‘Gulf News helps me explore cooking’
I have been living in the UAE for the last four years, and I’m an avid Gulf News reader (“Watch: Cook with Gulf News Food — Mumbai Biryani”, Gulf News, January 3). I love the content you publish, and it shows the effort that the Gulf News team puts in. Since the Food by Gulf News section was launched, I have been reading almost every article. It is also fascinating to read the history behind every food and its origin. I usually cook during weekends, and it’s easy for me to follow the recipes, especially the videos. I’m a foodie, and I love cooking. It is something I learned from watching my mother. When I came to the UAE, initially I would eat out. But, a few years later, I realised if you have the right ingredients and time, it’s more fun to cook at home. It’s also more affordable, you don’t need to worry about the bills you get when you order food. Even though I don’t have the time to cook as much as I’d like to, I still love it! Cooking allows me to express my creative side. When I am in the kitchen, it just feels nice to be away from everything else for a little while. It feels peaceful yet fun. Cooking has helped me explore many different dishes that I never thought I would like or make.
From Mr Akhil B
Follow the COVID-19 rules
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in several countries (“Covid-19:BioNTech says developed method to detect high-risk variants”, Gulf News, January 11). At least 24 countries have now reported cases of Omicron, and the WHO expects that number to grow. How worried should we be about this variant? All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, mutate over time. Omicron is a new SARSCoV-2 variant that has been identified recently. While it will take days or weeks to determine if these mutations significantly affect transmission and disease severity, it is essential to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Avoid crowded spaces, wear a mask, keep a physical distance from others, and get fully vaccinated, as existing vaccines are still likely to offer protection from severe illness and death. Higher vaccination rates will help reduce the severity of infections and reduce transmission from infected individuals. It will also help prevent newer variants from emerging. Ultimately, international collaborations to make vaccine supply more accessible, fight harmful misinformation and better promote vaccination coverage worldwide must be top priorities.
From Mr Hari Shankar
Pandemics like Covid-19 can be worrying. It can affect your mental health (“Don’t let vaccine fatigue deter you from taking flu shot, doctors in UAE advise”, Gulf News, January 05). But, there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during this time. Some people might find it more worrying than others. Medical, scientific and public health experts work hard to contain the virus. Keeping a realistic perspective of the situation based on facts is essential. The constant stream of information about COVID-19 can be overwhelming. It can also make you feel unnecessarily worried. On social media, people often talk about their worries or beliefs about Covid-19. It could increase your worry and levels of anxiety. It is vital to carefully choose who you engage with on social media and for how long. It’s crucial to pay attention to yourself, especially during times of stress. Friends and family can be good sources of support in such times. It is also important to keep in touch with them. Even though there is a lot of chaos worldwide regarding Covid-19, make sure you listen to verified medical and information sources and follow health and safety protocols that will help you sustain through the pandemic.
From Mr Gobind Sharma
South Africa cricket series
Kudos to the South African cricket team, especially their captain, Dean Elgar, who led his team from the front, with an unbeaten 96 to level the series one all. No doubt, Indian bowlers toiled and tried their best to match the score. But, thanks to the patient knocks of the South African captain and other batsmen, who ensured no hiccups. Moreover, the Indian fielders helped them to thrive. The Indian batsmen were irresponsible with their shots. They were out in just two and a half sessions in the second innings, thus nullifying the efforts of our bowlers, who restricted South Africa first-innings lead to just 27. Anyway, there is no point in crying over spilt milk. Indian teams have to play responsibly during the final Test. We sincerely hope that Virat Kohli would be fit enough to lead the team at Cape Town.
From Mr N Mahadevan