Chef Anshu Raj
We have had a lockdown for nearly six weeks now and the lockdown has been made partially easy for a few cities. We have no reliable data to tell us when the Covid-19 pandemic will end. The new normal of social distancing, masks, gloves and washing hands is here to stay. Even if all restrictions are lifted, until a vaccine is found, we have to remember the virus is still among us.
Life is now about video conferencing, hygiene, zoom meetings and keeping oneself indoors for social distancing. So, unless we continue to follow social distancing norms, we are going to see a spurt in cases in India. Do expect identification of hotspots to continue and cluster shutdowns. There will probably also be temperature sensors at public places and quarantine measures will be put in place if an infection is detected at a workplace. Middle seats won’t be sold in flights; every other seat will be empty in theatres – perhaps forcing the managements to hike ticket prices.
One good thing that may come out of lifting the lockdown partially is that the migrant labour and housemaids may be able to return to work but whether factory workers in the non-essential sectors would be able to go back soon is still an open question.
When humans went into a lockdown, the earth quietly went about reclaiming itself. “Covid-19 is reminding us of a simple but vital truth: we are one species, sharing one planet.” The lockdown may have made us insular but it also brought the world closer. We adapted to our forced new life in lockdown fairly quickly. We went digital and took to technology, reaching out to the community outside our insular lives. Young working couples adapted to ‘Work From Home’ (WFH), home-schooled their children, and used video-conferencing for work calls and family socials. Online streaming platforms were our saviours when it came to entertainment – offering us a range of options.
And while we stayed locked inside our homes, the birds came back to our gardens, the air became cleaner and the sky clearer. The smog in most of our cities lifted, with no vehicles to spew toxic gases. And post-lockdown, mindful of the fact that the virus is still among us, we should work on crafting a simpler, yet fulfilling way of life that promises a fair and equitable future for all. We are all in this together, for the virus cares nothing about race, caste, class or borders.
Never has it become more necessary to do this — to give time for humanity and the earth to heal.
Chef Anshu Raj is the founder of Caterspoint