Yes, after two years of isolation, we are all looking forward to wearing your silk sarees, eating laddoos and hugging friends this Diwali. However, it may not be a good idea to shed your masks and inhibitions just yet."COVID19 is still very much among us. We can't be reckless while celebrating festivals this year," says Dr Sandeep Patil, Chief Intensivist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan. While he agrees that one should enjoy the festivities, he urges people to continue to exercise caution. "Celebrate festivals but not at the cost of your and other human lives. Follow all appropriate protocols so you can enjoy a safe and joyful Diwali," he says.
Also read: How to eat smart this festive season
So how does one stay safe and healthy as well as enjoy the festival? Dr Patil offers some tips.
Celebrate in smaller groups
"Large parties and gatherings are best avoided," says Dr Patil. Instead, he believes smaller get-togethers at home are better, celebrating the festival with family or close friends. "Ensure that all of you have gotten your COVID19 vaccine shots and are wearing a surgical or N95 mask, using a sanitiser and washing hands with soap frequently," he says, adding that it is also a good idea to keep the house ventilated.
Say no to crackers
Crackers may seem like fun, but the cost of bursting them is high. For starters, they significantly impact the air quality and can lead to respiratory infection. Also, "the loud noise of the crackers is harmful to animals as well," adds Dr Patil, who believes that it is best avoided.
Yes, good food is always welcome. But too much of it can leave you feeling stuffed and bloated. "Prefer eating homecooked meals and avoid food from outside," says Dr Patil, adding that festivals often lead to uncontrolled eating. "Stay away from sweets if you have diabetes and consume calorie-dense food with restraint," he says.
Some other tips (Courtesy Dr Patil)
Avoid crowds and keep a spare mask handy
Always wear a mask and don't take it off; carry sanitiser and paper soaps when outdoors.
Wash the clothes you're wearing outdoor with detergent & warm water, especially if you've been to a crowded place.
Take a shower with warm water immediately when you get back
Follow local authority-issued guidelines on curfew timings, if any
Lastly, seek immediate medical consultation if you have any symptoms