Things quarantine taught me

This quarantine has been troubling for a lot of people. Many of them can’t return to their work and are having a hard to maintain their financial balance.However people like me who have always been unemployed do not find it that difficult .at the fact that I wouldn’t be able to meet my friends for a long time or won’t be able to walk on the streets just for fun like a drunkard lol. a little bit that this was going to be my new normal for a long time.

But there are many things that quarantine has taught me. I have learned to be more grateful towards life and learned to cherish the littlest moments I experience because these are the memories that I will treasure with me for a lifetime. Some of them are:

Importance of family time with my annoying family

As people grow up, they become busy with their lives, fulfilling their own ambitions. But in the process of achieving it, they can’t seem to make enough time for their family. I used to fee theame. living in the house with my family has made me realize the importance of the family time.

staying connected with my useless friends

you may not beable to meet your friends in person but it is time to put th gadgets to good use. call them or face tim ethose loved ones with whom you haven’t met for a long time. be extra and go on to celebrate your quarantine birthdays on screen as well.

stop taking hometown for granted

this is especially true for the hostellers who leave their homes to pursue higher education in big cities.

relaxa

Pomeranian dog breeds

The little Pomeranians are cute and fierce dogs which have come to become a household pet. They are highly affectionate, require minimum space, active, have the agility and turn out to be great family companions. As pets, they are highly devoted towards their owners and their small size should not be taken for granted, as they still possess a big-dog attitude. The Pomeranian affectionately referred to as “Pom”, is the smallest member of the spitz family. It is believed that they have been named after the Pomeranian region in north-west Poland and north-east Germany. The pom dog comes in many radiant colors such as red, orange, white with black being the most common. They make very good companions to old people. One of the advantages of having such a diminutive sized pet is that it requires low maintenance and can be easily kept in homes that lack a backyard. Despite their small-sized, they are known to have very loud barks imitating an intimidating persona.

Due to their small size, they require a small amount of food as well. The diet of the dog mainly depends on the size and activity level. The poms are an overly enthusiastic breed but it can be easy to overfeed them. The recommended amount is ¼ to ½ cup of high-quality dry food per day which should be protein-rich, otherwise, they may experience digestive issues. It is best if divided into two meals. Supplements like boiled chopped liver or chicken can be excellent sources of proteins and vitamins.

Pomeranian personality can be described as a bundle of joy. The tiny creatures are a wild bunch of enthusiastic, people-friendly breed and possess certain character traits which makes them completely different from other breeds.Though they have a high tendency to be stubborn, they are smart enough to be trained properly. They make excellent watchdogs as they always remain vigilant of their surroundings and can easily detect the changes.

In all, they make lively and playful companions. Some of the puppies are genuinely friendly while some may have a temperament. These poms can be made to socialize early so that they grow up to be well-rounded. Some poms may have a habit of barking a lot which can be a cause of annoyance for the people around them. That is why there is a need to train them well, similar to other dog breeds. It is not a good choice for children since they may not respond well if mishandled.

Every breed of dogs has its benefits as well as disadvantages. If one is new to being a pet owner, Pomeranians can be a good choice. They can be your best friend if they are trained well enough.

Hobbies I took up during quarantine

Quarantine period gave me enough time to take up some hobbies. Some of them are:

WRITING: Writing is one of the activities I am loving the most right now. I was not very well versed with words when I spoke so I took to writing instead. It gave me enough time to gather my thoughts and pen them down on a sheet of paper. I always did it as a hobby since it made me happy. My interest in writing basically arose from when I started reading books. It initiated my thinking process and my ideas finally found an outlet in the form of writing. The best part about writing is the amount of variety and variability one can get from it. One can easily express themselves. Nowadays, I write about my day in my journal and also, what I expect from the next day.

PAINTING: Another thing that I picked up is painting. I have always loved art, so I finally tried to make some brush strokes and my attempt made me happy. Indulging in creative activities has finally stirred up my mind to think something out of the box as well.

BINGE-WATCHING: I have also utilized my time to finally catch up on new TV series, movies and K-dramas. There is a lot of content to choose from and makes up a good time-pass. This also makes up for fun. Having movie-time with your family with all the snacks ready gives a cinema-like vibe.

