6 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

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With a lack of essential vitamins, stress caused by uncertainty and staying indoors all day rises the need for a boost in one's immunity. Here are 6 ways you can aim to boost yours in this lockdown:

1. Cold Showers
The ample benefits that cold showers have on your skin are all highlighted enough across the internet. Supermodels even go to the extent of dipping themselves in ice buckets to have glowing skin before important photoshoots. But what is not widely known is that cold showers have the capabilities of boosting one’s immune system. Wim Hof, a guru of all things cold explains that benefits of cold baths included speeding metabolism, reducing inflammation, improved sleep, and also improved a person’s immune response. Besides, it is summer after all, so this should be quite an easy step to follow this lockdown period. 

2. Sweat (or stretch) It Out
Most people are well-aware of the link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Regular exercise improves your mood, reduces stress, and also contributes to general well being overall. The benefits of yoga too, are understated, to be honest. With millions of free workout videos available to you and also made convenient by many apps, you must choose to incorporate at least 30 minutes of ANY exercise (Dance, Yoga, Jump Rope or Other workouts) in your daily quarantine routine.

3. Eat To Boost Immunity 
Your diet is an integral part of how you feel. How strong you are highly depending on the food you consume every day. Even with easily available ingredients, you can achieve a boost in your immunity if you choose to do so. Some foods that promote immunity: 
1. Garlic
2. Turmeric (Haldi)
3. Spinach (Popeye was onto something after all!)

4. Citrus Fruits like oranges, gooseberries, lemons, grapefruit, and mandarins

In addition to this, you must aim to cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and smoking, and eat a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, oily fish and nuts. It might sound like the obvious thing to do but most people struggle to even get these basics right sometimes. 

5. Fermented Food/Probiotics Are Your Friends
Food like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, dhoklas, and kefir are fermented foods that are rich in beneficial bacteria. A flourishing network of good bacteria in your gut helps your immune cells better differentiate between healthy cells and harmful invaders which decreases the likelihood of infectious diseases. 
If due to unavailability or other reasons, you don't wish to consume probiotic foods, you can always resort to probiotic supplements that are equally beneficial, if not more. 

6. Ditch Sugar For A While 
Research suggests that refined sugars and carbs could lead one to the path of obesity. How is this relevant to your immune system? According to a study, people with obesity who received the flu vaccine were still likely to get the flu, unlike people without obesity who received the same vaccine. Something to worry about, especially in this time of a world pandemic where health should be your number one priority. Although, natural sugars (found in fruit, honey, for example) and whole carbs can still be consumed in moderation. 

7. Stay Hydrated
Although hydration doesn’t necessarily protect you from a virus as such, preventing dehydration is very important for overall health. Not drinking enough water (At least 2 litres a day) can cause headaches, negatively impact digestion, mood and kidney function and it is these complications that could potentially increase susceptibility to illness. So you must stay hydrated! 

Besides physical health, the lockdown can cause some people to have unusual stress and anxiety and this is as much of a concern to your immune system as your physical health. Practice meditation, get adequate sleep, laugh without reason, draw, doodle or do some yoga to help your mind relax. This too shall pass. 

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The Bois Locker Room: An Instagram Chat Or A Wake-up Call?

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If you’re not already aware of what this case is all about, a group of young boys in Delhi on a private Instagram chat (screenshots of which were shared around later) called “Bois Locker Room” were seen objectifying, degrading, rating, demeaning young girls, sharing their pictures (some of this girls were only 14-15 years old) and even threatening to rape or kill them in case they got exposed. 

Screenshots of this group chat were shared across social media platforms - predominantly Instagram and Twitter, after which the school authorities of these students (the 20+ boys) requested the Delhi police to investigate the incident.

The Delhi police have so far found that some students of leading South Delhi schools created the Instagram group in the last week of March and started adding their friends. “A few members are in college. Some of the teens allegedly started sharing photos posted by schoolgirls on their Instagram accounts, and passing sexually explicit comments,” an officer said, adding that the purported chats also included threats of sexual violence.

