Editorial > Lockdown 3.0 – The "Why & What" of the continued Indian Shut-in

Lockdown 3.0 – The "Why & What" of the continued Indian Shut-in

Dais Editorial | 04/05/2020 09:35 AM

 

Another 2 weeks?? Ah, will we ever be able to step out of this Laxman Rekha?!

Questions galore as India readies itself for one more set of a fortnight of lockdown- we say a set because the Ministry of Home Affairs continues to keep our hopes alive of the proverbial light at the end of this tunnel.

Let’s cut to the chase though and find out how we have lived for almost 40 days now, what’s changed and how do we keep that hope alive of being released to the now bluer-than-blue skies!

When did the lockdown begin?

If at all you need to refresh your memory  about the mother of all lockdowns the world has ever seen.

We were under the Janata Curfew on the 22nd of March 2020 and the first 21 day lockdown began on the 24th of March 2020. Lockdown 2.0 starred immediately thereafter and we were told to stay indoors till the 3rd of May 2020. While some of us thought 4th of May would be the dreaded Monday after the 40 days of lockdown, we’re now moving to lockdown 3.0- till the 17th of May 2020.

What did we do all these days?

  • India managed to slow down its R-naught: the spread rate has declined convincingly
  • Plasma therapy became the new treatment of hope for Covid19 patients while Gilead declared it might just have invented the cure in its Remdesivir.
  • Start-ups finally got some of their act together – grocery and food deliveries started making life a bit easier for households while Uber started the essential cabs to help those who HAD TO move.
  • We mourned the deaths of our beloved stars – Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Chuni Goswami as news channels and websites streamed newer obituaries every day.
  • Carmakers had a tough time selling cars over the phone, oil’s future (pun intended) went down to zero, real estate developers had nightmares telling people to buy houses when salaries are either nipped/suspended/stopped, luxury product manufacturers started stitching up branded masks for the fashion conscious and so on.

 What do we plan to do now?

  • The country’s 736 districts will be segregated into red, green and orange zones – 130 districts including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad  will be in the red zone, 284 districts including Rajkot, Ambala will be in the orange zone while 319 well-behaved disease-free districts like Muzaffarpur, Daman, Diu, Goa will be green zoned. This list will be revised weekly.
  • The Armed Forces plan to express their gratitude to the never-ending spirit of the coronavirus warriors – healthcare workers – by flying past hospitals treating Covid19 patients showering petals of love.
  • Special trains will ferry migrant workers to their hometowns. With air, road and all other normal train travel continuing under strict restrictions, railways have come forward with much needed relief to these held-up citizens.
  • Banks will reduce their interest rates – because they are flush with funds
  • ATMs will be sanitized after every  use
  • Pregnant women, grandparents and children all to stay home irrespective of the zoning.
  • Your Naani can order that smartphone for you if she’s in the green or orange zone. She can then courier it to you ‘cos postal and courier services are working in all zones.That long pending docket from your customer could finally get delivered too.

Things that continue to stay in abeyance for you and me..

  • Holidays, local & international business travels, hotels remain unavailable for us
  • Food-filled Iftaar parties during the holy month of Ramadan would be only a dream this year
  • Your hair will continue to be tie-worthy since the salon is still out of bounds
  • We will continue to sweep and sob – maids are not essential services in most states  !
  • Shopping can be done only at the standalone store – malls continue to remain shut
  • Much as we may hate the Monday, we love the office – well, that stays out of bounds for most of us unless we work in the Green Zone, at a hospital or a media newsroom. OR if your company devises a Business Continuity Plan to have you coming in for 1/3rd of the week
  • Coffees with friends, dinners with colleagues, dancing at the pubs, and binge-drinking at the bar – the activities that made us human in 2019 will all be continued to be lived online in 2020
  • Kids will continue to enjoy their time at home as schools and colleges continue to remain shut despite the Zoning.
  • Praying can be done at home – all places of worship will still be shut
  • Marriages and other cultural gatherings continue to be disallowed – so shaadi-vaadi, gaana-bajana and all that ain’t happening all that soon.
  • The “sin goods” liquor and cigarettes can be accessed only in green zones. So the red-zoners continue to live on hot water as advised by the Prime Minister.
  • Stay fit and drink that Kaadha at home – your neighbourhood gym isn’t opening up that early
  • You can venture out to fetch groceries but NO Pillion Riding yet. Your driver can take you and your friend to work though.
  • Traditional parenting rules apply to the entire country- no roaming outside the house after 7 pm, Mamma said!

The lockdown has been tough on us, agreed – but we sure are back to understanding how  much of a social being we are, how much we need the love and hugs of our dear ones. The break in monotony of going from home to work, actually fills our day with purpose.

The calls with friends and video exchanges with colleagues keep us sane and “in-touch”. Perhaps a lot of us will pick up where we left off months ago, when we meet because the catch-ups have been more regularized than they were when we had the freedom to move about.

We are excited about the innermost human self this crisis has brought out in us- We cherish the time we are getting to spend with our family under the same roof or on video chats. We love the time we get to say a “hi” to our friends, we love the side-chats we can do with our work-pals during an important Zoom call, we love the cooking skills we have developed and the dirt we have found under the sofa which our maids never reached out to.

While a lot of us are getting used to the idea of working from home and doing our chores while discussing team targets – the feeling of being enclosed in a space can get to us from time-to-time.

While we hope that science catches up with the disease quickly and gives us the sense of being safe outside again – we secretly wish this proximity we have found to ourselves and our close ones in the process doesn’t go away once we open up.

Dais wishes its readers the courage to change the things we can, the serenity to accept the things we cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference - stay home, stay safe!

Dais Editorial