COOKING: Photos and videos of people on Instagram trying out new recipes also inspired me to try my hand at cooking. This one is a bit hard for me but I am learning a lot. Cooking should not only be a hobby but is a necessity since one can’t always order delivery.

FINDING NEW MUSIC: Music is comfort for soul. I have tried finding different genres of music and discovered some hidden gems. Now I have a personalized playlist for every activity of mine.

There are a lot of things one can do while sitting at home during quarantine. Get your creative minds working and try to develop new skills. But don’t be under pressure to do something productive all the time since rest and time for yourself is equally important.

Communication Skills

Communication is the medium through which people convey their opinions, feelings and emotions. It is the key to build a relationship but sometimes ineffective communication ways may create more barriers. That is why it becomes necessary to possess good communication skills.

Effective communication is more than just relaying the message to the listener. The one on the receiving end should be able to comprehend the message as well as the speaker’s intentions clearly with the said words. If not done correctly, this can create misunderstandings and spoil relationships. For some, communication may come easily while others may have to struggle with their words. Nevertheless, one can improve their communication skills by practicing or adopting certain tactics:

Being an active listener:

Good communication involves the active participants of both the speaker and the listener. Keep focus on what the person is saying and trying to tell you. If you will be able to understand the message clearly, you will also be able to respond appropriately. Not only pay attention to the words but also on the non-verbal clues. A person’s body language tells a lot and may make it easier to understand the tone as well as the nature of the conversation.

Avoid interrupting:

Try not to interrupt the speaker and wait for your turn.

Show genuine interest:

If you are disinterested, it will show on your face and the speaker may notice it. Try to encourage the speaker by saying short verbal comments in between.

Try not to be biased:

One doesn’t have to agree with every idea or opinion of the person but it is necessary to keep aside the criticism and try to understand from the other person’s perspective.

Pay attention to your own non-verbal clues:

Your non-verbal signals should align with what you are speaking. Otherwise, the other person may feel confused. Refrain from spreading around any kind of negative body energy. Be assertive with your speech and try to set the tone of the conversation as neutral. All the parties involved should get the chance to voice their opinions and not feel threatened to do so. Direct and clear dialogue should be maintained for an effective communication.

Communication can be an effective medium to build relationships, both personal as well as professional. If done effectively, it builds mutual trust and can deepen the connections.

Barriers to education

Each and every individual of the world is entitled to education yet there are many children who can’t access this basic amenity. This is mainly caused due to financial and economic issues. If the accessibility can be improved, a huge global impact can be created.

The most common cause for missing out on educational opportunities is poverty. People from economically backward backgrounds find it hard to get a proper education. Many remote villages don’t even have the facility of schools. This is mainly due to lack of funding. Even if there are schools established, some children have to walk to school for as much as three hours, which is very inconvenient. Most of their time is spent travelling on foot which is just tiring. Another issue that comes up is the availability of teachers and professors, either there are no teachers or they are untrained.

After establishing a school and even hiring professionals for teaching, there are lack of resources. Students aren’t provided with learning materials and often have to end up working out with outdated text-books. Some children suffering with certain abilities are denied access. There are not enough institutions that are ready to accommodate them. This makes them feel left out and ultimately, they are not able to complete their education.

Some minorities may also be deprived of education. Bias on the basis of gender can also be one of the barriers to education. Due to poverty, only a selected few can afford to go to school and generally, parents may prefer that their boys go to school rather than girls. Incidents of natural disasters also put a halt on education for many as it leads to a lot of destruction and brings about economic crisis.

Many children end up being the targets of many of the reasons above, having no fault of their own. Certain organizations and volunteer groups are trying hard to make education accessible to all. Through donations and local funding, the situation is progressing towards betterment and hopefully, with the collective efforts of all, the goal will be finally achieved.

RNA editing in Coleoids

A Cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class cephalopoda such as Octopus, Squid and Nautilus. These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles. Cephalopods, namely octopus, squid and cuttlefish form a subclass referred to as coleoids. The coleoids are invertebrates but may possess some of the most intelligent species among all of invertebrates.

