Novel was the experience of people during the last one year of lockdown, which was imposed on March 22 last year. The initial fear of the dreaded Corona virus led to people remaining confined to their respective homes, expecting that the situation will be short-lived. None including those at the helm of affairs in the nation expected the virus to survive for such a long period.
The impact was soon evident. Closure of business establishments, compulsory leave for employees, closure of schools and colleges, cinema theatres and malls, restrictions on sports activities and gyms, restaurants and road-side eateries, construction work at all levels, closure of all means of transport made the situation worse than ever thought of. The issues of stranded labourer, their liveyhood, education of children, loss of jobs of many, earning source of domestic help, daily wage earners, small vendors started cropping up.
With the first nCOVID 19 case reporting from Nagpur, marking of containment zones started. Initially people started blaming slum-dwellers and people from a particular community. But gradually they realized that the infection is not restricted to any area or community. It spread its tentacles in other areas.
With number of positive cases increasing the civic authorities and the state government opened more centres for conducting Corona tests, besides the government health service centres. Isolation centres were opened by hiring hostels and other private places. Several social organisations came forward to help those in difficult situation. As the situation did not improve for a longer period, various methods of starting economic activities were planned. ‘Work from Home’ was introduced, where ever possible. On-line teaching-learning was another experience for the children and their parents. Besides physical impact, the condition also resulted in psychological problems at all levels. The counselors started working on those issues.
Restarting economic activity, opening of sports arena was tried to ease the situation. The infection, however, could not be controlled to the extent it was expected. Fade up with the situation, people also started working by accepting the virus as part of their life.
It was realised that ‘virology’ is an important subject, which should be included in the curriculum at school and college level. The policy makers also appeared confused over the situation. Besides opening several detection and treatment centres, research by microbiologists on the virus gained pace. Announcements to that effect were made by the government.
The one year was a totally different experience for the people. The last Spanish Influenza epidemic is a century old and probably none of the survivors of that pandemic could recall the exact condition. With increase in population density, effective means of communication, the situation now is known to every person in the country.
The fast mutation of virus has posed another challenge and the vaccination for the present one is still on experimental level. People will have to live with the virus, change their habits for their own survival. The social organisations which helped the people in difficult situation, will not be able to continue only as charity. The government finds itself helpless. The Live Nagpur is trying to discuss the issue on completion one year of lockdown, which was imposed on March 22, 2020. Some of the major issues have been mentioned here. The youth organisations have realized their responsibility towards the society and have extended help to a large section of the society. They need to be guided and their potential exploited for the better future society.