Holi, a festival of joy, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in India every year. The festival is celebrated to signify the victory of right over wrong. People gather in groups and apply colours to each other and distribute sweets. In some places, people use flowers instead of colours. In the times when India is going through the scare of COVID 19, how safe is it to play Holi?
Dr. Ashish Jaiyswal, Senior Respiratory Physician and Chest Specialist, Says
“Most respiratory viruses spread through droplet infection and COVID 19 is no exception. In Droplet infection, a healthy person gets infected when he comes in contact with the droplets of moisture expelled through cough and sneeze of an affected person. It is important to stay at least 6 feet away from a person who is coughing or sneezing to keep yourself safe from the droplet infection. Recent rains have increased the humidity, which means that virus droplets can suspend in the air for longer duration, therefore it is important to adopt routine and respiratory hygiene practices. One should avoid going to crowded places and travel unless extremely important.”
Dr. Raman Kumar, President of the Academy of Family Physicians of India, says
“There is no need to panic about COVID 19. Most patients recover with timely intervention. If you have any symptoms you should seek medical advice immediately. The fear around the virus is because of its rapid spread. As of now, the virus has spread over 80 countries and we have limited knowledge around it. Practicing all possible hygiene habits is important to keep ourselves safe. Hygiene habits mean not touching your face, washing your hands properly minimum 20 seconds before every meal, avoiding contact with others, etc. Many people are using surgical masks to safeguard themselves; however, it is essential to know that these masks won’t protect you from respiratory viruses rather they make an excellent moisture-rich place for bacteria to grow. If you must use a mask then go for N 95 masks. Face masks are usually required for the infected people so that they don’t spread the disease and for caregivers to protect themselves”
Dr. Vidushi Jain, Consultant dermatologist, Trichol Ghaziabadogist and aesthetic expert Dermalinks, Delhi, says
“With every new virus comes a tsunami of fake news. It is also important to refrain from spreading unverified social media messages. If you have any question, you should read government advisory and reach out of COVID 19 helpline numbers. In Holi, we apply colours to each other to spread the message of universal brotherhood; however, with COVID 19 scare it is intelligent to refrain from any unnecessary touch. One should not visit public Holi parties where you don’t know the whereabouts of the people attending it. It does not mean that you cannot play Holi at all. This year, try to celebrate among close groups of family and friends where you surely know that no one affected. Chemical colours are also dangerous for your skin; therefore it is wise to use natural colours or flowers for a Happy Holi.”