After a lot of uncertainty and doubt over whether IPL will be organized at all in 2020, we now know that the 13th edition of India’s beloved annual T20 extravaganza will kickstart from 19th September. Have you marked the dates when your team will take on its rivals? You may even have made plans with your friends to watch the matches together because that magnifies the thrill and excitement.
But remember, there is a pandemic going on which is showing no signs of slowing down. Even though restrictions on social gatherings have been partly eased, getting together with friends can still spread the coronavirus to you and your family. The danger exists.
Don’t worry, we are not suggesting that you give up your plans of cheering for your team with your friends. We are simply requesting you to adopt a few precautions that will keep you, your friends and everyone else safe.
The need for hygiene during IPL matches
As you know, COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets of an infected person. It could reach you when you touch something handled by the infected person because the virus may live there. And then when you touch your mouth, nose and eyes, the viruses will get inside your body. Or you can contract it when the infected person coughs or sneezes near you and the viruses directly enter your respiratory system.
Both these scenarios can exist when your friends and you come together and watch an IPL match. If even one of them has the virus, then all of you could get infected when you touch common objects such as the TV remote control, centre table, chair arm-rests, food packets, coffee mugs, etc. Or you could breathe in the same air where your infected friend has sneezed/coughed. Inside a room, air does not get circulated quickly, especially if the AC is on.
So what can you do to stay safe when you group-watch IPL matches?
A few precautions absolutely must be implemented by all of you-
1. If any of you has a fever, sore throat, or any signs of COVID-19, let everyone know. Under no circumstances must the sick person be in the presence of others. If appropriate steps are not taken and the person with the symptoms still wants to watch the match together, then you should cancel the plan.
2. Ask everyone to do a thermal check in front of the rest of the group. It sounds harsh, but it is vital.
3. Wear your mask and gloves at all times.
4. With a disinfecting atomizer, spray the living room thoroughly before you start watching the match.
5. Keep your alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching any common object/surface.
6. Drink water/beverages from your own bottle/mug. Do not share.
7. Sit 6 feet apart from each other, especially while eating and drinking.
8. Keep the AC off, the windows open and the fan on.
9. Eat from your own packet/box/bowl.
10. Disinfect the toilet seat with the atomizer spray before using it.
11. Shower and wash everything after going home.
12. If you hosted the gathering, clean up the living room and washroom once everyone leaves. Then take a shower.
COVID-protocol will allow you to do the things you love and at the same time keep yourself and everyone safe. This is the new normal. So do implement these precautions to make it a more merry and safe experience for all!