Octopus vulgaris, widely referred to as the common octopus is one such organism. Apart from the fact that octopus has a complex nervous system and sophisticated behavior, arms capable of a wide range of movement, developed eyes, chemoreceptors located in epidermis, suckers, mouth, etc., the recent discovery of high level of RNA editing makes the organism more competent than its companions. This mechanism of RNA editing gives it a way to face environmental changes. It also turns out that this may cause them and their cephalopod brethren to evolve differently from any other organism on the planet. Their great adaptability can be linked to their ability to edit some of their genes, changing RNA that encodes proteins.

In most organisms, the genetic information is transmitted relatively faithfully from DNA to RNA, and on into proteins but studies have shown that octopus along with squids and cuttlefish deviate from this trend and use their own enzymes to edit their RNA, producing proteins that differ from those encoded by DNA.

In 2015, the researchers discovered that the common squid has edited more than 60% of RNA in its nervous system. This brought about a change in its brain physiology and is assumed to confer an ability to adapt to various temperature conditions in the ocean. In 2017, the same team returned with new findings that revealed that at least two species of octopus and one cuttlefish do the same thing. Joshua Rosenthal and his team’s work involved analysis of not only thousands of different squids but also of other molluscan organisms like gastropod slug and nautilus. But unlike the coleoids, the aforementioned didn’t give any hints of straying away from the conventional mechanism. This led to a conclusion that RNA editing couldn’t be generalized for the entire molluscan phylum and was rather limited tot he coleoid subclass. In exchange of this remarkable adaptation, these alien like creatures have given up the ability to evolve relatively quickly. These coleoids don’t evolve like other organisms and this may one day lead them to become useful for humans. During transcription in an animal cell, duplication of the A,T,C and G nucleotides into RNA strands of A,T,C and U takes place. After transcription, introns are spliced out and the remaining sequence is read in a designated fashion. But sometimes, a special sequence in the RNA lets it hook up with an enzyme that edits a single spot in the RNA, turning an A into an I, which the ribosome interprets as a G. It may seem like a minor change but it changes the entire function of a protein. An animal could use RNA editing to change how its proteins work if its environmental changes.

The natural selection seems to have favored RNA editing in coleoids even though it slows down the DNA-based evolution, the reason is wrapped in some double-stranded clover-leaves that form alongside editing sites in the RNA. That information is like a tag for RNA editing. According to Rosenthal studies, RNA editing provides a faster mechanism to try out slightly different protein shapes and sizes and functions. This provides a way for the genome to evolve more slowly than those of other organisms. Eisenberg lists other possible advantages of RNA editing rather than mutations in the DNA. Some of the important contents of the list include- (1)Editing could occur selectively at specific conditions. (2)Editing could be partial, with only a fraction of the reads edited, resulting in coexistence of both edited and non-edited forms of proteins.

In order to maintain flexibility of editing RNA, these coleoids have had to give up on the ability to evolve in their surrounding regions which may have been worth it for them. Rosenthal hypothesizes that development of a complex brain was worth the price of having to evolve slowly. Many of the edited proteins were found in the brain tissue, creating the elaborate dendrites and axons of the neurons turning the shape of the electrical signals that neurons pass. It may also be possible that RNA editing (means of creating a more sophisticated brain) allowed these species to use tools, camouflage themselves, and communicate.

Further objective of Rosenthal’s study is to develop ways of genetically manipulating cephalopods. If he succeeds, he could disable the enzymes responsible for RNA editing and then see what happens.

REFERENCES:

Liscovitch-Brauer N et al. Trade off between transcriptome plasticity and genome evolution in cehalopods. Cell (2017)

Albertin et al. (2012) Cephalopod genomics : A plan of strategy and organization

Doubleday Z A et al(2016) Global proliferation of cephalopods. Curr Biol.

Garrett s, Rosenthal JJC (2012) RNA editing underlies temperature adaptation in K(+) channels from polar octopus. Science

Caroline B Albertin et al. (2015). The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties. Nature

Alon S., Eisenberg E. (2015). The majority of transcripts in the squid nervous system are extensively recorded by A- to I- RNA editing.

Safe-guarding hubs

MASH stands for multi-agency safeguarding hub, which aspires to provide safety and security to the more vulnerable children and young people. They bring professional health care support, social services, police, local authorities to meet their objectives. Different agencies under MASH come together to design a collective approach and this collective approach is dispatched to all in a clear and concise manner so that every individual can resonate with the ultimate goal.

