This COVID care centre in Mizoram uses ‘TikTok therapy’ to treat patients

Dr Zothanpari Chhakchhuak, Superintendent of the Lawngtlai District Hospital, said the patients were all young and energetic and it was a good way to keep them engaged

Like other Northeastern states, even Mizoram witnessed a sudden spike in the number of cases last month, with most of the cases being returnees from other states. Photo: PTI

In the aftermath of the violent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh, several political leaders have urged boycotting Chinese products, food and even their applications, including TikTok.

However, in a dedicated coronavirus care centre in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district, a TikTok dance challenge is underway between the patients and doctors.

Dr. Elsadai Lalbersiama from the COVID care centre said that the exchange of videos between the medics and patients was taking place on a Whatsapp group originally created to convey information to them, set reminders about medicine, and exercise.

However, the group soon became a platform to share pictures, stickers, memes, and dance videos.

“Maybe at the end of this all, I will become

a good dancer. We decided that we [the doctors] would dance using the app, post our videos and ask them to share theirs too like a TikTok challenge,” the doctor was quoted in the Indian Express as saying.

The 31-year-old said that it all started two week ago when the district, bordering Bangladesh in the west and Myanmar in the south, reported its first COVID-19 positive case.

“The dance-off has been going on for more than a week now. We think of dance moves on the spot, record them and put it on our group. And they do the same,” an 18-year-old patient from the centre told the Indian Express.

“When I first saw the video of the doctors dancing, I knew this wasn’t for them. But we took it up as a challenge,” he added.

Dr Zothanpari Chhakchhuak, Superintendent of the Lawngtlai District Hospital which is now a dedicated COVID-19 care centre, said that all patients were between the age group of 18-30, except a 11-year-old child.

“They are young and energetic and we thought this was a good way to keep everyone engaged. However, it was possible because none of the cases were serious yet, and they were few in number,” she said.

Speaking about managing work and indulging in the positive initiative, Dr Lalbersiama said that he and his medical team of a nurse and a support staff member record their videos whenever they find time.

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“It’s a way to provide stress relief as well as mental support — not just for them, but us too. Before entering the CCC, little did I know I would be doing this,” he said.

While enjoying each bit of the ‘TikTok therapy’, the medical team also ensures that the patients regularly exercise.

“We have given them skipping ropes, they do push-ups too,” said Dr Chhakchhuak.

Extending his support towards the activity, Mizoram Health Secretary, H. Lalengmawia said, “It’s a great initiative. These people really need motivation and encouragement and activities like this can go a long way.”

“It is a fun activity especially because Mizos are usually good at dancing, that is why we are enjoying this so much. We do singing sessions and gymming sessions inside the ward. Sometimes, we don’t even feel like we are patients — at least I forget I have COVID,” the 18-year-old patient said.

Like other Northeastern states, even Mizoram witnessed a sudden spike in the number of cases last month, with most of the cases being returnees from other states.

In Lawngtlai district’s centre there were eight patients all of whom were asymptomatic and returned to the state from Delhi.

Mizoram currently has 133 active COVID-19 cases.

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