#EverythingChangedForever: One year of lockdown – Picking up broken pieces, something to remember and to forget

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One year of lockdown in India – how it changed people’s lives forever 

#OneYearOfLockdown #EverythingChangedForever #Pickinguplife

Its been a year since the first lockdown happened in India on 24 March 2020, after Janta Curfew on 22 March, and this changed peoples’ lives…forever…

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One year of lockdown in India

A year to forget…Every person on this planet, if given a chance, would like to get 2020 out of his/her life. 2020…the year that shook everyone from the core, a year of living in constant fear, living inside our homes, staying away from the people we love, livelihoods impacted, businesses shut down, and the list is endless.

It was on March 22, 2020, that the first lockdown was announced in India. First, it was announced to be a ‘Janta Curfew’ expected to be followed by every one of their own free will. Later, on the same day in the evening, the first lockdown was announced. The cause of lockdown was, as you all know, to stop the spread of Novel Coronavirus. The spread of infection somehow seemed to be in control for the first few days, but then a lot of people started getting the deadly virus infection. And then the numbers just kept on increasing and the scenario kept on getting scarier.

Looking back on the completion of one year since the first lockdown, a lot of things have changed. Let’s talk about some of them.

One year of lockdown in India 

2020-21…Something to ponder, remember & realize

People to remember – the role of essential services workers & common people

people

The period starting from the early days of nCovid-19 also brought to the fore the sacrifices and hard work put in by the Doctors, Nurses, healthcare workers, police force, sanitization workers, and other essential services staff. People were seen working non-stop without even basic amenities, some even losing their lives while serving mankind. The contribution of all these people will always remain etched in the memory of everyone.

Many organizations and individuals came forward to lend a hand in handling this terrible phase across all levels of society. Free stays for doctors and people taking care of administrative work were offered by hotels, food packets were delivered to the officials and needy. People organized free food stalls on the way home of migrant workers. Some of the celebrities who went out of their way to help the common people and won millions of hearts need a special mention like Actor Sonu Sood and Akshay Kumar. There were many more who will always be remembered fondly for the role they played.

Effect on People’s Life and Livelihood

people life

The lockdown and spread of Novel Coronavirus had a huge impact on people’s lives, which changed forever. It had a major impact on people whose lives were dependant on daily earnings. With no work, they could no longer support their family or pay rent for their homes. A lot of migrant workers finally decided to go back to their hometowns or villages. With no transport facilities available, a huge number of people decided to walk back thousands of miles, risking the lives of their family and themselves. They had faith in their heart that once they reached their hometown or village, they will be taken care of by their extended families as also they could go back to farming. There was also the fear of a prolonged lockdown with no respite and no hope for a livelihood in sight.

One year of lockdown in India

Effect on Businesses

Business

Lockdown and the spread of Covid-19 have had a devastating impact on many businesses. From the small neighborhood store to the mega retail outlet or even a roadside Dhaba (local food stall), manufacturing units, import-driven businesses, consulting, marketing operations, everyone got impacted. Even government departments and banking operations were badly hit.

With life coming back to the new normal, it is the people with secure jobs, especially the government-employees who were getting their salary cheques on time, who are giving some business to the markets that are on road to recovery.
But the worst-hit businesses were/are those falling in the micro & small sector. The road to recovery for the MSME sector survivors is going to be very long and hard. Although many schemes have been announced in the ‘relief packages’, it remains to be seen that how much of it could actually help the real needy businesses? How many businesses suffering from depleted resources and the resultant revenue losses will actually be able to meet the statutory and financial reporting requirements to get the much-needed relief of any kind? Nobody knows. While the big corporate houses can easily get their big loans, a small businessman is left literally to the mercy of only some compassionate bankers and professionals who have the required understanding of the challenges that the MSME sector is facing.

The scenario is not looking good for the hospitality and travel industry. The hotel industry suffered huge losses due to the sudden lockdown. Thousands of people involved in the travel and tourism business got severely hit. People selling luxury hotel packages started selling sanitizers to survive. Multiple comments/recommendations in social media from travel industry people on a simple 2-night package inquiry about a hotel is proof enough of the bad demand situation in the sector.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are also suffering from the high cost of raw material and transportation. In short, it will take a lot of empathy and support from the government to revive the demand and supply situation in the market. Cash flows will continue to cause concern for the coming months.

