EXCLUSIVE: Ganesh Chaturthi 2021: Doctors list ways on how to stay safe during the festive season

Updated on Sep 09, 2021 08:53 PM IST  |  59K
Experts tell you how to enjoy while staying safe during the festival

Dhol, music and the dancing crowd has always been the highlight of the 10-day long Ganeshotsav. However, the spirits of the festival haven’t been the same ever since the pandemic hit the nation more than a year back. A crowd of hundreds has now been limited to a smaller group. With mask and social distancing being the new norm, the bigger pandals have also shrunk a bit, if not more.

However, what remains the same is the people’s love for bappa and for one of the most cherished festivals of India, Ganesh Chaturthi.

“I wait for the whole year to bring Ganpati bappa to my home. Ever since the pandemic has hit, the celebrations have become private. I miss the pre-Corona time when we could just dance and visit each other and seek blessings of Lord Ganesha. I hope that time comes back soon,” says Neha, a 25-year-old Mumbai resident.

With a jump in COVID cases today, doctors tell you how one can enjoy the festival to the core while staying safe.

“Since COVID is still there, it is imperative to limit the number of visitors at home. The video calls will be a great way to connect with family and friends online and enjoy the festival by minimizing the risk of Covid infection. In case, you allow any visitors at home, do check their temperature and SPO2, just to ensure they are safe. You may also ask them if they are vaccinated. Do not venture out in crowded places for shopping during the festive time as you will have higher chances of contracting COVID infection,” Dr. Pritam Moon, Consultant Physician, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, tells.

In case you have kept a Ganesh idol at home, and people visit you then avoid handshaking, make masks mandatory, ask them to sanitize or wash their hands and maintain a safe distance. Avoid being around sick people. “If you have ordered something, make sure you sanitize the box, wait for a few hours and then open it. Wear masks and sanitize your hands while you go to buy the Ganesh idol,” says Moon.

Dr Honey Savla, Internal Medicine, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, says that we all are living in the fear of the third wave coming soon and bringing back our lifestyles to lockdown. We also cannot deny the fact that our irresponsible behaviour can contribute to the same and especially so when the festivities are around. “With the pandemic, lives have changed, work patterns have changed and so has healthcare. We are in total digitalization and our celebration of festivals shouldn't be an exception. The virtual celebration should be encouraged along with rituals followed digitally and making video calls with our near and dear ones will keep all of us safe. We should avoid gathering more than 5 people at a time in one place and should be cooperative enough to stay at home if we have any signs and symptoms of COVID,” advises Savla.

He agrees with Moon and adds that it will be a good idea to avoid mass gatherings and travelling without reason during these challenging times. “Make sure that following a COVID appropriate behaviour is an integral part of our lifestyle. Get yourself vaccinated whenever you are eligible. Volunteer to not allow mass gatherings in your surroundings and help the sick and old ones in isolation with ration and meds. Encourage more and more testing of symptomatic individuals, isolating the positive ones and tracking all those who came in their contact. This will prevent the third wave,” opines Savla.

If you visit someone’s house during the Ganeshotsav, sanitize your hands properly, and once you come back home, change your clothes and take a shower without fail. Don’t forget to carry an extra pair of masks or a hand sanitizer. “Take steam as required. If you experience any COVID like symptoms, don’t become careless by dismissing them as a regular flu. Try to eat a well-balanced diet inclusive of all the vital nutrients that will help you to boost immunity. Don’t forget to exercise daily and maintain an optimum weight. Cut down on junk and processed food. Eating home-cooked food is a better and safe option,” explains Moon.

For the visarjan, Moon says, it is advisable to immerse the idol at home to avoid crowds and Corona. “If you have any visitors at home, disinfect the frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, handles, furniture, and faucets after regular intervals. Follow the etiquette of covering the mouth while sneezing or coughing. Take the idols at home in advance to avoid overcrowding,” he suggests.

Read Also: Ganesh Chaturthi 2021: 4 Interesting facts about Lord Ganesha