Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The unsung hero of 2020

We are almost done with 2020, but I don't think we are done with neither the 'new flu' nor the new life that it has forced us to adopt. 

Our lifestyle has changed irrevocably. My gut feeling is that it's going to stay this way, at least a good part of it, even after we all have got our jabs, that's not before a year, I guess.

In the first few months of this year, even scientists were divided on whether wearing a mask would help or not. Soon after, someone discovered that the virus has the potential to be airborne for a good amount of time. And that made the mask an inalienable part of our attire. This gives us a good indication of how 2020 has progressed.

Wars come with sound and fury, wreak havoc. But what we have seen this year is a silent killer wreaking far greater havoc than wars. 

I don't think we will ever get to know the real extent of the damage that has been done to everything from nations' economy to people's livelihoods and wellbeing.

While everyone -- from common citizens to health professionals to scientists -- has been battling to keep themselves and others safe, what struck me as remarkable was the scientific fact that all it takes to kill this virus is just 20 seconds of exposure to the humble soap. How strange that something that can be killed so fast with something everyone has in their homes has turned out to be so deadly!

2020 has been the year of the soap, the unsung 'hero', 'whom' we took for granted, and paid not much attention to. The assertion of its power was so much that we have all been fed with primers on how to wash our hands!

Interestingly, this is not the first time that the soap is proclaiming its prowess. Look back into history, and we see that periodically scientists have had occasions, such as we have now when they had to emphasise the need to wash hands.

19 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Spot on, Pradeep! As a health professional (rtd) I have often fought the battle of getting folk to wash their hands. I was brought up doing it and somewhere around the 1990s it seemed to fall out of fashion... perhaps, (ironically) with the rise of the alcohol-based cleansers that are still touted as an alternative but are really only a temporary solution. Nothing - absolutely nothing - beats good old soap and water!!!

    Sadly, I feel you are correct about 2021 likely continuing with the strain of restriction. And indeed that will feel like normal in some contorted way. YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yamini - Thanks for the comment. Continuous use of alcohol-based sanitizers is not good for the skin too.

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  2. There's a reason why soap has survived for so long. If only we remembered to utilize all the tools we have had at hand all along.

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  3. Yes. mask and soap are the unsung heroes of these challenging times. We had many soap ads on TV reminding us of their importance and telling us generously that using any brand of soap in addition to their own is helpful. Selfless marketing, don't you think? ;)

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Hi Rajesh - Yes, very true. A very good initiative by them, in fact.

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  4. Your reference to the vulnerability of the deadly virus to the humble soap brought a smile. But soap could only boast of its preventive capability, while the curative vaccines were yet to make their entry. Nevertheless the soap richly deserved its heroic status, albeit unsung.

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  5. Yes, soap is what it takes. However, there's a lot of band wagonning (if I can put it like that). I notice I'm being told at the washing machines to use 60 degree washes, but it's not the heat that kills the virus, it's the soap...as I understand it. Anyway, I wish you the best of all possible Christmases and a happy 2021, Pradeep. Let's work on our positivity and optimism!

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  6. Soap and hand sanitizer seem to have been our saviours this year Pradeep and it's interesting how something so small can make such a difference in our fight against infection. Have a wonderful Christmas (I know you'll be missing your father-in-law) and I'll see you in 2021 :)

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  7. Excellent write up. At this pandemic time, soap acts like sarva roha nivarani (cure for all health problems) with regard to coronavirus.

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  8. I'm thankful to live in an era where sanitation is understood and a place where it's readily available. Funny enough, my mother often got frustrated at my younger self. "You just washed your hands," she would often grumble. It turns out that I was just ahead of the curve. :) Stay safe!

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  9. I remember when my late father had been admitted to Apollo for his heart condition...An entry to the CCU required people to properly sanitize their hands...Now its like a world wide CCU!!

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  10. Yes. Soap is the hero. Mask is the zorro.
    Happy to inform the success of Online Handbook of Industrial Engineering - 2019 Version - Narayana Rao A to Z 2020 Blogger.

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  11. Hi Pradeep - interesting film - ... the Beeb and no mention of Florence Nightingale?! It takes time for science to be evaluated ... and people to get to grips with common sense, and men to get off their pedestals!

    But to get back to hand washing ... essential with soap ... but so many new things are brought in that are unnecessary ... but money is spent, profit is made ... what effect all these sanitisers will have is yet to be found out.

    Yes - we're here for a reasonable time into 2021 - let's hope it's eased for everyone in the world by the summer ... take care and all the best - Hilary

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  12. Yes, correct, the soaps, masks and sanitizers are heroes that have become our home-mates. The beautiful smile of pals can be read only through eyes.

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    1. Hi Sarala - Thanks for the comments. You are absolutely right.

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