One year of lockdown in India – #LockdownInIndia

Rise of e-commerce and digital payments

e-commerce

With people stuck at homes and movement restricted due to the fear of catching the virus, going to markets was risky. The large e-commerce players soon got their act together and started making home deliveries soon as the government eased some restrictions. This saw a huge increase in revenues and turnover for the e-commerce players. The related digital payments industry also boomed for similar reasons.

Must Read:5 Ds to make you more productive

It is now acknowledged and established that digital consumers of e-commerce, digital media/apps grew manyfold during the past one year. A decade’s growth is said to have taken place in the past year in this sector.

Yoga becomes a part of daily life

Yoga

Due to the threat of getting infected with corona, people became more aware of their health. This is the reason that during the lockdown, a lot of people started working out in one way or the other. Yoga became more popular and the number of people attending online classes increased at a high rate. As people had to stay indoors and not everyone had equipment for working out at home, yoga seemed to be the obvious choice. With a lot of celebrities sharing their videos doing yoga to be for staying fit, a whole lot of people followed. Online classes only made it easier.

One year of lockdown in India

Online classes for students

Online classes

The lockdown was imposed to avoid coronavirus infection spread. Schools, colleges, and other institutions were also closed during the lockdown and a lot many remain so even now. To avoid the impact of lockdown on children’s education, online classes were started by schools, colleges, coaching centers, and institutions. Online classes were arranged even for small children who had just joined the school. This ensured that children’s education didn’t suffer while they stayed protected in their homes.

Rituals going online

Rituals

Due to the Corona lockdown, people had to cancel many events. Auspicious events like weddings also got postponed. All social interaction points were closed for a very long time and have been allowed to open very recently with limited capacity. But, after a while, people found another way whereby they could manage to get the marriage or other necessary ceremonies conducted while still keeping safe. The functions were physically attended by only the close family members and the rest of the relatives, friends and extended family joined online with live streaming. With no big parties, events, people avoiding large gatherings & multi-cuisine food, this did save a lot of money too.

Doctors and patients connected online

Doctors

Due to the fear of getting infected with Covid-19, doctors going online with consultations was a big step that was a little difficult for everyone to adjust to. Patients started consulting doctors for all kinds of problems through video or voice calls. That is, both doctors and patients went online to keep themselves protected from catching the deadly virus. However, doctors and patients still kept on going to the hospitals and nursing homes for addressing serious illnesses.

One year of lockdown in India

People started loving cooking

cooking

One of the biggest changes in lockdown that happened was food. Due to online delivery of cooked food getting stopped for quite a long time, as also people staying at home, cooking at home started getting more attention. People started exploring cooking different kinds of cuisines. Whosoever didn’t know how to cook well thronged to YouTube and Instagram for cooking videos. The popularity of food influencers and chefs increased multi-fold. The experiment did not stop only with women, even men were seen sharing their cooking trials and experiences online.

Work from Home

Work from Home

Due to the undecisive period of lockdown, it became very difficult for corporate houses to manage work. Ultimately, almost every corporate asked their employees to start work from home. This was a pretty new phenomenon for people; a complete change of their life’s routine. With no helping hands even at home, people started struggling with managing both work and home. It was a huge struggle in the beginning, but later people learned to manage both well. Some memes and videos also went viral on themes of how people were managing both office work and home at the same time. A lot of companies are still managing with their employees working from home while some of them have reopened the offices with limited staff.

Indian scientists creating wonders

scientist

Indian scientists did wonders by developing a vaccine for the deadly Covid-19. The vaccines developed in India are not only helpful in protecting Indians but are being supplied in various parts of the world.

One year of lockdown in India…Finally…

With the start of the vaccination process, people are very hopeful to be able to get out of the dreadful situation of living constantly under the fear of getting infected with Novel Coronavirus. However, the threat is far from over. Some states are still being put under lockdown due to the constantly increasing number of coronavirus cases.

It is still some way to go. A lot of tough resolve and perseverance will be required by everyone before the world gets back to even a new normal and the people feel safe again. It will also be an arduous journey for affected businesses to understand the new market reality and buyers so that they could get back to profits.

Must Read:Cowin App:How To Register For Covid-19 Vaccine in India

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