It is parte after parte for Nairobians despite stay-at-home order

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Avoid social gatherings, keep a safe distance from other people, and stay indoors whenever possible.

As many continue practicing social distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, videos and photos of people have poured online, showing many unperturbed by the threat of the virus, but Covid-19 aside, our writer DANIEL OFISI says too much partying can be dangerous for your health

Avoid social gatherings, keep a safe distance from other people, and stay indoors whenever possible.

These are just but a few of the government recommendations to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

To comply with the stay-at-home orders, many people postponed their planned celebrations: everything from birthdays to weddings.

Others canceled big trips in and out of the country. Theatres closed doors, concerts and festivals delayed, and restaurants have moved to delivery or takeout only.

However, many city residents are choosing to ignore these guidelines. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday disclosed how two cunning Kenyans attempted to attend a party using an ambulance during curfew hours.

The two are said to have called the ambulance on Tuesday last week pretending to be sick and sought to be taken to hospital.

This incident among many others go to show how even a pandemic doesn’t appear to be stopping some people.

On Friday, March 27, Timothy Osundwa, a 24-year-old Archives and Records Management student at Egerton University’s love for regular partying was rudely interrupted when he attempted to defy the president’s order to stay at home from 7pm . 

“I had heard that there was an order not to go out that night, but I really needed to get out for my sanity.

I dressed up for the evening and while I made my way to my favourite club, I was apprehended by an army of police officers who descended on me mercilessly. I will never forget that night,” he recounts.

Covid-19 or not, experts say regular partying, besides having a nasty hangover has many negative health implications.

From lack of sleep, careless eating or one drink too many, partying tends to take a toll on the health after a few years.

Spree drinking and excess smoking may cause serious health issues and if you go to night-clubs, the constant loud music can also hamper your hearing and cause regular headaches.

Pain after the pleasure party

When asked, Timothy, who now does drinks all day in the house and sometimes attends house parties before curfew hours admits that indeed he has not been in his best health.

“I am unable to get access to healthy food most of the time, and my work and social life does not leave me much time to excercise. And my sleep has been affected too,” he says.

Food nutritionist Belinda Atieno recommends eating a balanced diet, something that is hard to follow if you are always partying with no time to cook.

“The biggest problem if you party regularly (aside from use of additives), is that there is no consistency in your food intake.

What’s worse, most food ordered from cafeterias and clubs is deep fried and high on unhealthy fats and salts,” she says. 

When drinking, Belinda says  you should always keep yourself hydrated, especially while drinking alcohol, ensure that you drink a glass of water between drinks, do not drink on an empty stomach, and opt for high-protein food to help slow down the absorption of alcohol.

There are also the don’ts; don’t consume alcohol if you are under medication, drink to the point of blacking out, and last but not least don’t drink if you don’t want to.

“Most people, especially now that they have too much time in their hands tend to drink, smoke and party in excess,” says Dr Abraham Juma, a general practitioner in Nairobi. 

“However, when you take the same lifestyle and add working hours and age to it, it can cause serious health issues.

Our bodies are constantly ageing; what your body could recover from quickly when you were in your early 20s may take much longer to recover from when you get into your 30s and 40s,” he said. 

So, if partying is unavoidable, it is best to take precautions. “If there’s a buffet, try to pace your eating by taking small, light portions, finish it first and then go for a second serving,” says Juma.

If you have been noticing weight gain, it’s best to seek the expertise of a nutritionist and stick to the recommendations while eating. 

It’s always good to pace your drinking; most experts recommend one peg of hard whiskey or one pint of beer for one hour.

“Spree drinking will not only affect your health, it may also ruin the spirit of the party,” he says.

Care for your skin 

The one aspect that many people ignore is their skin. Drinking, smoking, indulging in unhealthy food and regular heavy makeup may take a toll on your skin and hair. Dr Mercy Kaloki, a dermatologist in Nairobi, says it is best to keep things simple. 

“The longer your skin is exposed in public places, the more dirt it tends to attract. So, unless it’s a special occasion, don’t wear too heavy makeup. It’s also best to avoid excessively oily food,” he said. 

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