The heat might be heavy and the humidity high, but the current season in India has nothing to do with the weather outside. Instead, it's tied to a sport you'll find a fan of, in every nook and cranny of the country. It could take the form of a makeshift danda to strike the gilli with or peak performance as a professional on the pitch, but as many before me have already asserted, Indians follow cricket the way they would religion. So circling back to where we started, the current season in the country isn't that of summer or monsoon; it's the season of the Indian Premier League!
IPL time, is an exciting time of the year, especially when the year has even remotely been anything like 2020. We're all psyched at the prospect of thrilling cut-throat matches, shouting slogans at the top of our voices, and in a really long time, feeling connected to others. And like most joys of the world, the happiness of watching IPL is best enjoyed when shared with people you love. Don't avert your gaze, I know you plan on meeting up with the squad! Mostly, because so do I. But as much as I hate to be the party pooper, I'd like to remind both you and myself of one critical fact. There's still a pandemic on the loose, guys.
What is my point, you ask? Not to discourage you from hanging out or watching a match with your friends, definitely. Do that, do exactly that, but.....with some safety precautions in place. I know you want to grasp onto what has been the first glimpse of delight in a very long time, but preventing infection and curbing the spread of the Coronavirus, is just as important now, if not more. So without elongating this lecture any further, I'm going to quickly hop over to the 10 safety tips we've listed for you this IPL season.
1. I Know You Want To Hug Your Friends, But Don't
Trust me, I get it. There's nothing I want to do more than giving my BFF a long warm hug every single time I see her, let alone after several months. But this year, we're expressing our affection and care to our close ones the opposite way; by not touching them! With the threat of infection looming in the air constantly, the need to maintain physical distance from every single person around you, even when you're hanging out in front of the TV with them, is absolutely critical to preventing transmission. So, go for an elbow bump as a choice of greeting instead. Or maybe a foot shake. Or a Vulcan salute?
2. Wear Your Mask Throughout
I'm sure you've diligently followed the mask mandate all this while, but this road can get trickier to navigate with close friends. These are people you love, people you're familiar with and people you feel extremely comfortable with. So, naturally, the urge to just take the damn mask off and chill with a pint of beer may bubble up. And that's okay. What's not, however, is giving in to the urge. Keep your mask on whenever you're not by yourself in your room, and definitely when you're surrounded by a bunch of people for long hours, such as while watching IPL with your friends!
Image Courtesy - The NY Times
3. Try To Watch The Match Outdoors If Possible
With each passing day, all of us on the globe continue to find out more about the virus that shook our lives. But the one thing experts have been able to say with certainty, is that the risk for transmission is considerably lower outside. That's because unlike the four walls of your room, there's a vast amount of fresh air circulating outdoors. So if at all possible, try to go for a public match screening with your friends instead of getting cooped up in the house.
4. If You Have To Be In A Room, Make Sure It's Well-Ventilated
Tying up with the above tip about fresh air and circulation, if you must hang out inside the house choose a spot that has plenty of the two. I know it's hot, and stiflingly so, but keeping the air conditioner switched off is also a highly endorsed precautionary tip. That's because firstly, the AC will lower the temperature in the room, and secondly, cause the same stale air to stay stagnated in the room. As you probably already know, both these conditions are highly conducive for transmission of the Coronavirus.
5. Sharing Is Now The Opposite Of Caring
Since the wee days of childhood, the notion of sharing and helping out those who don't have what we do, has been drilled into our heads by adults. Shame it no longer applies, right? In 2020, if your best friend is feeling too lazy to get up from the couch and get a drink, and would rather use his puppy eyes to get a sip of yours, the answer you give them is a strong, loud "hell, no!" The way you show you care in the time of Corona, is by refusing to share any personal belonging whatsoever.
6. Avoid Touching Common Surfaces & Objects Like The Remote Without Sanitisation
As we all know by now, the virus can survive for some time on certain surfaces. So putting your hand on a surface or object like the remote, which is likely to have been touched by several others before you, is not advisable one bit. Keep your hands off high-touch surfaces. And if you need to use the same washroom as your friends, you must be extremely cautious. Disinfect before and after each use, and don't touch anything you absolutely don't HAVE to.
Image Courtesy - De Vila
7. Social Distance While Socialising
I understand, nobody wants to maintain a stipulated amount of physical distance from the people they're the most close to. But, it is what it is. Social distancing is just as important right now if not more, as it was when the phrase first got coined. It's tempting to huddle up on the couch and share a bowl of popcorn, but to protect yourself and your friends, opt for individual chairs as the seating arrangement instead, each adequately spaced apart.
8. Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
Certain physical acts, like rubbing your eyes, wiping your lips after a sip or covering your mouth in horror after your favourite player get run out, are so basic they usually don't even warrant conscious thought. But now with a literal pandemic in the air, a simple act of touching your face with unsanitised hands can pave the way for virus transmission and infection. So no matter what the scenario, keep your hands off any part of your face and head.
9. Carry Only The Bare-Minimum With You
When heading out to your friends' place for a few hours or days, carrying a few extra bags and belongings was never a matter of debate. But now that a highly-transmittable virus is a part of our immediate reality, and every surface that's been touched by someone can potentially lead to infection if touched by you, reducing the number of surfaces in the first place, is an effective precautionary step.
10. Carry A Sanitiser Spray
I'm sorry, I don't mean to be Captain Obvious here. But I can't help myself from looking out for you. So, please keep a good-quality santiser on you at all times. A small spray can will work the best to quickly distinfect surfaces!
Stay ahead of the game while watching the game with this list of precautionary measures!