It’s official. The Coronavirus has well and truly come to India. With as many as 43 confirmed cases of the deadly virus in the country at the time of writing, it has spread to almost all parts of the nation.
The fear of the virus is so widespread, that it has dampened the spirit around, Holi, the festival of colours. Holi involves colours, getting together and eating special delicacies. However, all that is now under threat with the outbreak of the virus in India.
The epidemic has led to the cancellation of several mass gatherings, festival celebrations and parties in light of precautionary directives issued by health experts.
Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind announced their plans to keep away from Holi celebrations owing to the recent Coronavirus threat in the country.
COVID- 19 is an airborne infection. It can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or via close contact with infected people. With that in mind, it is not advisable to celebrate Holi this year or participate in mass gatherings. But despite that, if you decide to celebrate the festival, keep the following things in mind
Celebrate With A Small Group
The incubation period for the virus ranges from 2-14 days. This means that people who aren’t showing the symptoms right now can be carriers of the virus. Thus, people going from house to house or mass gatherings could be the places where the chances of catching the virus are at its highest.
While you can’t eliminate the risk of infection, you can reduce the probability of by celebrating with a small group. This Holi, enjoy the festival in closed gatherings with family or friends, to make sure you don’t get infected. Celebrate with family members and no outsiders, so that there isn't an increased risk of getting the novel virus.
Don’t Play With People Showing Virus-Like Symptoms
Fever, cough and shortness of breath. These are the early symptoms that could be caused by the novel coronavirus. Many people may discount these symptoms as regular ailments and proceed to play the festival. However, for you to keep yourself safe, it is important that you leave no stone unturned. If you do decide to play, make sure that no one who is displaying signs of cold or has a fever, is involved. If you are able, ensure that everyone you play with is not displaying symptoms.
Get the Venue Disinfected
It might also be possible to catch SARS-CoV-2 by touching a surface where the virus has recently landed and then touching one's mouth, nose or eyes. While this mode of transmission is less common, it is certainly a plausible one. To prevent this, try to get your Holi venue sanitized beforehand. If you’re celebrating at your house or in a villa, it is advisable to get the entire premise disinfected to ensure no underlying virus is present. Some coronaviruses can live on surfaces for days. To combat this use, ethanol, hydrogen-peroxide or bleach-based cleaners.
Keep Precautionary Measures Handy At The Party
A Holi party is pretty easy to plan. Keep bhang, colours, ready water supply and you’re good to go. But this time, incorporate a thing or to more to make sure your Holi is a safe one.
One of the best precautions you could take to prevent the spread of the virus is hygiene and sanitation. Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. So keep a ready batch of sanitizers ready to make sure everyone at your party is squeaky clean!
You could also keep a pamphlet of dos and don'ts, like this one at your party. Give this to all your guests and make sure they follow. Prevention is better than cure you know.
Facemasks should be used by people who show the symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. But obviously, you’re bound to have a set of hypochondriacs and health freaks who can’t stop thinking about the virus. While we know that Holi with a facemask defeats the entire purpose, keep a few handy for your nervous guests!
Not everyone wants to let go of celebrating their favourite festival. With that in mind, if you plan on celebrating the festival this year, keep this in mind to make sure you have a safe and coronavirus free Holi!