India fights Corona: A quick recap from Lockdown 1.0 to Unlock 1.0
By: Hitesh, Nisha
Published On: June 16, 2020
The new normal has begun for all of us, with relaxations on lockdown front starting this June. After 4 lockdowns consecutively, there was no option but to prepare the country to open up and rise again, while learning to live with the virus. This was needed for our ailing economy. Coronavirus has threatened the medical infrastructure for sure, but it hasn't spared our social set-up and economy too. Our generation has seen the worst of all battles with the outbreak of this virus that has shattered not just the Indian economy but also the global markets.
The word ‘Positive’ itself has got a new negative connotation with the fear of Coronavirus that has deeply set in. India is, unfortunately, overtaking every country in the battle against Covid-19, with the alarming surge in the number of Covid-19 cases. Mumbai, continues to remain the Corona hub, with Chennai and Delhi following suit.
However, we Indians are known for our fighting spirit, isn’t it? Let us take you through a journey that we have been living since March while preparing you for the near future.
India embraces Lockdown 5.0 (a) Unlock 1.0.
From ‘17% decline in global carbon emissions due to Covid-19 lockdown,’ the headlines of an article by The Economic Times to ‘Heavy traffic jam on Western Express Highway as Mumbai begins to reopen,’ the headlines of an article by Mumbai Mirror, we have come a long way.
Traffic jams are back on the streets, air pollution can go up now since humans are resuming their activities gradually, everyone’s favourite malls are open again, all the brands that we were missing back then, are opening slowly and you can catch them in action again with new strategies, new ads and marketing techniques to suit the dynamics of Covid19-driven business environments.
But what now? Will everything be as normal as before? Are we transforming from social distancing to physical distancing? Undoubtedly, your hands had to be washed frequently, back then and even now. Hygiene, Sanitization, Masks, Precautions, still remain the most used words in your lives and probably on Google too.
Questions, questions, questions! Never-ending as they have become!
Can schools reopen? What about the competitive exams? Can we eat at restaurants? What precautions have to be taken while stepping out? And what about….?
Here are some questions that we attempted to answer -
Where is India placed now?
On Wednesday, 10th June, India passed a milestone. The number of recovered Covid-19 patients - for the first time ever - was more than the number of active coronavirus cases. That’s like a silver lining amidst many dark clouds. However, to keep the tension of the virus on, India also became the 3rd fastest, globally, in daily rise of Covid-19 cases, as per an article published by moneycontrol.com on the 15th June 2020. Also, we are the fourth worst-hit nation by the pandemic. By the date you read this article, the numbers can reach an unimaginable point. The battle is far from over.
How are businesses adjusting to the new normal?
“Safety, too, can spread if each rider sanitizes their hands, wears a mask, and doesn’t travel when sick...”
Uber’s #SaferForEachOther initiative
“A significant volume of transactions has moved to digital platforms. For instance, the use of mobile apps has increased. We are dissuading customers from coming to the branches. The bank has started a pilot project where customers need not go to the branch for documentation for personal and vehicle loans, and as we move on, we will expand it to other loans as well,” shares Rajkiran Rai G., Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of India in the latest interview in Mint’s Pivot or Perish series.
On 20th May 2020, the news column of the Jaguar Land Rover website stated the first Range Rover made under new social distancing measures drove off the production line, following the recent temporary pause in production due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Can India live with Covid-19? Is it even possible?
Yes, it is. Look at South Korea, for instance. Being one of the first nations to report an outbreak, this East Asian nation, in the initial days of May 2020, successfully managed to control Coronavirus cases. Obviously, they needed cooperation from citizens, as well as a very stringent surveillance framework, to succeed at their containment task. However, without these two factors, no country including India, can battle this pandemic today. Time for resilience from citizens and regulations from authoritative bodies.
