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Living with Covid 19

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Remembered Yesterdays

by J. Godwin Perera

This Covid thing has put me in a mess

The more I read of it, up goes my stress

Should I pour some charmed water to the river

And chant ‘the Nation’ ‘the Nation ‘ is the giver

So bless the nation may the virus now recede

Docs and all the bosses please take heed

It’s not about the mask you wanted us to wear

The secret’s in that water and by it we will swear.

A Sunday paper had this headline ‘Has Govt’s strategy to dam the Covid spread gone to pot ?’ Under this there is a photograph of The Minister of Health, Honorable Pavithra Wanniarachchi embracing a pot of what the Honorable Minister claims to be, charmed water. The said news item explains that the Honorable Minister had gently thrown this pot into the Kalu Ganga. Not to be outdone at the same auspicious moment the Minister of Energy the Honorable Udaya Gamanpilla had reverently thrown a similar pot into the Kelani Ganga. There is a photo of him performing this ritual. Also at the simultaneous moment the Minister of Tourism the Honorable Prasanna Ranatunge had thrown another similar pot but this one, rather casually, into the Kelani Ganga. And of course there is a photo of him. Keep in mind that no Minister does anything in public without being videoed and photographed. And these videos and photographs are circulated through the length and breadth of Sri Lanka. All this is to show the people how our Parliamentarians are working hard. Did someone say ‘Hardly working’- No. Maybe it was just the ‘keech, keech’ of a gecko.

Anyway let’s continue. At a debate in Parliament which had nothing to do with pots or charmed water, the Honorable Pavithra Wanniarachchi had lamented that a Facebook comment has been made criticizing her for throwing the pot of charmed water into the river and had suggested that she should jump into the sea to end this pandemic. In a Siri Sangaboesque reply the Honorable Minister had stated that she will do that if it could solve the Covid 19 problem. Surely such fervent patriotism must be admired and emulated by others especially by those who adorn the comfortable seats in Parliament at the tax-payers expense. However later in Parliament she assured her people in her electorate who may have been in impending mourning at losing her to the lashing waves of the sea, and to the people at large, that ‘ the Government always followed the advice of medical experts when dealing with the pandemic.’ On hearing this statement there was a very loud, collective sigh of relief, so loud and clear that it even blew the rain clouds away.

And now we come to the Venerable Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero. In a front page press statement on the Covid 19 crisis the Venerable Thera states ‘ I have been closely associated with Health Ministers, Secretaries and Directors –General, since 1966 but never come across a pathetic situation where the whole sector has lost its sense of direction with the administrative process in a knotty mess.’ The Venerable Thero must surely know all about the health sector, because he is the President of the Public Service United Nurses Union. But hark! Here is something which also appeared in the same newspaper. This is repeated for your enlightenment but as the lawyers would say ‘Without Prejudice. ’ It is by Dr Upul Wijayawardhana and we quote ‘ It is a great shame that nurses in Sri Lanka who are second to none are not able to find a member of their own profession to lead their union. In the country that produced the first female Prime Minister in the world, is there no lady with leadership qualities to lead the union of a profession still largely dominated by women? It is indeed an outrage for a Buddhist priest to lead a trade union , nursing or otherwise.’ Unquote. What had provoked the good doctor to make these comments was a threat of trade union action within 48 hours if the demands of this union are not met. And this union was the above mentioned Public Service United Nurses Union.

We report . You decide.

Next there is the Brandix Covid 19 cluster. This it seems has been relegated to the back burner. According to reports the Attorney – General’s order to the Police to conduct a probe is being delayed for various reasons. A spokesperson from the Attorney- General’s office has stated that despite three reminders no response has been received as of Friday. That particular Friday has passed and it is hoped that by the time this article is being read the necessary response would have been received. If not, may we ask, why not?

And now to a group of professionals who should know more about Covid 19 than any ordinary lay person. The Government Medical Officers Forum (GMOF). They are different from the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA). Though ordinary lay persons will not know how, when and why this difference came about. But both groups are government officials. The GMOF has been very critical of the Government for the two month delay in appointing a Director – General of Health Services after the previous incumbent left. Further and here let it come straight off the bat, ‘ By appointing a retired military senior army official as the Health Secretary we thought we will be able to watch ‘Sinhabahu’ but for the last six months what we have being seeing is a ‘Sergeant Nallathamby’ drama. Pretty strong stuff !

