PALAKKAD: When the coronavirus pandemic created confusion and instilled fear in the minds of people, NC Krishnaprasad — a clerk at the community health centre in Pazhambalacode — redefined his role to guide them through tough times. He chose facts to clear their doubts, making good use of his data analytic skills honed while working with a mutual fund firm.
When facts were hard to come by, he spent hours collecting all data available on Covid, and collating and turning it into useful pieces of information. Soon he became a sought-after person on anything and everything related to Covid. From people looking for testing or vaccination centres to research students studying the impact of the disease, everyone began looking forward to Krishnaprasad’s updates — shared on a daily basis since April last year. He also made scores of informative videos that served to bust the myths associated with Covid.
Krishnaprasad says he began sharing Covid-related information, much like many others, after the novel coronavirus infection broke out. But he stuck to his task as more people started finding it helpful. “I started posting government bulletins in a concise form as my WhatsApp status from April 5 last year. When I stopped it for two days for personal reasons, people started asking me for information. That’s when I realised that people are actually finding it useful,” he says.
Since then, the 41-year-old has not stopped his updates. When the total number crossed the 12,700-mark, the Asia Book of Records approved his efforts in posting Covid-related information on Facebook for the longest duration.
Those who look for information from Krishnaprasad have different needs. During the peak of the first and second waves, when Covid wreaked havoc in other states, he scoured through the bulletins of the governments of Maharashtra, Delhi, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat to give a clear picture of the situation. He says it was done to allay the concerns of the relatives of Malayali families in those states. They kept calling him to know about quarantine rules when people return to Kerala, and on getting Covid certificates.
“I get calls from people asking for vaccination slots, testing centres, and on quarantine rules. I also don the role of a counsellor when people contact me after catching the infection or when they think they could get infected because their neighbour got it,” Krishnaprasad says. More recently, teachers and research students have started asking for data for their school projects and research works, respectively, he says.
He made his first video on social distancing when he saw people crowding in the market near his house, at Mangalam in Lakkidi. Since then he has made 85 videos on choosing the right mask and dealing with the infection to busting myths on vaccines.
When the pandemic situation started easing in the country, he began focusing on vaccination, and recently, on the developments related to Covid overseas. All that effort has proved to be time-consuming, and has affected his reading time. But he is satisfied that it has been worthwhile. Krishnaprasad’s wife Arsha Appekkat, a school teacher, also chips in whenever she can.