Is it safe to play Holi amid the coronavirus outbreak?

With coronavirus threatening the celebration of Holi, many people are taking strict precautions. To stay safe during Holi, avoid public gatherings and wet places, cover your mouth and nose at all times and eat from disposable plates.

With cases of coronavirus infections rising in India, the excitement of Holi is not much seen. Usually, during this season, you would see an unimaginable site of Holi preparations, but with coronavirus steadily spreading to different parts of India, all the joy seems to be lost. With only a few days left for the festival of colors, there is no hope to see a grand Holi celebration in the country. The spread of coronavirus also hit hard on the shopkeepers and wholesalers this year as not many people are confident to go shopping in crowded places. Moreover, most of the imports from China such as balloons, pichkaris, toys, and colors have been shut down. According to the Times of India, Holi-related Chinese goods worth about Rs.500 crores are stocked with traders across Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Chennai.

People all around the country are taking precautions when it comes to attending mass gatherings. There is hardly any demand for Chinese colors and pichkaris in the Delhi-NCR Holi market as customers are uncertain about the contamination. Families across the capital are cutting down on celebrations and canceling pool parties. The clubs and parks that used to host rain dance and water-related games have all stepped back to avoid any public gatherings. Usually, during the time of Holi, there would be a week-long celebration in Vrindavan and Mathura but this year the number of pilgrims coming from different places has gone down due to the outbreak of the disease. Apartment owners’, traders’ bodies and social groups in Delhi-NCR have also decided to cancel Holi functions and request residents to avoid large gatherings. Even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind plans to keep away from Holi celebrations owing to the recent Coronavirus threat.

Even though experts have advised reducing mass gatherings to avoid the spread of coronavirus, some people are still planning to join functions and parties while taking some precautions. Here are some of the precautions you can take while celebrating Holi.

1.       Wear mask throughout the celebration

If you are planning to attend a gathering or function during Holi, keep your face mask on at all times. This is the most basic and effective way to avoid any infection. The virus can easily enter your body through your mouth and nose so covering it can largely reduce the chances of getting infected.

Wear mask throughout the celebration

2.      Celebrate Holi with your family members and avoid close contact with outsiders

Try to be with people you know and avoid hanging out with outsiders. You know your family members well enough to know they do not have any symptoms of the virus but an outsider may be potentially carrying the virus. By avoiding hugs and handshakes with outsiders, you can avoid some of the risks of contamination.

Celebrate Holi with your family members

3.      Do not visit crowded places

Avoid visiting crowded places at all costs. Even if one of the people in the gathering has a positive coronavirus infection, you are likely to suffer from it. Try to maintain at least a meter of distance with people around you to stay safe.

Do not visit crowded places

4.      Don’t play in wet areas or swimming pools

Swimming pools and wet areas bring the highest risk of infection as the virus is known to spread quickly through the water. Celebrate this Holi with dry power colors instead of wet colors, this way you can protect yourself and others from the virus.

Don’t play in wet areas or swimming pools

5.      Do not touch your hands, nose, and mouth

Even if you are playing Holi, keep your hands away from your mouth nose and eyes. This way you can protect yourself from potential infection even if you have come in contact with contaminated surfaces.

6.      Wash your hands thoroughly

After the celebration, make sure you remove your clothes and throw them the laundry. Take a long shower and wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can also put antiseptic liquids in your bathtub to fully rinse yourself from the virus.

7.      Do not eat from metal or plastic plates

You will find a lot of places serving food and drink during holy. If you are planning to eat some of the food, make sure you are served in biodegradable disposable plates and eco-friendly disposable bowls. As plastic and metal plates have the highest chance of hosting the virus, eating in disposable plates can reduce the risk of infections.

Do not eat from metal or plastic plates

If you are planning to serve food to people during Holi, I recommend you to use Ecoware products as they are made from plant-based materials. Made from sugarcane pulp and crop waste, these products have the least chance of hosting the virus. Buy biodegradable food packaging products from and stay safe during Holi.

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