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How To Manage Your Stress During The Times Of Corona (Virus)?

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“It has been almost a week, me and my wife are working from home due to Coronavirus (Times of Corona, as I call it) that has plagued the world. I think we will kill each other before the Virus Does.” 

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This was a What’s app forward that I received!

While this forward was certainly meant to be just-in-jest, the stress emanating from the prevailing situation can’t be taken lightly. For the first time in our lives, and hopefully the last time also, not only cities but even states and countries are being locked-down. Anything of such a magnitude is expected to give rise to fear and stress. But is it only the virus which leads to stress or something else as well?

Human Beings, by nature, hates change and when this change is imposed on them, then that leads to stress. Just imagine a person whose schedule is to remain outside the home for 5-6 days in a week, 10-12 hours daily asked to stay home indefinitely.

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It’s a big change for the person as well as all his family members. While some people adapt to this change easily, others find it difficult to manage. So, here are a few tips by Prof. Shankar Sahay to manage stress during the Times of Corona.

Catch that Ray of Hope

What can be more frustrating than to be stuck up on a cruise, in the midst of the sea, without anywhere to go. But it’s remarkable as to how David & Sally Abel always remained positive and hung on to that ray of hope while quarantined on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.

The videos posted by them on the social media always depicted the positive side of the human mind with quotes such as “there’s no point in sitting down and crying about it”, “we have chosen to face it (the situation) chin up”, “we know we are in good hands, the ship is taking care of us”, “the food is brilliant” etc. This is the spirit which kept them going strong during the Times of Corona.

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3 Rs to the Rescue

Remember, an empty mind is a devil’s workshop. So, engage your mind constructively. While at home, people often wonder as to how can they spend their time. After all, for how long can you sleep, eat, drink or benefit from the X-Box Corona Sale. The Reading, (W)Riting & (A)Rithmetic can prove to be the essential tools to help us.

Read a good book, then talk about it to your family members. Since how long have you not read a bed-time story to your kids. Use this time to fulfil that promise. (W)Rite something-anything-it doesn’t matter. Years later, your grandkids will read these memoirs to find out as to how the world was threatened, how the human race defeated this one of a kind virus and how you witnessed and participated in this battle.

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Last but not the least, (A)Rithmetic puzzles, sudoku, crosswords or any other mental engagements are the best way to occupy your mind constructively, i.e. without irritating your spouse during the Times of Corona.

From Adjustments to Sacrifices

Stress can be handled well by simple adjustments or major sacrifices, depending on the situation. The simple adjustments can include a family eating whatever the home-maker is able to make, without being fussy or helping the householder in the daily chores of the home or not being too demanding about the cleanliness or upkeep of the home.

This is all the more important during the irregularity or absence of maids. On the other hand, sacrifices can include the instance of an MBA student stuck up in Mumbai, who wants to travel back to his home-town in Delhi but takes a matured decision of staying put, in the larger interest of all the concerned people or a soon-to-be-married couple who decide either to postpone the date of marriage or have an absolutely low-key affair by having just their parents and siblings at the function.

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Laughter & Happiness During The Times of Corona

Laughter may not be the best medicine to cure Corona, but it certainly puts a smile on one’s face, which punctures the stress right away. So, apart from reading about the Corona scoreboard, have a look at those Animal Crackers, Hagar, Beetle Bailey, Garfield cartoon strips.

What’s more, share these comic strips with your different WhatsApp groups. Who knows, maybe they are also looking for a break from the run of the mill corona forwards, which is doing nothing but sagging their spirits in the dumps.

Enter the Stock Markets

Now I know that this point will be viewed with a lot of scepticism and the pertinent question will be “are we not increasing the stress rather than reducing it?” But let’s face it. All the stock markets are in a tailspin and as they say “When there’s blood on the street, BUY, even if the blood is your own.” Of course, don’t throw caution to the winds.

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If you are a new player, read about the stock market or if reading is boring to you, listen to an audio-book. Start with “The Intelligent Investor” or “Think & Grow Rich” or “The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Hear.” Learn the basics before jumping in, start with only the top-5 of the top-30 Sensex shares and remember that you are investing for the long run.

The Time Will Pass Away & So Will Corona Virus

Finally, understand the fact that it’s a matter of a few weeks or at the most months, and this is a very small part of our lives. The need is to stick together- patiently, without getting irritated, as what you will give, the same you will get.

So, spend time with a smile on your lips and hope in your heart. In these unforeseen times, recourse to anything which brings peace to your heart is welcome. It can be Yoga, Meditation, Music or any of your hobbies. Use this time to indulge in activities which you have neglected due to paucity of time.

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How about cleaning and playing that guitar which has remained untouched for the last couple of years or cooking a new dish or honing up your excel skills by taking up an online course. Remember, all of us have the same time period at home, it’s we who decide how to use or waste it.

