic person may not even have a cold and cough. Since we seem to be living with it for some time and its departure is not known, we need to be more educated on it.

The news on Covid 19 seems to be evolving with rocket speed. So, we can never be totally up to date. Its tomorrow already in Australia. What we need along with the knowledge of it, is also to use our common sense. We know our body better than anyone else. It has its own GPS and that tells us where we are facing blocks and need to reroute. Somethings have stood the test of time. Let’s recall those in these extremely rapid times (strangely a test is called a rapid test too).

When we were not well, we rested. We stayed in our rooms and many times ate food there too, simply because going to the dining table was an exertion. It was kind of isolation, not stringent of course. We drank hot liquids when we had a cold and cough. We kept our tissues and hankies to ourselves and disposed them off so that infection would not spread. We did steam and gargles. If we had fever, we took a Panadol. For a headache we put balm. Basically, our body was telling us that it wasn’t up to speed and needed the rest.

If you think about it, these very simple home remedies that have been around for centuries, are recommended for Covid 19 too. Please follow the government guidelines and medical protocols, take the vaccines, wear masks and maintain social distancing. But don’t forget the simple things we can do at home for ourselves. We can only help others, if we help ourselves first. So first we need to make sure we are fine, so that we can help those who really need our help.

Paranoia doesn’t help at all. In fact, it is a known fact that stress adversely affects our immunity system. So, in times when we are banking on our immunity system to keep us safe from Covid 19, let’s not take undue stress.

One industry that has evolved and multiplied exponentially is the health and wellness (and that’s a no brainer). Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and herbal products are at an all-time high. Do whatever suits you and your body. I know people who have walked 10,000 steps and more in a small 2-bedroom apartment. Yoga can be done on a six-feet mat that can be folded away. Deep breathing just about anywhere, with no gadgets or space needed. There is so much we can do without equipment and gyms. We have adapted and done so well.

So don’t let a sneeze frighten you. We are stronger than that. We need to keep our guard up and also our morale. Depressing news does just that: depresses. We need to find our own mechanisms to keep our immunity system up and running. The virus is keeping us all on our toes with its quick evolving variations and mutations. The effectiveness of the vaccines comes into question for the new variations.

Boosters are then recommended, but we haven’t seen the end of the virus yet, and that makes us wonder when will this saga end. Let us not even get into the side effects of anything, because we have no choice. We have to do what needs to be done and accept it with everything that it brings.

So, while the virus is mutating and the vaccination drives are on, let us do what we can. Everyone has his or her plates and hands full — the governments and doctors. Let’s use our common sense and age-old remedies to handle the situation as long as it is manageable and seek professional help when we need it. There is little point in adding load to the already overburdened systems. Let the really needy get the help. Paranoia has no cure anyway. If you are sick, stay home. This one is important. We should do it all the time, regardless of Coronavirus. Coming to work or school sick is selfish, don’t do it.

I really want to say this line of Shakespeare, “All’s well that ends well”. The world has never waited for an end more anxiously than of Covid 19. Until then, let’s keep our guards up, masks on and social distance in place. And even if others can’t see you smile, smile on because it boosts your immunity — with no side effects.

Shilpa Bhasin Mehra is a legal consultant based in Dubai and the founder of SBM Consultancy (formerly Legal Connect.


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