Dr. Brunda M S, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Aster CMI Hospital
Holi, the much-awaited festival of colours is just around the corner. However, this year, as we are already witnessing the second wave of Covid-19 and once again in the month of March the corona cases are increasing at a faster pace, hence, people are strongly recommended to avoid participating in Holi celebrations and gatherings this year also.
Even though the excitement related to the festival will be diminished, in the current scenario, staying home and keeping everyone safe is the only key currently to restrict the transmission of the deadly virus.
As many of us are aware that the festival involves a lot of physical touch right from applying colours to greeting your loved ones with hugs, one cannot get away from Holi celebrations without coming in close contact with others. Hence, during the covid-pandemic, one’s indulgence in these activities can increase the risk factor of infection for everyone. Adding to this is the inevitable involvement of water-filled balloons and pichkaris (water sprinklers). Playing with water can worsen the health condition of any person down with the flu and can even cause pneumonia.
Therefore, while celebrating Holi this year, it is advisable that people adhere to the following precautions to keep themselves and their families safe –
- Maintain at least 6 feet distance from a person who is coughing or sneezing to keep oneself safe
- Avoid community gatherings in one’s society and nearby areas and limit the interaction with family
- Follow proper hand hygiene and social distancing norms while stepping out
- Ensure that the people visiting your house don’t have cough and cold
- Do not remove your mask and dispose them properly after use
- People who have recently returned from travel should strictly adhere to a 14-day quarantine period to restrict transmission
- Have enough immunity boosting foods
- Avoid hugs and handshakes and instead greet everyone with namaste on Holi to limit physical contact
Lastly, the public should be mindful that our efforts to bring back normalcy through increased vaccination can take a big hit because of Holi celebrations and community gatherings and hence should not get carried away with the festive cheer. It is strongly recommended that people who are above 60 years and children who are below 10 years of age with comorbidities should remain indoors and refrain themselves from participating in the festivities.
Holi is an annual event and can be celebrated next year also, however, lives lost during this time due to the covid-19 infection cannot be brought back. Therefore, ensuring the safety and security of one’s family members remains in one’s adherence to the preventive measures.