Would the GMOF have anything to say about another retired senior army officer who is now the President of this country? But let that pass. The point is why cannot the GMOF and GMOA get together and submit a joint set of proposals as to how this country –it’s their country and our country, can overcome the challenge of Covid 19. And if they have already done this then what is the present Director–General of Health Services doing about it ? Another matter of importance to the general public is that there seems to be too many spokespersons talking too frequently on the subject of Covid 19. For instance there is the Minister of Health, the Director –General of Health Services, the Chief Epidemiologist, the Deputy Director of the Medical Research Institute, the DIG of Police, the Government Information Department.

Let’s face it. Covid 19 is the most serious crisis this country has faced in several decades. It is alarming. When there are too many spokespersons it leads to confusion which is not in the best interest of everyone. Or it leads to total indifference because no one knows whose instructions should be followed, which is certainly a far worse situation. The Army Commander, Lt. General Shavendra Silva is the Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of Covid 19 Outbreak. That is very clear. Since the very onset of Covid 19 in this country it is Lt. General Shavendra Silva who has been addressing us. On TV, in the press on radio. Therefore is it not logical and indeed practical for Lt. General Shavendra Silva to be the sole spokesperson on behalf of the Government, on Covid 19. Other than of course the President himself, who has every right and responsibility to address the nation. Furthermore the people have the highest respect for him. No one else could have undertaken this task in the confident manner that he is performing it.

But we the people have our responsibilities too. Yes we do wear the face mask. But social distancing? Hand washing before and after leaving any premises? Why worry! Yes, we Sri Lankans are such an over complacent lot. We remember to forget. Forget the appeals, regulations, warnings, instructions. There is this senile mentality that the worst will always happen to someone else. Never to one’s own self. Like keeping one’s premises garbage free by simply dumping that garbage on a road where someone else lives. The Covid 19 pandemic! That’s the Government’s problem. Not ours. No, it is very much our problem. It is very much our responsibility. If we do not take this seriously and take every precaution to get this pandemic well under control, no amount of charmed water, whether poured into rivers or sprinkled from the skies can ever save us.

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Features

Hair Growth and Thickness

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LOOK GOOD – with Disna

 

* Oil:

Oiling is an old home remedy for hair growth and thickness. Oiling is also used for the strength, shine, and length of hair, from ancient times. The use of coconut oil, especially, is very effective when it comes to the amplification of hair health. Additionally, there are many essential oils for faster hair growth which you can use, too.

* How to Use: Generally, hair oiling works best when applied overnight. You could use this therapy every night, or after each night, then wash your hair, in the morning, before heading for studies, or work.

 

* Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera has long been used as a home remedy for hair growth, thickness, and treating hair loss problems It contains vitamins A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins are known to contribute to cell turnover, supporting healthy cell growth and shiny hair. Plus, vitamin B-12 and folic acid are also included in aloe vera gel. Both of these elements can keep your hair from falling out. Aloe vera plants can be easily grown indoors. A leaf can be plucked, occasionally, and cut open to reveal its gel. This gel needs to be applied on the scalp, basically, to provide nourishment to the roots.

*  How to Use:

Rub this gel on your head properly, leaving no area dry; wash after half an hour or so. Keeping this massage as a part of your weekly routine will eventually make your hair thick and long.

 

*  Green Tea:

Green tea is often consumed as a home remedy for weight loss. Surprisingly, it has many other benefits, including hair-related benefits.

* How to Use:

Consuming green tea once every day can add to the strength and length of your hair. If your body is extremely comfortable with green tea, then you may even consume it twice every day.

 

* Onion Juice:

A bi-weekly application of onion juice can relieve you of your tension, regarding hair health. The smell can really torture you, but divert your attention in doing something else for a while, like making a puzzle or washing the dishes. From an early age, onion juice has been used as a home remedy to control hair fall. Research has shown that onion juice has been successful in treating patchy alopecia areata (non-scarring hair loss condition) by promoting hair growth .

