BENGALURU: India’s festive season may have kicked off but the not-so-friendly omnipresent virus does not take holidays. As the country starts to revel in festive cheer, the negligence towards the pandemic is imminent and will result in a surge of Covid-19 cases.
‘Pandemic fatigue’ comes in as a major threat. Being confined to the walls of their own homes and following safety measures for months together has made us all vulnerable and has hampered our immunity. The joy of being able to step out in the new normal is also exposing us to a number of infections besides the novel coronavirus and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk.
The result of precautionary laxity is a spike in the number of active cases in India. Experts have predicted another spike in Covid-19 cases due to the relaxation in lockdown norms and the festive season that tends to garner large gatherings. The onset of winters in northern parts of the country that is known to give rise to air pollution is also a reason that the ongoing pandemic might peak again.
People who suffer from diabetes, hypertension and breathing conditions like asthma need to pay attention to their sugar and oil intake while keeping a constant check on their medical conditions.
Diwali also gives rise to air pollution and the bad AQI index in a few cities can be particularly severe for asthma patients, hence they should avoid stepping out as much as they can.
Diwali is a festival of lights and particularly in 2020, this must only be about diyas and fairy lights and not fireworks. If you do plan to step out and meet your friends and family, maintain social distancing and wear a mask at all times. Avoid crowded places and at any cost do not neglect any symptoms of being sick. Disinfect your clothes and masks after coming back home and make sure to wash your hands and face. Besides this, use a sanitiser at all times.
Instead of going to markets and malls, consider online shopping as you prepare to buy clothes, gifts and decor for your home this year. Switch to praying and celebrating at home without visiting temples and crowded pandals to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. While the young are resilient and may recover on contacting the virus, we all need to think about elders and other vulnerable people around us. Do not let lethargy come in your way in following the basic safety measures like washing hands, using masks and sanitisers, maintaining social distance and avoid touching your face as much as you can.
(The author is an endocronologist and general physician at Apollo Spectra Hospital Kormangala, Bangalore)