Are you snuffling and coughing, or feeling a little woozy already, thanks to the rains? Each year, we look forward to the monsoon, hoping that the stifling weather of the country will dissipate and make way for stormy, but pleasant skies. But come the showers, and health hitches make an entry too. As compiled from India Times and skymetweather.com, the following advice will equip you against ‘raining’ infections and microbes on a showery day.
Carry a backpack
This seems like it should be the last one on the list right? Wrong! Light to moderate rain, a torrential downpour, or a brief and sweet passing shower, they all have one thing in common: they leave your clothes damp! Strolling about in wet clothes is like welcoming infections with a smile. It is highly suggested that you carry an extra pair of clothing with you at all times during a pouring day. You can at least have a life-saving towel in your bag. A phase of incessant shivering is usually followed by a fever and common cold. You know what that means? Congrats! You just summoned a virus into your body. Note: ladies, this one’s for you too, so banish your stylish purses and invest in a practical backpack already.
Wash your hands
You can disregard this very basic directive a gazillion times and yet it’ll come back to haunt you. In fact, washing your hands remains at the top of the list when it comes to taking precautions during any season. During monsoon, bacteria and viruses become proactive. In other words, they work overtime to make life miserable for our immune systems. And sadly, there are countless ways in which you can come in contact with these microscopic monstrosities! So go ahead, tap that liquid soap, carry a hand sanitiser at all times, and practice ‘hygiene’ before every meal.
Keep those hands off your face
Did you know that handkerchiefs and napkins are actually utility based? Yes, they’re not about etiquettes or filling pockets — they serve an imperative purpose. The flu virus can enter your body through the mouth, eyes, and even your nose — so try not to touch your face very often. Resist the urge to scratch (we know this can be challenging!), use the handkerchief to wipe your face down and feel free to wash with cold water every now and then to wash off any toxins lingering around your eyes and nose.
Street food should stay on the streets
Don’t be too disappointed — it’s only till the monsoon wraps up that you’ll have to bid farewell to delish bun kebabs and gol gappas! Fact is that the oily, tempting, unsanitary load of everything spicy and tangy isn’t fit for a rainy day folks. Your favourite street food goodies are prepared in open air, out on the streets, and are carriers of waterborne diseases and stomach infections. The humidity in the atmosphere is usually high this time around; as a result the body’s digestive capability goes down. The important theme to keep in mind is that you must avoid any type of food that is prepared in bulk, else there is a possibility that it upsets your stomach.
Give yourself an herbal kick
Herbal tea has a therapeutic effect on your immune system and can do wonders to your overall health — especially when it’s pouring. If you somehow ended up getting even a little bit drenched in the rain, quickly concuct some herbal tea for yourself. Just add cloves, cinnamon, basil, pepper and ginger to that brewing beauty and guzzle it down. These are body warming ingredients which will revamp your immune system in no time.
‘Shoe’ those infections away
During the monsoon, it’s our feet that bear the brunt of all the rambling through muck and sludge. Invest in a good pair of rain-proof shoes. Wear closed shoes so that your feet stay dry and healthy this rainy . Also, keep a pair of sandals handy so that you can slip into them when you reach work. A rainy day clogs gutters and plugs road craters with dirty water thereby leaving behind an icky grime cocktail. Your feet, if left exposed to all the toxins, can cause unwanted, foul, and irritating skin infections. Furthermore, exposed areas of your body are a podium for water-borne ailments as well. Long story short: keep yourself shielded to keep bacteria at bay!
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2016.