According to the London safeguarding children board, following agencies should be involved in MASH: Children’s social care, Health, Police, Education, Probation, Housing and Youth offending service.

Core features of multi-agency safeguarding hub:

1.Working together approach: It is an agreement between all the agencies involved that nothing can be achieved if only one agency or authority works towards their respective aims. They manifest this working together approach so that everyone learns to take responsibility on their parts to get the work done sincerely.

2.More accurate assessment of risks and needs: The working together approach has improved the ability to gather sources form wide areas. These sources have been clubbed together to give a better output. Since the data contains in-detail information, it becomes easier to paint a bigger picture of the case, the circumstances and the consequences.

3.Better management of cases: Multi-agency hubs are expected to keep a better track record of the cases and ensures that no case is missed or lost in the system. Multiple agencies going through the same data removes the chances of discrepancies.

4.Professional support: Professionals from diverse sectors have a better understanding of the situation and raises the standard of efficiency.

5.More confidence in the system: People generally tend to be a bit apprehensive towards authorities, but multiagency hubs have been able to build a strong foundation and confidence due to the team of professionals they hire.

6.Good leadership and clear governance: Responsibility for the actions is shared by the managers of all the different agencies, which creates a better understanding, induces work ethics and also lead to better team work.

7.Facilitates early intervention: Multiple teams working together can determine the risks involved considerably quicker and also brainstorm to resolve them.

Practitioners often struggle to develop trusting relationships in order to form the bigger picture of needs of vulnerable family but this can be overcome following proper procedures. The eventual aim of the MASH initiative is to develop a process that enables partners to effectively and securely share information to safeguard both children and young people. Safeguarding process in the multi-agency arena is a complex matter, and it is considered that unnecessary risks will be introduced if it is extended too quickly into adult safeguarding. However, once the merits of establishing MASH are proven, they can and should extend their services to adults as well.

Boeing Crisis

The Boeing company is an American multinational corporation which is among the largest global aerospace manufactures.

In march 2019, Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded due to two plane crashing within the span of 5 months.  These crashes led to the death of 346 people which urged the authorities to open up multiple investigations. The crashes were mainly credited to the faulty automated system present. The pilots have claimed that they had no information related to this system. Boeing’s philosophy relies on the belief that more control should be provided to the pilots rather than automated systems. However, the crisis is one of the ironies.

The first plane crash took place in Indonesia on October 28 killing around 189 people on board. This led to concerns among pilots since they weren’t aware of the newly installed automated system. This was a severe case of misinformation or lack of information.  After looking into the matter, Boeing assured that the planes were safe enough to fly but then 5 months later, another plane crash occurred in Ethiopia which killed 157 people on board. Investigations brought out the fact that malfunctions in MCAS-Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System made them inoperable by pilots. This built apprehension towards flying in these planes even when they returned back to sky.

As a consequence, Boeing had to pay fines and deal with lawsuits from families, airlines and pilots. They even received public backlash. The existing CEO was fired in response to the backlash and a new CEO was appointed, David Calhoun who is now met with responsibility to get the planes re-certified.

Hospice Telephone support

Hospice care is the care designed to give to people who are suffering from a terminal illness and are in the last phase of it. The aim of this support center is not to provide cure for the illness, rather to supply emotional and psychological support that the patients may need during the difficult phase to prevent the feelings of isolation and loneliness. A team of skilled professionals is made available to provide counselling to the people. This team includes occupational therapists, nurses and therapy assistants.

The setting up of a helpline number is a confidential and safe space for people to lay down their grievances and seek support for it.

The main objectives of this helpline are to improve the quality of lives of the grieving and their family members as well as providing support to the professionals responsible for the care.

This stands for a social responsibility and adds public value. Palliative care and hospice team identify and try to treat distress causing symptoms that may increase medical complications in future. It is also required that they remain in contact of the family members of the patients and design appropriate and realistic goals.

In this sector, human resource plays crucial role i.e., the care givers. It will depend on how efficient these people are and how the overall service proves beneficial. It is important to set up an office, or any infrastructural site which can house a large number of employees. These employees should be made equipped with appropriate and fast communication systems. Moreover, the public should be made aware of the fact that there is a service which may benefit them.