DCP  Anyesh Roy told The Indian Express, “After we came to know, we registered an FIR under Sections 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and Sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67A (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the IT Act. 

The case is still under investigation. But..

All the right things that could’ve gone wrong: 

First off, the boys on the group chat threatened some of the girls to rape, kill, and humiliate them if they dared to share any of this information with anyone. But the girls, being well-educated (and smart) enough to know that no such thing could actually take place if a complaint was lodged, went ahead to expose them anyways. But you see, things like this happen EVERY DAY and young girls are often a) either too ignorant to pay attention and brush off these issues as “minor” or b) scared of the empty threats that honestly have no real follow-throughs.

Second, the school authorities specifically requested the police to investigate the incident. Now again, this may not have happened in many other cases. A lot of times, any kind of vulgar behaviour, especially in schools and colleges in India, is looked upon as high risk to the reputations of these institutions so they prefer to sweep it all under a carpet

And third, social shaming. In cases like these, we bless the speed of the internet. Social media fastens the process of information spreading, and it is necessary for people to acknowledge this pro of social media platforms. But more often than not, a lot of serious issues may be lost under all that is glitter and jolly good, unicorns and rainbows - But this piece of incident DIDN’T. Imagine the number of people that want to have a voice to socially bring shame to their oppressors, but are unsuccessful. At least this one caught the eye - and the punishment of being recognized as a “so and so” in case of this incident will stick with the boys for a lifetime. 

Now, the case is under investigation, and a judgment has not yet been made. But it’s clear to the general audience that since some of the girls (whose pictures had been shared on the group chat) were underage, this is child porn. So not only are what these boys doing morally incorrect, but also illegal under IP section 292, 293. 

We hope for the best outcomes.



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What Is Herd Immunity? Everything You Need To Know

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Picture a herd or community of healthy people. An infectious virus or disease would pass easily through the community from person to person. Vaccines train our immune system to protect us from diseases it hasn’t come in contact with before. For example, the MMR vaccine provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. During an outbreak of a disease, vaccinated people will remain healthy. As they won't become infected, they won't pass on the disease. Hence, if most of the community is vaccinated, it makes it difficult for the disease to actually spread to the rest of the community. This is the basis of herd immunity. 

If most people in the community are not vaccinated, herd immunity can break down, allowing the disease to spread more easily.

Herd immunity becomes especially important for the individuals in a herd who can't be vaccinated. These could be people who are either too old, too young or have weaker immune systems

Herd Immunity without Vaccination: Another way the building of herd immunity could happen is if many people contract the disease and in time build up an immune response to it (natural immunity). In this case, the herd would have to be fit enough to contract the disease, survive it and then become immune towards it. 

 It is important to note that in order for herd immunity to take action, the disease/virus must be categorized as a Contagious one. (capable of spreading)

COVID-19 and Herd Immunity In India

Renowned Immunologist and Cell Biologist Dipyaman Ganguly has said that one of the only hopes in defeating the novel coronavirus is by developing ‘herd immunity,’ 

In an interview with news9, he said, “This coronavirus is not going anywhere. Viruses don’t go anywhere. They may become weak but its strand remains. The virus will keep infecting people until a large population develops immunity against it.”

He has also stated that immunity could only be achieved through a vaccine or by getting infected by the virus. “Since developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is not an easy task and it is unlikely that we will get one soon, the only hope that remains is that of herd immunity and it is bound to happen.”

Explaining the idea of herd immunity further, he said, “The virus is going to infect a large number of populations in India. When a large number of people get infected, their bodies will develop natural immunity. They will stop the virus from spreading further by breaking the chain of infections transmitted from one person to another.” “Since I am closely monitoring the situation, I am sure that we are moving towards herd immunity,” he added. 

Studying infection trends in India, he said that most coronavirus cases will be asymptomatic. Patients will recover through natural immunity and vitamin boosting medication suggested by doctors. However, those with existing health conditions could develop severe complications as the virus is shown to aggravate symptoms. 



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