Wishing you all A Very Happy & Enjoyable time with your loved ones. Stay blessed.

Shankar Sahay is a practising educationist with more than 29 years’ experience with industry and academics. He has conducted several training programmes and consultancy projects with reputed companies on various topics like Stress Management, Time Management, Conflict Management, Developing Inter-personal Skills, Marketing, Retailing and Merchandising.

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Asia Pacific

India can ‘no longer’ choke China at the Strait Of Malacca as Beijing finds solution

The Strait of Malacca is a strategic waterway between Indonesia and Malaysia through which the majority of Chinese imports pass. The narrow waterway also makes the perfect chokepoint from the perspective of India, and should tension between Beijing and New Delhi rise, the Malacca Strait can be blocked easily by India. 

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Could the advantage that India enjoys over China due to the Strait of Malacca be coming to an end? Does China have a way to tackle the Indian plans of chocking Beijing at the Malacca Straits – the strategic waterway, in case of a war?

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India’s position at the mouth of the Malacca Strait has created panic amongst Chinese officials as they try to find an alternative route, writes the Forbes.

The Strait of Malacca is a strategic waterway between Indonesia and Malaysia through which the majority of Chinese imports pass. The narrow waterway also makes the perfect chokepoint from the perspective of India, and should tension between Beijing and New Delhi rise, the Malacca Strait can be blocked easily by India.

India’s natural position in the Indian Ocean, with basing capabilities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at the mouth of the strait, would allow its navy to cut it off in the event of a crisis or war with China.

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Keeping in mind the recent flare-up between India and China, Larry Bond, renowned naval author and creator of the Harpoon war game series, says that if India wanted to block trade with China, all it has to do is its park ships at the mouth of the Malacca Strait.

The vast majority of China’s oil imports, from the Persian Gulf, Venezuela and Angola, pass by this route. Due to the strategic importance of the waterway, there is fear amongst Chinese officials that India could block the Malacca Strait in case of war.

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Experts at EurAsian Times believe that the strategic importance of the Malacca Strait and the advantage it gives to India will likely reduce over time as Beijing find alternative routes.

Bypassing the Malacca Strait

The fact India enjoys a strategic advantage over China because of the Malacca Strait has forced Beijing to explore other options and find ways around the waterway.

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One such option is Gwadar Port in Pakistan. As part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Beijing has developed the port in Gwadar so that goods unloaded there will be shipped overland to China.

On June 8 the Pakistani government approved a $7.2bn upgrade to a railway which will connect Gwadar to Kashgar, China. The port is not yet operating at capacity, but the direction seems clear.

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While Gwadar is still susceptible to an attack by the Indian Air Force (IAF), it adds political and military risks as it is in a third country’s territory. The Indian Navy could try and block this port but it would require ships to move away from the Malacca Strait.

The other option Beijing is exploring is Northern Sea Route in the Arctic which could create a ‘Polar Silk Road.’ The importance of this is underlined by China’s 2018 Arctic policy. It asserts, “Geographically, China is a “Near-Arctic State”, one of the continental States that are closest to the Arctic Circle.”

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The policy statement goes on to say, “China hopes to work with all parties to build a “Polar Silk Road” through developing the Arctic shipping routes.”

Due to accelerated global warming, ice sheets are receding, thus making it possible for ships to travel via this route. Having sent its first ship through the region in 2013, Beijing is now investing in port infrastructure in the Arctic which connects to Europe.

China is also investing in designing ice breakers, vessels that would ease navigation through the Arctic. With help from Finnish Aker Arctic, China launched its first locally built ice breaker the Xue Long 2 in 2018.

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Apart from exploring new waterways and developing strategic ports, Beijing is developing a land route directly to Europe, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), mainly as a way to export goods.

Thousands of trains are transversing across Asia in recent times, the modern-day version of the ancient Silk Road. Land routes are one way China can reduce the criticality of Chinese sea routes.

The strategic importance of the Strait of Malacca to China will lessen over a period of time. India will still be in a position to throttle Chinese supply lines there, but it will not have the same impact that it once had.

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Americas

India Bets Big On Nikki Haley To Emerge As Vice Presidential Candidate Under Trump

Nikki Haley has echoed some of the same arguments Donald Trump has made on national topics such as cancel culture, defunding police forces and statue removal, although the tone and frequency between Trump and Haley differ dramatically.  

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India has pinned hopes on Nikki Haley to become the US Vice President (VP) should Donald Trump get re-elected this November. Haley, a first-generation Indian American, is expected to strengthen Indo-American relation and also attract a lot of voters including women and minorities.

According to the reports, there is speculation that Trump might switch out Vice-President Mike Pence for Nikki Haley as his running mate in the hopes of boosting his lagging approval numbers among the broader electorate.

