The festival of colours holi is here and celebrations are usually on people’s minds. However, this year the fear of the deadly Coronavirus has gripped people’s minds and instilled a sense of fear and anxiety among all. All over the world, the outbreak of the Covid-19 has made people cautious and moreso now that it has come to India with 34 confirmed cases. This has had a huge impact on our lives as well. The Central and State governments have already sent out messages regarding precautionary measures which is applicable during festivals too, including holi where people meet in large gatherings in crowded places.
2020 holi is not going to be as fun loving for many, as some people are refraining from playing with colours in crowded places due to the fear of the Covid-19. Infact many big holi parties are not taking place this year as the turnout is expected to be low. Dr Monalishaa Sahoo who is currently practicing in the KPC Medical College advises everyone to play safely. ”There is no harm if you use dry colours like ‘gulaal” or abir’. Please ensure that you wash your hands carefully before applying them. Organic colours are the best. However clean yourself with soap immediately after the colours are applied. Do not use colours”. Said Dr.Sahoo.
A sweeping change is already seen in the markets of Kolkata as the number of stalls have been reduced and very few sellers are present in the market. Colours are rarely available. “There is an obvious scare amongst people during this period regarding the virus. My child was pestering me to buy pichkaris and colours, but this year apart from abir I have not let him purchase anything” says Shanti Mondal who was busy buying abir for her son.
“This is a very panic stricken period and I feel all people are in a very vulnerable state. Proper precautions must be taken to stay safe during this period”, says Dr. Eesha Banerjee who is a sociology professor from a recognized university in Kolkata. Although the festival of colours is one of the most joyous festivals in Kolkata, she asks students teachers and kids to play safe to protect themselves from any types of infections.
“Parents should be around their children to take care of them. Society at large is under a lot of stress right now. Infections can spread from everywhere so they should always be alert. Personal hygiene is most important.” Adds Dr.Banerjee.
Here is how the outbreak of Covid-19 can be prevented by taking these small measures like:
Observe good personal hygeine
Frequent washing of hands with soap
Using sanitizers with alcohol content
Used tissues should be thrown into the bin immediately and basic etiquette of covering mouth while sneezing or coughing must be followed. People should see a doctor if they feel unwell.
People have been asked not to spit in public and have close contact with anyone in case of coughing or fever.
There should not be any contact with live animals or raw and undercooked meat. Travel to farms, live animal markets or where animals are slaughtered must be avoided