Cleanliness is next to Godliness, they say. And this aphorism couldn’t be more relevant today than it has ever been. All of humanity is stricken by an invisible enemy, one whose march can only be halted by paying attention to the following: Hands (wash and sanitise your hands frequently) — Face (avoid touching your face) — Space (maintain social distancing).
Mindfulness is the key
Be cognizant of touching shared surfaces, anything from the buttons in the elevator to doorbells. Wash your hands after every potential contact that could result in contamination, and for times when that may not be possible, carry a hand sanitiser on you. Washing your hands early and often is the simplest way to break the chain of transmission.
The average person touches their face over 15 times an hour, which can increase when you’re lost in thought. We have all had to consciously alter this natural trait to stay safe during the pandemic, and even though things may look better now than they have, we can’t let our guard down because the third wave may be lurking around the corner. Be considerate and use a face mask, especially in enclosed or crowded spaces, where you don’t have the benefit of natural air for ventilation.
Be alert this festive season
As human beings, we crave the comfort of a hug when we meet near and dear ones, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi. Once again, this terrible pandemic has curbed this most natural of instincts, and we have had to avoid embracing our parents, friends and loved ones. This festive season, it is vitally important that we don’t squander our hard-earned progress and keep the number of infections low by continuing to maintain social distancing. Take a shower when you return home after a busy day, or change your clothes at the very least, especially before you come in contact with the more vulnerable members of your family,
You got this
All these changes combined with staying on your guard constantly can be exhausting and take a mental toll. So, it’s vitally important that you don’t subject yourself to mental isolation. It can be easy to be lost in work from dawn to dusk in this work from home setting, but the onus is on us to take time out and engage with our family and friends and participate safely in festive occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi, albeit safely.
As history is our witness, the pandemic will end in years, if not months, but the mental health impacts that result will be with us for much longer. Let us all commit to looking after ourselves through simple measures and lend a helping hand to our frontline workers, who are doing everything in their power to keep us out of harm’s way. May Ganpati Bappa shower his choicest blessings on our doctors, teachers, shopkeepers, BMC and Government employees and reward them with a breather this festive season.