This can be initiated through a connection or a collaboration with any hospital or health care centers. It will also help in cases where any professional expertise may be required.

The base work mainly comprises of data of the patients in need of such care, their information, registration forms and consent forms. Getting patients registered with this facility can be mediated by a practitioner indulged in similar kind of service.

Moreover, the nurses or the care-givers should be trained well to deal with such situations. Providing counselling can be difficult over telephone since lack of physical clues may make it hard for both the parties involved to understand the situation. A report of the patient’s situation should also be provided to the care giver member of the family.

The hospice telephone helpline can be a benefit and turn out to be profitable if there is a proper dialogue maintained between the authorities or the managers, the task force, the patients and their families. By starting this initiative, wishes of the terminally ill people can be granted. They can get to spend their remaining time with their families and using this facility will also help the family care givers to better understand the grievances of the patient and help them through it.

In the end, the core motive behind this support facility is to take up social responsibility and make an effort to add a little more to people’s lives.

Quenching wanderlust during quarantine

This lockdown has put a halt on many people’s travel plans. Pro-travellers are suffering the most. These people may have been so accustomed to spending their lives travelling that they may not have a clue about how to deal with the situation anymore. The only travel they may be able to experience is from one room to another within their houses.

Not getting a chance to travel can be inconvenient but there are activities that can be done to make up for one’s long lost love.

Reading books:

People generally resort to travel guides while planning when they go out but since the option is not available for a certain period, a good alternative will be to switch to storybooks. The different genres of books that one comes across is unlimited. The biggest advantages attached is that most of the books are easily accessible on the internet. Kindle becomes a bundle of joy in these times. Books that narrate a travel journey carries you along with them to new lands. Audio versions are also available if one doesn’t like reading a lot.

Movie time

Documentaries, movies or even TV shows can be a great pass-time activity. They do a great job in making the viewer travel the world along with the characters. This is an activity that has something for everyone. One need not be a movie buff to enjoy them. Documentaries can even be informative. You may find various interesting topics about nature. People who like to spend their time interacting with the mother planet can benefit a lot. Netflix has a lot of content to offer in this case. The number of TV series can’t be forgotten either. Netflix originals have got everyone hooked to them. Binge-watching has become everyone’s favourite hobby now and all they believe in is “Netflix and chill.” 

Social media/ travel blogs

There are many bloggers on social media who post photos or blog about their travel experiences. Following such travellers can provide you with fresh photos of many otherworldly locations that you have yet to visit. One advantage is to have your feed filled with photos of the most beautiful locations on the planet. You can even search up your favourite destination and read various articles about those places.

Document your own experiences

If you get inspired, you can create your travel blog. As a traveller, one may tend to have a collection of many untold stories waiting to be spread around. If one is a writer, photographer and a blogger along with being a traveller, they can be a great storyteller to do. Maybe they can connect their experiences with their other interests and put out something worth reading. Relive your travel videos. Nothing can be more peaceful than remembering your own time in the blanket of wilderness. 

Learning languages of the countries you want to visit

Whenever you travel across countries, you will be exposed to a plethora of cultures, some of them being very different from your own. The language also constitutes an important part of the culture. You will find yourself trying to pick up new words from the places you visit. Maybe you can prepare for this well in advance. This can make your experience easier as it will help you in connecting well with the people there.

You can turn to YouTube to take you on a virtual tour with the millions of videos it has to offer on travelling. Vloggers put out eye-catching content and make the experience interactive as well as fun.

Virtual tours

For a virtual 4-D experience, there may be some technology that can make the experience better. But since everyone can’t resort to spending money on it, it is best to make use of the resources at hand. There is nothing that can amount to the same level of excitement or adventure that travelling on your foot provides but having a personalized experience for yourself sitting within the walls of your home does not lag behind either.

This doesn’t mean that people give up on their dreams of travelling. It’s just basically putting them on hold till this global pandemic comes to an end. Meanwhile, you can start planning your future trips. Start journaling the name of the cities you want to visit in future and make a bucket list for yourself. You can also read about travel hacks to make your next experiences better than your past ones. This time can be put to good use if you engage yourself in learning many activities that can eventually help you with your future experiences.