The Coronavirus pandemic made us reconsider and cut back on things that we considered fun. Parties or owambes as they are often called were one of the many fun things we had to avoid to stay safe. During the heat of the pandemic, lockdown across states and countries prevented large gatherings, including our dear owambes from holding. The lockdown has long been lifted, the owambes are gradually coming back but should you be attending them?
Funny to note that the answer is in the name. Owambe is a Yoruba word, loosely translated as ‘it is there’. In the context of the pandemic, it is literally the place where the virus spreads easily, where infection happens. This is because of the nature of these parties; large crowds, hugs, and handshakes between friends and family who have not seen each other in a while, dancing in close circles and even servers leaning in close to find out what you want to be served.
With the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot has changed with owambes, safety measures have been introduced to reduce contact and spread but hey, the spirit of any party is still coming together. People may not stay apart long enough. If you can, avoid parties to stay safe, but if it is necessary to attend, here are five tips to keep you safe in an owambe;
Wear a mask
Not a simple face shield, not a handkerchief over your nose, but a proper mask. COVID-19 is spread when you come in contact with the respiratory droplets of an infected person. Wearing a mask can reduce your exposure to these droplets if you come in contact with an infected person and can also reduce the number of droplets spread if the person is wearing one. At a party, wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Also, advise other party-goers to do the same.
Avoid contact with commonly touched surfaces
Droplets from surfaces can easily be transferred to your body when you touch them. Surfaces like the serving tables, handrails and chairs should be avoided during parties. At home, you have the opportunity to disinfect surfaces, however, at a party, you are not afforded such liberties. Want to stay safe at a party? Avoid commonly touched surfaces.
Carry a sanitizer and use it frequently
Handwashing is an important part of the COVID-19 safety protocol. Save for when you get into the venue, you might not get other opportunities to wash your hand. That is why it is important to go for the next best alternative- sanitisers. Alcohol-based sanitisers help to kill germs and any other infected droplets you come in contact with through your hands
Skip the hug, give a fist bump, elbow bump or footshake
You cannot maintain social distance when giving a hug, and hugs puts you at high risk. If you must go for an owambe during the pandemic, replace hugs with fist bumps and waves. They are safer and require minimal contact with other people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
The eyes, nose and mouth are like gatekeepers into your body, while your hand is the contact with the rest of the world. Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hand can transfer germs and other infections into your body and raise your risk of contracting COVID-19. Keep your hands away from your face when at a party or any other crowded place.
The pandemic has not taken the fun out of life; we just have to learn to have safe fun. So, when next you are attending an owambe, remember these tips and follow them. If you notice any COVID-19 symptoms after attending a party, please see a doctor on Doctall immediately.