Dashain is the main festival of the Nepali People and the pandemic COVID is not going anywhere. The cases that were in spike have been less lately but the COVID has not been eliminated completely. It is still among us and we have to be careful of it. The vaccination rate is also increasing in Nepal but we must not forget that people who have got vaccinations can still get COVID. So, whether a person has got the vaccine or not the person should take necessary precautions while celebrating the great festival Dashain.
In Nepal, approximately 22.34% of people are vaccinated but to ensure the safety of the public, the vaccination rate should increase. Similarly, the availability of vaccines should be made easily available to the people of Nepal. Waiting too much in line to get a single dose or not be able to even get a single dose while waiting in the line can create chaos and turmoil in people which can be a reason for people to avoid vaccination.
While there is still the challenge of keeping the increasing pandemic in control, the Dashain has added more challenges in controlling the infection spreading rapidly. Though the fear and disaster of COVID are on the rise, yet the zeal and celebrations vibes of Dashain are also in the hike. In this situation, the question arises- How can we celebrate the Dashain safely in this situation?
What are the restrictions to follow?
Surely, we do want to celebrate the prestigious Nepalese festival, but we also cannot ignore the fact that the spread of the virus can accelerate more at this time. Thus, we must follow certain restrictions given as per the government that will ensure our safety. Some of the restrictions and prohibitions that we need to follow are:
Do not go to a heavily crowded department store for shopping. If you can do not overcrowd unnecessarily in the market places. Do not buy items that are not necessary and spend much on petty materials. Do not consume the food outside, crowding in the food stalls or restaurants as much as possible.
In Public Transports:
Do not travel on the public bus as much as possible. If required, maintain social distancing in the transports. Avoid talking to the people inside the buses.
Do not arrange for large gatherings. If you can do not mandate for the visitors to visit for the Dashain. Do not go to visit the relatives in name of the Dashain greetings.
What are the precautions to be taken?
The restrictions surely are not going to be the solution to control the infections. People will thrive to celebrate and the infections will also simultaneously keep spreading.
Yet, keeping in mind the restrictions as also following some precautions, we can cherish the festive and also be safe ourselves The clinical research unit coordinator of Shukraraj Tropical and Communicable Diseases Hospital, Teku, Kathmandu, Dr Sher Bahadur has suggested some precautions including:
Avoid going to markets as much as possible. If you do go, don’t forget to wear masks, gloves at all times, and necessary PPE. Use sanitizer in the markets, but also keep washing your hands with soap and water. Maintain proper distance in the market with the people. Wash the hands and legs and exposed parts before entering the house or assembling with other family members after returning from the market.
As much as possible do not use public transport. If required, maintain the proper safety of using masks, gloves. Don’t interact with strangers and sit separately. Dispose of the masks and gloves after use. If you have touched any surfaces on the bus make sure to wash your hands or sanitize well.
As much as possible consume, homemade foods. Wash the food items thoroughly after bringing inform the market. Cooking meat and other products well before consumption are one of the high recommendations. Healthy food should be constantly in consumption despite the Dasshain such as hot water, proteinous food, etc.
It’s important to keep yourself and the family safe as well. In name of the Dashain, we cannot entertain carelessness to make ourselves and our family exposed to the infection.
Thus, we must wash and maintain precautions after we return from outside exposure. Maintain distance even in the family and between the relatives irrespective of how close and beloved.
It is important to keep in mind the hygiene and follow. When you get home from anywhere outside, you should keep the clothes you wore in a separate place, wash your hands and feet with soap and water and enter only after showering.
When there is an infected at home
It isn’t that if you are infected there is no reason to celebrate festively and get to cherish joy. We can indeed make our celebration joyous taking care of both ourselves and the infected.
- If someone has COVID at home, such members should be in a separate room that is under strict quarantine protocols.
- You should eat normal food as much as possible.
- You should not feel sick of giving the infected person a bit more care.
- The person who has COVID should be busy with some work or inside hobbies. Doing so can help prevent depression.
- Keep the maintenance of the distance and use PPE.
- Feed the infected with healthy food as much as possible.
What should an infected family pay attention to?
Infection does not necessarily cause problems. But after the infection, any condition can arise. Therefore, the phone number of the doctor, the phone number of the ambulance should be in safe and on speed dial. Even if you are healthy, carelessness can lead to death.
If you have a rough cough, difficulty breathing, or lack of oxygen, go to the hospital as soon as possible.
If the infected person has difficulty breathing, arrangements should be made to provide oxygen as first aid from a nearby health facility or clinic.
Every infected person needs to keep an oxygen measuring device at home. Oxygen labels have to be monitored as the price is not much.
The role of the neighbour for an infected family
In case the family is infected, help can be sought fully from the neighbors. And, the neighbors should also help such families with an open heart. Goods can be bought and brought. The infection cannot occur when you chose to approach the door or gates. One should be considerate enough to keep respect and not blame any members of another family for suffering COVID. Especially in the festive season, the feelings to help one another must be there.
How to spread happiness and encouragement to the infected during Dashain
According to the Psychoanalyst, Vasu Acharya, the family` can help an infected member in the following ways. As there is a strong possibility that the infected person may not be able to blend with the family during the Dashain and might feel sad and disregarded in small things.
- If everyone is infected at home, distract yourselves by playing cards, ludo, and other games together
- If the infected person is sitting alone in the room, let him read a book on the topic of positive thoughts, give him work that can be done in the whole room.
- Don’t spend too much time on social media scrolling over unnecessary stuff.
- Due to the fear of being infected by different things on social media, the heart rate automatically increases, it is difficult to breathe, so do not watch programs related to Corona that spread sensation on social media
- Exercise for an hour or meditate to keep your energy levels in check.
- Most of the infected living room windows are closed due to fear of infection. When the room is dark, negative thoughts will prevail, so stay in a relatively sunny room.
Festivals are the reasons for happiness and enjoyment. Dashain is the greatest festival of the citizen of Nepal which they celebrate with great enthusiasm but one should never forget the prevailing COVID surrounding us. One can celebrate Dashain and be happy and healthy if one follows the precautions and safety given above.