The festive season brings together people from all walks of life, this ‘coming together’ is what imparts cultural and linguistic integration amongst all communities; however, things are ominously different this year. While Navratri is here, and the rest of the ‘end of the year festivities’ like Dussehra, Diwali, and Christmas are around the corner, citizens have been advised to avoid public gatherings, maintain social etiquettes and restrict celebrations to their homes. An advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry appeals to people to observe COVID-19-appropriate behavior during the fast-approaching festive season and the winter months, ï¿½when the likelihood of an increase in the disease is high.
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This appeal to maintain social etiquette has been further bolstered with the launch of the countrywide ‘Jan Andolan’ campaign which encourages people to adopt and practice COVID-19 appropriate behaviors to curb the spread of diseases while celebrating festivals.
This is a crucial time, our healthcare machinery, doctors, nurses and civic authorities are working round the clock to ensure that we emerge victorious in our fight against COVID-19. By following social etiquettes, we can do our part as we continue to celebrate these much-awaited festivals while keeping our loved ones safe. Dr. Kirti Sabnis, Infectious Disease Specialist, Fortis Hospitals Mumbai shares a few tips to keep in mind as you participate in these festivities:
- Greet without physical contact; a graceful Namaste is a safe greeting gesture in the current times
- Avoid large gatherings; comply with authorities and maintain respiratory etiquette. If you have minor symptoms such as cough, headache, or mild fever, opt to stay at home until you recover
- Maintain a minimum distance of 1-meter between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection. Even if you are indoors, maintain similar social distance; if not possible avoid over-crowding
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze; immediately after, dispose of the tissue and wash/ sanitize your hands
Wear A Mask:
- Wash or sanitize your hands before putting it on, as well as after you take off your mask
- Your mask should cover the nose, mouth, and chin
- Maintain mask hygiene by daily washing cloth mask/ disposing of single-use masks
- Avoid touching your face and nose with unwashed or unsanitized hands
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- Do not share plates, cutlery, water cups, or tissue paper with the other guests
- If your family is coming together, choose an outdoor setting; avoid indoor settings especially if the space is small and has questionable ventilation. Indoor settings are also avoidable since people would talk loudly, breathe heavily, and sing; which up the risk further
- Do not chew pan, a popular mouth freshener during festivities, and spit in public places; avoid smoking too
- Avoid traveling to and from the venue in a shared car; the cars used to ferry guests may not be cleaned appropriately. Also, avoid traveling with unknown persons
- Keep the number of guests to a minimum, or opt for an e-darshan which will ensure that everyone enjoys the festivities from the confines of their homes
- Upon your return home, leave your footwear outside, take a hot shower, and wash clothes separately. If you notice any symptoms, notify your physician immediately and isolate yourself from other people in the house
- Elderly people in the house should avoid greeting guests if they come over keep; if absolutely necessary, maintain a minimum distance of 1 meter from the guest and wear your mask (IANS)