Heading in to the final week of lockdown 3.0, we are at a moment where we want every part of the country to continue performing well and get out of the rut. Conscious Citizen effort can get cities and towns, villages out of the crisis that has enveloped them. The daily analysis by Prof Shamika Ravi and her team seems to suggest so. As per today’s report:

  1. As on 17th of May, total cases in India stand at 90,648 and active cases growing at 3.1% which means active cases are doubling every 23 days. If the doubling of active cases has to suggest anything it can only suggest that number of recoveries too are on the increase. As per latest reports, they stand in the range of 35 – 38%, much higher than the global average of about 27%. Commendable Job!
  2. Prof Ravi talks about flattening of the curve i.e no significant rise in active cases. Save for Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamilnadu, rest of the states have shown a remarkable growth in the number of recoveries
  3. Another key data point that will drive decisions regarding lifting of restrictions, classification of zones and kickstarting commercial activity is source of new cases. Maharashtra, Gujarat, TN, Delhi figure in this list in descending order. Aggressive contact tracing + testing and containment is required to slow down the increase in new cases
  4. Learnt another measurement technique regarding epidemics – R0 (‘R naught’). – mathematical term that indicates how contagious an infectious disease is. It’s also referred to as the reproduction number. As an infection is transmitted to new people, it reproduces itself.

It pays to follow Prof Shamika Ravi on Twitter and learn more about how countries are combating COVID 19

The best twitter handle in India that gives a detailed view of the COVID19 crisis

Our Hon’ble Prime Minister has initiated a series of measures to kick start the country’s economy as the lockdown measures are gradually eased. The theme of these measures is ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant India. The measures are being announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister and care is being taken to address every single sector of the economy. This space needs to be watched and analysed as many will tie in to the ambitions and promises spelt out by the current government at the start of its new term just a year ago.

Hon’ble Prime Minister’s message to the nation on picking up economic activity and the government’s role in it

The railway ministry continues with its stupendous effort of moving workers from different parts of the country to their home towns. Indian railways has so far transported more than 15 lakh stranded people by running about 1,150 shramik (labour) special trains. During the last 3 days, Railways has transported close to 2 lakh people per day. Railways is ensuring comfort by distributing food and water to the passengers right up to the point they reach their destination.

A couple praying before boarding a train back to their hometowns
This moving image of a couple thanking the land of Gujarat for having given them everything. This, before boarding a train back to their place of origin. They promised to be back and continue with their work

The FDA has been active in granting emergency approvals for companies conducting trials related to COVID-19. Some of the therapies (vaccine / drug / drug combination) show early promise while some fail early on. The world has truly come together towards finding a therapy that is aimed as a cure for COVID-19.

  1. The influenza antiviral favipiravir has shown early positive results as a COVID-19 treatment in a Russian trial.
  2. The FDA has granted Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate a fast-track designation, making it the first potential vaccine to receive the agency’s expedited review status.
  3. Researchers at the University of Albany said they found no benefit from using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. There have been at least two other studies that came to the same conclusion.
  4. Neovii has signed a research and licensing agreement with Tel Aviv University to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a clinical trial of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral remdesivir combined with Eli Lilly’s anti-inflammatory Olumiant (baricitinib) for treatment of COVID-19 infections.
  6. A triple antiviral combination has shown promise in a phase 2 trial of 127 patients in Hong Kong with mild to moderate COVID-19.
  7. The Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science is planning a phase 2 trial of Evelo Bioscience’s investigational anti-inflammatory treatment for COVID-19 patients.
  8. Sorrento Therapeutics and the Mount Sinai Health System are collaborating to develop an antibody cocktail that could treat COVID-19.

While the country works hard to lift itself out of the self imposed economic shutdown, workspaces continue to operate from homes across the world. My company, while recovering from COVID 19 has had to deal with another man made crisis. As of now they seem to have come out of it but the cost we will end up bearing will be visible only in the upcoming months. Various benchmarking exercises indicate the worst is yet to come for us.

School for the Miss. continues on alternate days. She is busy during the day with home cleaning and clothes washing. This has kept her fit and energetic. Mrs. is busy with Yoga, breathing exercises and has started with some walk around the building. She also tries out new ways of cooking the same dishes and of course doing the dishes. Fare offered last week:

Packed lunch from a Gujarati caterer - Cauliflower capsicum and peas curry, Aloo rassawala, Marwadi kadi, Gujarati dal. Methi thepla and Chapatis
Packed lunch from a Gujarati caterer – Cauliflower capsicum and peas curry, Aloo rassawala, Marwadi kadi, Gujarati dal. Methi thepla and Chapatis

Sunday lunch was from a caterer offering freshly cooked local fare. Good food that lasted us the entire day.

Plating the food along with a piece of chilli
Plating the food along with a piece of chilli

Rasam figured twice in this weeks’ menu. It is said that if you are able to relish the taste of rasam, your taste buds and system are in perfect shape.

Two days saw us relish single rice based dishes. At every opportunity, Mrs. experiments with different masala bases and we end up with a unique taste.

If rasam featured twice, sambhar had to feature atleast once. Here is the eternally popular murungakkai (drumstick) sambhar with roast potato curry.

Murungakkai (drumstick) sambhar with paruppu sadam and roast potato curry
Simple ones in life are always the best – Murungakkai (drumstick) sambhar with paruppu sadam and roast potato curry

The pick of the week had to be the palak paneer made as a collaboration between Miss. and the Mrs.

Palak paneer with two chapatis, boondi raita and a chilli pickle
Palak paneer with two chapatis, boondi raita and a chilli pickle

To round up the week, an idli variant (mutant) was to be tried. This was Oats idli with pudina (mint) + coconut chutney. Turns out that there was no spare idly that had to be carried forward.

Oats idli with pudina (mint) + coconut chutney
Oats idli with pudina (mint) + coconut chutney

India’s social structure is its biggest advantage. We still listen to elders, father figures and think regarding the well being of everyone around us. Our conduct is our cure.

Lastly, had to trudge about 8 kms in return to collect a packet of medicines which had reached the nearest post office. Joints asking a lot of questions.

Things will get better by the day. Har Har Mahadev!

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