Despite resigning as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Haley has been active in politics. She has been fundraising for Republican congressional candidates as well as in the Senate and gubernatorial arena.

She has set up a non-profit organization to boost her policy priorities and has continued to pen editorials on foreign policy. And Hailey has retained a small, tightly knit orbit of advisers.

The former governor of South Carolina, Haley is one of the people who left the Trump Administration on good terms. She has even promised to campaign for the President for his re-election bid.

Haley has echoed some of the same arguments Donald Trump has made on national topics such as cancel culture, defunding police forces and statue removal, although the tone and frequency between Trump and Haley differ dramatically.

According to experts at EurAsian Times, Haley’s recent moves can be seen as a carefully executed plan to stay involved in key Republican policy circles and the national discourse. Haley has fundraised for almost a dozen Republican Senate candidates, many of them in tough re-election races, and has been a special guest at Republican Governors Association (RGA) events.

While Haley has dismissed reports about her running for VP, her being an influential person of colour could help Trump win constituencies he is currently losing.

India pinning hopes on Nikki Haley

The US Presidential elections are a spectacle observed globally and India would be hoping Trump wins and Haley gets elected as the VP. Haley enjoys nationwide popularity amongst Indian-Americans and her election as VP could lead to stronger ties between Washington and New Delhi.

She has natural links to India with her parents having emigrated to the US in the 1960s from Punjab. Haley has often pointed out that India is an example of a free government and recently even applauded New Delhi’s decision to ban 59 Chinese applications and for standing up to China.

With an Indian-American at the helm of affairs, New Delhi would see it as an opportunity to get closer to Washington. It could lead to India benefitting in the areas of trade, defence and investment and would be a huge blow to neighbours China and Pakistan.

US Presidential elections are scheduled to take place in November and will be contested between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. While Biden’s re-election does not mean that India and the United States will have weak relations, having Trump in the White House and Haley as VP would definitely lead to stronger Indo-American ties.

Armaan Srivastava. Views Personal

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Americas

Russian T-14 Armata Tanks Now On Sale; Hopes To Challenge US’ M1 Abrams

The T-14 is part of the Armata’s heavily tracked standardized platform, which serves as the basis to develop the main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles.

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Russia’s T-14 Armata tank will be up for sale from 2021. This was announced by Denis Manturov – Industry and Trade Minister of Russia. He said that they are already receiving requests for the deadly T-14 Armata tanks from several foreign customers.

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The T-14 is part of the Armata’s heavily tracked standardized platform, which serves as the basis to develop the main battle tank, an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier and other armoured vehicles. It has fully digitized equipment, an unmanned turret and an isolated armoured capsule for the crew.

“Russian producers are ready to offer potential buyers both air defence systems, such as the S-300 and the S-400 and advanced aircraft and helicopters,” explained Dmitry Shugayev, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation.

“We are preparing the MiG-35 light fighter for sale and are promoting the latest T-14 ‘Armata’ tank,” he added.

The Armata T-14 was first demonstrated during the Victory Day Parade in May 2015 in Moscow. The actual production of the tanks was delayed. The first nine T-14 Armatas were originally planned to be handed over to the Russian Ground Forces (RGF) in 2018. This date then got pushed to 2019 and then to 2020.

Russia hopes that the T-14 Armata tank will give a tough competition to America’s M1 Abrams that destroyed thirty-seven of the Soviet-designed T-72s during the 1991 Gulf War.

T-72s remain Russia’s primary battle tank, supplemented by turbine-engine T-80s and four hundred more advanced T-90s. According to Sébastien Roblin, an expert on security and militarywhile Russia may finally have a 125-millimetre sabot round that can threaten Western main battle tanks at the range, only its handful of new T-14s tank are capable of actually using it.

Experts claim that the 2A82 gun could be retrofitted to numerous older T-90s and T-72s so far appear not to have materialized.

Despite Russia’s defence spending, the Russian military has continued with the production of the new tank. The production is overseen by Rostec Corporation, the Moscow conglomerate that specializes in consolidating strategically important companies in Russia’s defence sector.

It has undergone field testing in Syria. Although the extent of testing and the results are still unclear, a Russian media outlet suggested that “one Armata was completely destroyed.” There’s no confirmation on that but it might not look good to its buyers.

“It [the T-14 Armata tank] is expensive because it is still undergoing extra trials and modernization after the defence ministry requested additional technical solutions in order to begin serial supplies starting from the next year under the existing contract,” said Manturov in April this year.

He further said that next year, when serial supplies of these tanks to the defence ministry are launched and an export certificate is obtained, they will begin to work with foreign clients. “Preliminarily, bearing in mind that we cannot provide all the documentation to our foreign clients. We do have preliminary orders,” he added.

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