Life during the lockdown in India

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1 week ago

You may want to read my previous article to get a basic rundown of the current situation over here in India. In this article, I will be talking about how life has been like where I live since all this started.

Day 0 - 2020/03/22

22 March was the first day a country-wide lockdown was enforced, it was basically an experiment, a prelude to the real lockdown. On this day, everything was shut, including a lot of essential stores. Not because the government asked them to but many treated it like a national holiday. There were even people that specifically gathered to party, going exactly against what a lockdown is meant to imply. Cases like these were the exceptions though, not the norm.

When I woke up that day, I was kind of surprised when I saw absolutely empty streets. I live right in the middle of the capital, things are usually loud and busy around here. It was a surprise but a welcome one. All day I could hear the birds chirping and even heard the sound of leaves rustling in the wind. It was all calm and soothing, the idea of a lockdown didn't sound so bad anymore. At 5:00 PM in the evening though, things got loud again.

When this lockdown was announced, the Prime Minster asked the country to come out in their balconies at exactly 5:00 PM and pay an applaud for all the medical staff currently fighting against the virus. A pure intention, perhaps but social media had to twist it anyways. WhatsApp forwards told people that the vibrations emitted due to claps can kill the virus. Absurd, you may think but a fair amount of people actually believed it anyways. So people went as loud as they could, some even singing stuff like "Go Corona, Go!" and someone was even launching fireworks near my place.

Worse, people also gathered on streets... As if it is all already over. This kind of "celebration" certainly didn't sit well with me. The people had so far failed to realize the seriousness of the issue and also failed to rationally think about the info they were getting regarding said issue.

The day ended with an extended lockdown being announced in 75 districts, including New Delhi, the place I currently reside in.

Day 1 - 2020/03/25

Nothing particularly of note happened on 23 and 24 March so we are skipping to 25 March, the first day of the 21 days long, country-wide lockdown.

On this day shops barely had anything left to sell, a consequence of what happened the day before, where the PM was unsuccessful in addressing the matter of essential commodities so people who panicked did nothing but hoard. Some stores were even closed, most likely because they did not have any goods to sell.

The stores that were still open though, had people line-up outside the store with each person being 1.5-2.0 meters away from the other. A medical store here even had a store clerk putting hand sanitizer on every person's hands.

Since this lockdown wasn't a voluntary one, unlike the one on 22 March, Police was involved. If you are found out about the streets right now, you will be questioned by cops and only allowed to be in your way if you are out to get some essential goods or services.

As I talked about in my previous article, there were reports of the police stopping and sending back home even those who had good reasons to be out. Turns out they weren't rumors after all. I have personally confirmed this with several people. Not only that, in some places Police has not been letting deliverymen enter localities. Police seems to be free to do anything they wish right now, which is kind of frightening to think about.

So, how are people coping with the lack of supplies? Some tried to turn to online grocery stores but unfortunately, none of them have anything available within a reasonable time-frame. In fact, the estimated time for delivery for most of the sites is already after the end of the current lockdown. People really don't have much options left right now. One major option for the poor is the local government aid. They have announced special 'hunger helpline' numbers. Anyone can dial these numbers up and food items will be sent to their home.

This is it for this article, I will post another one of the "Life during the lockdown in India" articles in a few days, similar in vein to this one. Before that I will probably write another article with focus on the government's implementation of the lockdown, similar to my last article.

Thank you for the read, hope you enjoyed and do leave a comment if you have any suggestion since this was only my second article on here.

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