Life During Pandemic in Delhi
The Corona virus outbreak has affected a very large population in the country and Delhi is one of the worst hit.
We first heard about corona virus outbreak in China sometime in December last year even though the first case was found in November. Then next time I closely heard about it was through one of my church friend whose daughter came over her study break during January this year from China. She shared how life there has really been affected by the outbreak. Life in Delhi continued as before and not much changed but as March approached, we were getting really concerned about the growing cases here in India and over all the world.
On 24th March 2020, the government ordered a whole nationwide lockdown for 21 days without much warning for people to be prepared. This created a lot of panic amongst the people and they scrambled from store to store to get the essentials to stock up in their house.
I cannot help but recall the panic feeling I started having as I called my local shopkeepers to enquire if things would be available at their shops and was relieved to know that they would be open at the certain hours during the day. This lockdown meant closing all work places, educational institutions and religious gatherings.
After observing the continuous spike in cases, the lockdown was extended two more times. This was a time for many families to spend time together which would otherwise not be possible due to their busy schedules. But the real challenge was to stay at home and not go out at all except to buy essentials.
We heard in the news of police beating brutally those who were found on the roads. It was heart wrenching to read and see the news about the migrant workers and poor who were stuck without any source of income, no food, no shelter and the lockdown was brought in without thinking the implications it would have on the poor and low-income group who don’t have any savings nor do they have the luxury to work from home like others.
Along with financial challenges, lockdown also aggravated the threat towards the mental health of the people. Many people were stuck at home with the very perpetrators who were causing abuse to them. The lockdown also created anxieties and worry among the people regarding their future. People who live alone and who are unemployed had additional battles to fight.
During this time, we heard of celebrities committing suicide (we don’t know if lockdown was to blame for it but it can very well be a contributing factor). There was a suicide even in my society which was quite shocking. There were many NGOs who started providing online counseling to people in need.
The nation-wide lockdown was lifted on 1st June with many guidelines and restrictions remaining. People are still getting adjusted with the new normal after lockdown and people continue to be very cautious. Everyone wears a mask when they go out, gatherings of people are still prohibited above 25 people. Life in Delhi will no doubt be impacted for a long time to come.