The year 2020 started on a dim note. The celebrations are not likely to be grand and exquisite. Though the markets are alive, the festive buzz is missing. 2020 has enforced a new template on lives & livelihoods, but then, it is Diwali. So, will it be social mingling or distancing, or a mix? That’s what many are undecided on Diwali is the best of times — a time to celebrate life, to express the joy of living, to forgive, forget and come together, even if momentarily. A festival of giving, bonding, shared joy, marking prosperity, or praying for it to Goddess Lakshmi. Splurging and socializing are defining hallmarks. In the corporate world, largesse rules, bonuses, and gifts provide a comparative scale. Eat, drink, and make merry — it indeed is the best of times. Just that it is 2020, and everything that could go wrong, has.
People isolated themselves inside their homes and lived in anxiety and uncertainty for the longest time. While the fight with the virus is far from over, we all have learned to live with it and are trying to resume our pre-pandemic lives in the new normal. But how will COVID impact our favorite Indian festival? Wearing the finest of clothes, hopping from one Diwali party to another, personally delivering Diwali greetings to relatives and friends, getting stuck for hours in traffic with the car full of gifts and goodies has been a common Diwali feeling for the past many years. But this year will be different.
While parties haven’t died down, their grandness has to some extent. Many event planners shared that while some people are still hosting parties, the guest list has been trimmed considerably. People are inviting a selected few for Diwali parties and are mostly sending Diwali greetings through courier.
There are people who are trying to retain some sense of celebratory spirit during this time of the year.
Many cities have banned the use of firecrackers owing to the increasing levels of air pollution because the doctors fear that the combined effect of COVID and air pollution can spell havoc for the public. Many people have decided to keep it low key, worried about their elderly parents or young children. While in the given conditions, this may not be all wrong, there are ways we can still celebrate the festival of lights and wish for prosperity and happiness all around the world.
Following tips for people to celebrate a safe Diwali:
AVOID BURSTING CRACKERS
This Diwali, say no to firecrackers or any form of burning waste, especially the dry leaves in a public garden or a bonfire, as any form of smoke can trigger serious health concerns amid the Covid-19 pandemic which is still active. Carbon particles from fumes and chemical vapors from firecrackers may aggravate the pre-existing allergic condition.
ELDERLY TO STAY INDOORS
The elderly should stay indoors to avoid cold temperatures outside. People of all ages should avoid physical congregations. Instead, meet families and friends in the virtual space. Stay well with the ‘better normal.’
DON’T USE SANITISER BEFORE LIGHTING DIYA/CANDLES
Refrain from using hand sanitizers which are alcohol-based before lighting diyas or candles. Sanitizers are inflammable and can cause fire hazards. It is recommended by the experts that you wash your hands with soap and water, before doing anything that involves fire.
KEEP SANITISER AWAY FROM FIRE
Sanitizer bottles are common in households, and people have started keeping it handy during the Covid-19 pandemic. But, since maximum sanitizers are alcohol-based, they can easily catch fire. Therefore, keep your sanitizer bottles at a safe spot.
KEEP WATER HANDY
Instead of carrying sanitizers everywhere, you can consider carrying water and paper soaps. They are safer, and you can easily wash your hands anywhere without the danger of catching fire.
MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE
Festivity is all about togetherness and strengthening bonds. But this festive season, try and adjust to the new normal and avoid meeting people physically.
AVOID GREETING OTHERS WITH A HUG
Namaste is the best way to greet people right now. It is recommended that you celebrate Diwali this year by staying indoors.
REFRAIN FROM EATING OUTSIDE
While there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transferred through cooked food, it is recommended that people should avoid eating outside during the festive season. This is not just because of the risk of Covid-19, but because food from outside can cause other stomach infections, which can affect your immunity and overall health. Also, nothing is better than home-cooked, traditional meals at a festival, right?
DON’T FORGET YOUR MASK
It is significant to be responsible and take mandatory precautions. Covid-19 has made the use of masks necessary. Therefore, every time you step out.
Celebrate a happy and safe Diwali, There is no denying that coronavirus has extracted all the fun out of the festive season but we can’t lose hope for this virus, be safe take precautions.