Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta on Thursday launched ‘Beyond COVID – New Normal for Urban Population’. 

‘Beyond COVID – New Normal for Urban Population’, is a multimedia interactive document, especially meant for urban populated areas. 

This 30-page document accounts for two behaviour sets in the context of COVID affected urban environment – the bad behaviour, which we termed as ‘Covidiot’ and compared it to the good behaviour, which we termed as ‘Covideal’. 

The document explains the bad behaviour of ‘Covidiot’, as an antagonist who endangers himself as well as others and thereby suffers the consequences, which is in sharp contrast to the good behaviour of ‘Covideal’ which is a model of intelligent response, watchfulness and civic responsibility during the pandemic. 

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Covidiot is visualized as unthinking, undisciplined, irresponsible, reckless, self-indulgent, contemptuous of others’ safety and scornful of scientific temper. 

On the other hand, Covideal is visualized as curious about the pandemic and the science behind it, ready to apply his/her mind to overcome the challenge, disciplined and willing to make necessary sacrifices.  

He/she follows relevant health advisories/guidelines, adopts good practices, takes precautions and makes the needed behavioural adjustments. 

The entire document is a demonstration of cartoon characters, their roles and activities comically explaining the science behind COVID-19 in the most simple, interesting and possible way to engage the urban population and espouse them for several behavioral changes for survival during and after COVID-19. 

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These behavioural changes are the ‘New Normal’ which has the only strength to build resilience among the people during and after the pandemic. 

This work is based on an empirical research work done by Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust. Before the preparation of this document, the Trust has undertaken a formative research and developed about 50 Message Matrix on bad behaviour and its consequences and good behaviour and its benefit. 

Before finalizing the document, a pilot study was also conducted among randomly selected individuals belonging to different parts of Guwahati. 

‘Beyond COVID – New Normal for Urban Population’ has been published by Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust with support from UNICEF, Assam and in collaboration with National Health Mission and Directorate of Health Services, Assam. 

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