* How to Use:

Take half onion and blend it. Apply the mixture on every nook and corner of your scalp and let it sit for some 60 minutes, or so. Shampoo it off when it’s time for the hair-wash.

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Features

Fun-loving, but… sensitive

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This week, my chat is with Nilu Vithanage. She is quite active, as a teledrama actress – having done four, already; her first was ‘Pavela Will Come In The Cloud, Mom’ (playing the role of a nurse). Then Came ‘Heavenly Palaces’ (student), ‘Black Town’ (a village character Kenkaiya), and ‘Wings Of Fire,’ currently being shown, with Nilu as a policewoman. You could checkout ‘Wings Of Fire,’ weekdays, on Swarnavahini, at 7.30 pm. Nilu is also active as a stage drama artiste, dancer…and has also been featured in musical videos.

And, this is how our chit-chat went…

1. How would you describe yourself?

Let’s say, I’m a bit on the playful side, and I like to have a lot of fun. But, I do find the time to relax, and, at home, it’s dancing to music! Yeah, I love dancing. Oh, I need to add that I’m a bit sensitive.

2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I get angry quickly. Fortunately, that anger doesn’t last long – just five to 10 minutes. But I wish I could get rid of anger, totally from my system!

3. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

Nope, can’t think of anything, in particular. Everything is fine with us, and I’m proud of my only brother, and I feel safe when he is around. Or, come to think of it, if I did have another brother, I would feel doubly safe…when going out, in particular!

4. School?

I did my studies at two schools – C.W.W. Kannangara Central College, and Panadura Sumangala Girls’ School for my higher studies. Representing my school, I won first place in a speech competition and dance competition, as well.

5. Happiest moment?

When my husband comes home, or talks to me on the phone. He is stationed in Hatton and those calls and home visits are my happiest moments

6. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I really find a lot of happiness feeding the fish, in ponds. I love to see them rush to pick up the tidbits I throw into the pond. That’s my kind of happiness – being close to nature.

7. Are you religious?

I would say ‘yes’ to that question. I like to go to the temple, listen to sermons, participate in meditation programmes, and I do not miss out on observing sil, whenever possible. I also find solace in visiting churches.

8. Are you superstitious?

A big ‘no.’ Not bothered about all those superstitious things that generally affect a lot of people.

9. Your ideal guy?

My husband, of course, and that’s the reason I’m married to him! He has been a great support to me, in my acting career, as well in all other activities. He understands me and he loves me. And, I love him, too.

10. Which living person do you most admire?

I would say my Dad. I truly appreciate the mentorship he gave me, from a young age, and the things we received from him

11. Which is your most treasured possession?

My family.

12. If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you like as your companion?

A camel would be ideal as that would make it easier for me to find a way out from a desert island!

13. Your most embarrassing moment?

One day, recently, with the greatest of difficulty, I managed to join a one meter distance queue, to withdraw money from an ATM. And, then I realised I didn’t bring the card along!

14. Done anything daring?

I would say…yes, when I ventured out to get involved in teledramas. It was a kind of a daring decision and I’m glad it’s now working out for me – beautifully.

15. Your ideal vacation?

I would say Thailand, after reading your articles, and talking to you about Amazing Thailand – the shopping, things to see and do, etc. When the scene improves, it will be…Thailand here I come!

16. What kind of music are you into?

The fast, rhythmic stuff because I have a kind of rhythm in my body, and I love to dance…to music.

17. Favourite radio station:

I don’t fancy any particular station. It all depends on the music they play. If it’s my kind of music, then I’m locked-on to that particular station.

18. Favourtie TV station:

Whenever I have some free time, I search the TV channels for a good programme. So it’s the programme that attracts me.

19. What would you like to be born as in your next life?

Maybe a bird so that I would be free to fly anywhere I want to.

20. Any major plans for the future?

I’m currently giving lessons to schoolchildren, in dancing, and I plan to have my own dancing institute in the future.

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Features

Snail-napping sets the stage for CGI road trip

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The SpongeBob Movie:Sponge on the Run

By Tharishi hewaviThanagamage

Based on the famous and one of the longest-running American animated series that made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999, created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ is the latest addition to the SpongeBob movie franchise, coming in as the third installment after ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ (2004) and ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ (2015).

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