I was in my 2nd year of post-graduation during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. 4-5 days after an emergency 24 hour duty, I developed symptoms of flu along with high fever. As per the guidelines issued, I got my test done and was detected with swine flu. Fortunately, I just had mild infection but i was forced to undergo a 12 day quarantine.
Being a second year surgery PG, when the surgical opportunities in the emergency duties are plenty, I was initially a bit frustrated but within a day or two, I decided to utilize that time wisely. I set aside 3 tasks for myself during that period and made sure that I finished them before going back to the hospital.
I planned to revise bailey and maheshwari for my upcoming MRCS exam
Submit two scientific papers in pubmed indexed journals
Segregate my wildlife pictures into various folders for handy use
I realized that doing just one thing the entire day wouldn’t be possible, so I allocated 4-5 hours to studies and 1 hour each to the other two tasks. This left me with enough time to exercise, watch TV for 1-2 hours a day.
At the end of the 12 days, I had accomplished all the three tasks and felt extremely happy while returning to work.
A lot of undergraduate students are going through the same phase during this lock-down and I would highly recommend that you follow these simple steps to make the most of this period
Make a realistic study plan for yourself : Don’t be over ambitious, otherwise you will feel disappointed at the end of 21 days. At the same time, don’t set yourself a very simple goal because that would lead to you wasting a lot of time on social media or watching netflix
Use this free time to work on your hobby : You might not get such a period for a long time after this. Don’t forget to read that book which has been lying on your shelf since a long time or pick up the canvas and re-juvinate your passion for drawing. These hobbies would be your stress-busters for the rest of your life and they will also allow you to break the monotony during this lock-down period
Each day spend quality time with your family members: Watch a movie together or play some board/ card game. You will treasure these memories life long.
Exercise/ meditate for at least one hour daily: I’m sure your mother’s would be pampering you with delicacies but you don’t want to end up gaining 2-3 kg’s during this period. Also, this would help you in staying sane during this phase when all you are hearing is gloomy/ depressing news regarding COIVD19
Try to learn some new skill - there are a lot of free courses on internet. You can probably learn a new language or hone your photography skills by doing these courses.
I have also set a few goals for myself during this period and I would like to share them with you. Will update you at the end of this period regarding the progress which I have made regarding these.
• Apply for Fellow of American College of Surgeons (FACS)
• Publish two articles regarding my breast cancer patients
• Me and Dr. Ila have sighted and clicked more than 120 Indian birds over the last 10 years. I want to print a book with all these images for our reference
• Do a online course to improve my photography skills
I hope this posts helps the undergraduate students plan these days better. Do reach out to me if you are able to make a list for yourself and keep sharing your progress with me. It will motivate me to achieve my targets as well.
PS - attaching a pic of me and Dr. Ila Jain Khandelwal which we clicked during our swine flu quarantine period.