Editorial > Janata Curfew - What It Means For You?

Janata Curfew - What It Means For You?

Dais Editorial | 21/03/2020 05:31 PM

So, PM Narendra Modi gets onto National television and announces a newly coined term – Janata Curfew to tackle the Coronavirus threat!

What it simply means ? A curfew is a law or a regulation that is effected at a regional level which requires people to stay indoors between specified hours. Here we have been told to self-restraint and stay completely indoors on the 22nd of March 2020 from 7 am to 9 pm- about 14 hours on the day.

Why is it being done ? Implementing a curfew is not a government’s favourite activity. It essentially means that the region is going through actual or potential civil unrest where the people collecting together in streets could potentially cause damage to human lives and/or property.

In this case, the government has decided to use this curfew method to keep people indoors for fears of congregating together on a Sunday and increasing the fear of the virus’ spread.

 

Why do it only for a few hours on a Sunday?

Implementing a curfew isn’t what any government finds easy to do – especially a government of a free country like ours.

It is essentially trampling upon the right to free movement of your citizen. Every citizen takes the impact of isolation and activity curb very very differently. Hence there are increased chances of rage, depression, violence, insomnia, fear, anxiety, sadness, fatigue or plain loss of hope. In times like ours where all news – real or fake – spreads like wildfire – tackling these emotions becomes even more important.

The idea seems to be that the government is looking at gradually introducing the concept of Curfew to a non-revolting public. Occurrences like these happen once or twice in 100 years – so probable solutions cannot be run-of –the-mill. At some point, they may declare it as a “need-to-do” for several days till the virus is at its peak contagion. Is this just a net-practice for THAT?

Quoting the PM here- “The success and experiences of Janata Curfew on 22nd march will prepare us for the upcoming challenges lying ahead of us”

There is also of course the medical reason that for anyone who already has contracted the virus and has come in contact with public surfaces – the infection will die down without the normal citizen coming in contact with it. The medical evidence though is of the virus capable of surviving for longer on various surfaces,  this surely is a big step nonetheless.

So if this is happening on Sunday only and if this continues for the next couple of weeks, it doesn’t affect me right?

Wrong, you live in a society, silly!

So let’s list down a few prima facie effects of this “self-imposed curfew”. We also make a small endeavour to tell you what to do to maintain our Sankalp and Sanyam during these difficult times-
 

- When people are not going to work, they are bound to be sitting at home streaming online content, social media channels – it will become easier and simpler for rumours to spread and panic attacks to come through related to banks, stock exchanges, Non-banking institutions, brokers, distributors, fund houses.

Understand facts rather than relying on whatsapp updates and random posts. Wait for the “news” to be announced on a national television or come through in a national newspaper before you forward the “information” to 100 others.

- Creativity will shoot up for anti-social elements who will try to take advantage of this situation for the lower economic strata.

Chit funds, local collections, corona charities will spring up overnight asking you to invest/donate/help and then disappear the next day

If we follow the lockdown curfew well, as a country we will create history in battling a disease that brought most developed nations to their knees. This will be a very temporary phenomenon for us. So help each other personally wherever you KNOW the other person – maids, drivers, cooks, servicemen, housekeeping, janitors etc.
 

- DO NOT start investing in novel ideas at this point that will return money twice or three times of what you invested in 10 days/ 15 days.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE WORLD that does that without the risk of losing the whole capital. Take it from us.

 

- Depression related cases will increase as self-isolation and social distancing increases.

Call your buddies/family members on video calls and chat for a couple of hours every day. Long distance relationships do succeed – this is their top trick.

 

- Shortage of a few necessary and luxury items that will bring in a surge of anxiety and inadequacy.

The “toilet paper shortage” is a classic example. For the residents of some countries like the UK, stockpiling toilet paper if the curfew were to last too long was their life agenda. This could be something else for us – the 2 litre cola not being available or my favourite green bag of chips sold out.

Understand what is bare minimum for you to survive and just keep that available for yourself for 15 days. Don’t go insane at the supermarket and fill up your cart to the brim with washing powder for 10 years. Let some civic sense prevail.
 

- Banks and financial institutions may reduce working hours since they will be short staffed.

Pull out some money over the next couple of days and keep it in the account or at home. Again not for 15 years, just 15 days. For once, don’t think of returns on your entire portfolio. Safeguard 10-20% of it for emergency usage.

 

- Don’t panic sell or pull out your investments or FDs in a rush.

The markets have fallen and there are notional losses. Once markets stabilize, you will be back in the green as if this fall never happened.

If you would have gone to sleep on your portfolio in January 2008 and woken up on it in September 2009, nothing would have changed in your world.
 

- Don’t stop your regular investments if your job is not affected by this temporary curfew.

Let’s your SIPs and recurring deposits go. They are any case liquid and can be redeemed at any time.

 

- Don’t go long/short/high/low/bottom/top on anything. PLEASE.

The most seasoned traders have been caught unawares in this slide. Please don’t cave in to ideas of shorting or going long on anything – crude, gold, currency, stocks, index – nothing. Stick to traditional investments, no exotics at this point

 

- Don’t buy unnecessary insurance policies.

It is often a thought that in such times, one should cover oneself and one’s family for adversity and we tend to go overboard buying protective cover. Medical insurance may be good to buy or top-up at this time. Not a ULIP or pension policy.

 

- Telesales executives are sitting at home.

So MORE phone calls selling you insurance, credit cards, stock trading ideas. Don’t entertain unnecessary sales pitches. Ask them to call you in 30 days. If it is a great thing for you, it will come around

 

- Postpone all LUXURY purchases.

This is not a time to buy the top-end iPhone or eye the Louis Vuitton bag. While instant gratification may seem to be the thing to do to pull you out of this depression, the pleasure of buying something as expensive may not last long.

The PM is sending you a very strong message of Sanyam and Sankalp – resolve and restraint. This applies to all aspects of our lives over the next couple of days.

Help us succeed, help the country succeed in fighting this grave adversity.

 

- Dais Editorial