The pandemic year is coming to an end, but the pandemic is still going on. And even though the last few days of December — from Christmas, leading all the way to New Year’s Eve — are festive and celebratory, one has to exercise caution and stay extra vigilant, lest they contract the viral infection and risk its spread.

The government has already instituted some guidelines which are to be followed, including staying indoors and not gathering in large numbers. It is advisable that you have a small celebration at home — with a few close friends and family members, if at all — and stay extra mindful of how you are interacting with others.

Dr Sandeep Patil, Chief Intensivist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan shares with indianexpress.com some tips on how to keep things in check when partying at home. Read on.

* Keep the mask on: Gathering at closed places can be risky even with a few people around. Masks can help reduce the risk, but spending hours together in a contained place can be risky. Ensure you gather somewhere with enough airflow. Maintain a distance.

* Keep a hand sanitizer on you: Stock up an adequate amount of hand sanitizer along with soap, water, paper towels, tissues, disinfecting wipes and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans (preferably covered). This will help in keeping things hygienic and safe at any party. Place multiple sanitizer bottles at various corners of the house.

* No loud music: Loud music can make people scream over each other. When things get loud, people talk with more force. That would mean coming closer and getting exposed to spit droplets in the air. Not an ideal situation right now.

* No sharing of drinks: Gathering around cocktails can increase the risk of the virus being passed on to others. Use disposable plates and glasses. Have separate items for each guest, so personal contact is reduced.

* Hygiene for knobs, chairs and everything you touch: It is a known fact that infected surfaces can help in the transmission. Sanitize the premises and maintain hygiene in the party area. Use disinfectant spray to clean shared objects. Restroom hygiene needs to be considered strictly while planning the get-together.

* Watch what’s on your plate: The food menu should be healthy and must boost immunity. Select items that make single serves and are tasty as well. Immunity-boosting drinks can be a great choice, something that your guests may enjoy. Do not share food.

* Virtual party: Virtual party can be a good option for friends who are away. You do not have to limit attendance, and can enjoy the comfort of your house, as you bid goodbye to 2020.

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