Worldwide around 4.7 million people are already affected by COVID-19. Out of which around 1.7 million have recovered and reported deaths account for around 3,15,000. In India alone confirmed cases are close to 1,00,000, of which around 40,000 have recovered and 3,000 have died. Not just in terms of mortality, morbidity, healthcare cost, there are other hidden costs as well to this unfortunate pandemic of COVID-19. This includes the:
- Economic cost due to the lockdown
- Loss of sales
- Closed shops
- Food businesses
- Loss of jobs
- Psychological apprehension due to involved uncertainty
- Hidden elements
Looking at the giant death numbers, are we dying more?
Let’s look at another set of numbers from India and elsewhere to confirm the above statement.
According to a report of 2018, submitted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways transport research wing, India ranks 1st in the number of road accident deaths across the 199 countries (World Road Statistics, 2018) followed by China and the US.
As per the WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2018, India accounts for almost 11% of the accident-related deaths in the World. A total of 4,67,044 road accidents have been reported by States and Union Territories (UTs) in the calendar year 2018, claiming 1,51,417 lives and causing injuries to 4,69,418 persons.
This number will be certainly affected due to this COVID-19 lockdown, affirmative. Not to exclude the air accidents that have also been ruled out due to this.
Suicides and domestic violence can still happen but deaths due to crimes like murder that approximately accounts for around a lakh death a year are also negligible due to lockdown circumstances.
Deaths due to food-borne reasons may still happen to lower-income categories but saving the mortality and morbidity in middle and high-income groups, accounting for some number (100000/year).
Around 1.5 million people around the world died of tuberculosis in the year 2019. I guess in 2020, we don’t have to worry about that number.
We cannot forget the change in lifestyle that the lockdown has brought upon.
- Least possible pollution status in years
- Cleaner air
- Home-cooked healthy meals (less maida, less oil, fresher vegetables)
- Questionably stress-free work pattern
- Lack of hurry, curry, and worry
- At home workouts, functional bodyweight exercises
I mean, yes we cannot go out for a walk or a gym but I can adapt to yoga right here on my mat. And for a person who wants to practice physical activity, there are loads one can organize.
Isn’t this what we wanted or so long, for controlling that high blood sugar, elevated blood pressures, that gradually depositing cholesterol, that exceeding waistline and our unstopping exhausting heart.
This pandemic, in spite of all valid reasons, can act as a reset button to our lives. Let’s look at it as a very thin but shiny silver lining and gear up for the rest. I know it’s been so long and you have done it all, but a healthy lifestyle is a lifetime choice, not our helplessness, live it more, live it full…
Dr. Anand Pandey | Director & Senior Consultant – Cardiology – Adult | Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi