The past two years — 2020 and 2021 — have been full of hardships and turmoil. Many lost their loved ones, owing to the deadly coronavirus. The second wave of Covid-19 saw despair and grief everywhere, and at the same time, brought forth grit and determination among civilians to help each other. As we celebrate one of the biggest occasions, Diwali, the festival of lights, Covid-19 is still very much among us.
We can’t be reckless while celebrating festivals this year too. Although the country has hit the 1 billion vaccination mark, we still can’t put our guards down. It is understandable that months of isolation, staying at home detached from the outside world, and anxiety may make you want to let go and have fun during these festivities. However, it is also important that we stay alert.
Celebrate this Diwali by dressing to the nines and gorging on delicious meals, while maintaining Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
Here are some ways to enjoy a safe Diwali at home:
Covid-19 appropriate gatherings: Large parties and gatherings are best avoided. Instead, have small family get-togethers. But if you are having a family get-together, ensure that all of you have gotten your Covid-19 vaccine shots and are wearing a surgical or N-95 mask, using a sanitiser and washing hands with soap frequently. Remember to ventilate your house by opening all the windows during the puja.
‘Go green’ and say NO to crackers: Every year post-Diwali, the air quality index (AQI) is highly impacted; pollution seemingly increases from the uncontrolled bursting of crackers. Covid-19 is a respiratory infection, and poor air quality is hazardous for all. The loud noise of the crackers is harmful to animals as well. Hence, from this year, don’t burst crackers and encourage others to join you in this endeavor.
Brighten your home using eco-friendly materials: Use earthen diyas and candles to reduce electricity consumption.
Don’t overindulge: Prefer eating home cooked meals and avoid food from outside. We often tend to have no control over what we’re eating during festivals. Stay away from sweets if you have diabetes and consume calorie-dense food with restraint.
If you are going out on Diwali, ensure the following to stay safe from Covid-19:
Always wear a mask and don’t take it off; carry sanitizer and paper soaps when outdoors
Avoid crowds and keep a spare mask handy
Wash the clothes you’re wearing outdoors with detergent and 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.
Celebrate festivals but not at the cost of your and other human lives!