It is overwhelming to already see efforts on that front. Things are getting back on track, slowly but surely. Banks are actively encouraging customers to bank from the comfort of their homes. Restaurants are initiating digital menus and contactless payments. IT companies are happy to let their employees continue to WFH. Even, our employees are working from home, turning their homes into little ImpactGuru offices. As for factories, from mobile phones to automobiles, they are all opening up. Less employees, more sanitation, staggered work timings, but yes, they are opening up.
South Korea might not be having a large migrant population like India. Is the case study still applicable?
Well… it still applies to us. Because we are getting there, steadily. Even as we speak, ever since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in March, more than 67 lakh migrants have returned to 116 districts in about six states from major cities, as published by The Quint in one of its articles. With celebrities like Sonu Sood, Amitabh Bachchan and many like-minded individuals and organizations stepping in for the migrant workers, the return journey to their homes and the impact is only picking pace.
Will this ever end though? Will there be a return to normalcy after this?
A quote from Star Wars would summarise our current situation quite aptly. ‘You have been here, but you don’t know this story.’ This is definitely not the first epidemic to challenge India, nor will it be the last. India cannot forget the 1896 Plague epidemic that had almost emptied out Bombay claiming over 1.6 lakh lives here and over 10 million lives in the whole of India, as it lasted for about 2 decades (Source: The Indian Express/The Indian Medical Gazette).
There’s some hope then. But till we emerge Covid-free as a country, what can one do? What should individuals do in this battle to stay safe themselves and keep others around them safe as well?
Employers everywhere, be it the government or private companies, are declaring guidelines from time to time, to be followed by everyone who resumes work after the lockdowns. If you are planning to go back to work or if you have to step out for essentials and other purposes, ensure that you stick to these norms, as well as raise an alarm if you see any violations.
- Always wear a mask while stepping out.
- Keep the aged and the infants strictly indoors. They are the most vulnerable.
- Children should be taught the importance of social distancing, physical distancing, as also the use of masks and gloves.
- Carry a hand sanitiser when out.
- Keep washing your hands frequently for a good 20-30 seconds.
- Keep a safe distance of 1m from everyone, especially those appearing sick.
- Work from home, if it’s not mandatory for you to work from the office.
- Keep disinfecting work stations and frequented areas inside your homes.
- Cover your mouth while coughing/sneezing.
- Encourage everyone to follow these norms.
- Use personal or private transport as much as possible for commuting.
- Be mindful of what information you share. Let infodemic not add to the crisis caused by the pandemic already.
- Spread awareness in your community.
- Support the less fortunate and help them survive this tough period.
- If you have cough, fever and/or difficulty in breathing, reach out to your doctor immediately.
- Do not throw the used masks and gloves irresponsibly.
- Do not go out unnecessarily.
- Avoid crowded places.
- Avoid physical contact with people as much as possible.
- Refrain from touching your face (nose, eyes and mouth) unnecessarily.
- Do not reuse masks or gloves.
- Do not panic.
- Don’t spread rumours. Do not forward without verifying the authenticity of the information that you are sharing. Covid-19 rumours spread faster than the virus itself.
- Avoid gathering in large numbers in offices and societies.
ImpactGuru’s crowdfunding efforts amidst Covid-19 battle
From fundraising for hefty hospital bills to fundraising for Covid-19 hit sections of the society, we, at ImpactGuru, feel it’s been a tough and triumphant journey equally. The battle is still on and we are together in this. We would like to thank all the NGOs, hospitals, celebrities and donors for joining hands with us during this pandemic crisis, to help innumerable daily wage earners get food for survival, healthcare workers with PPE kits, voiceless, helpless stray animals with food and medical aid, and for other such related Covid-19 causes.
ImpactGuru has also been providing fundraising support to varied organisations which are into relief work, for Cyclone Amphan-hit families. Not just that, the lockdowns had stalled treatment and surgeries of patients with other critical illnesses and medical emergencies. ImpactGuru with its able hospital and NGO partners strived to provide such patients with fundraising support so that they can avail their treatments in time immediately post lockdown.
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