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March 19th, 2020

My Delhi (virus) Diary. 19th March 2020

Thursday mornings usually begin with the luxury of a massage at home, courtesy of my lovely maalishwali, Rajni, who pummels me into some kind of shape.

But not today.

Yesterday I told her not to come until the virus situation is clearer – not that I query her personal cleanliness and state of health, but traveling by public bus – who knows?

I shall pay her, of course.

All day long, rumours have been swirling around that the Prime Minister’s scheduled address to the nation tonight at 8pm will announce that India is going to be locked down.

Then the WhatsApp messages started, that we should all stock up on food and cash.

According to Bahadur who went cooking oil shopping this evening, the government-run Kendriya Bhandar had

(a) run out of lots of stuff plus they had no oil anyway


(b) was crazily packed and with a long queue outside.

They went to the local (more expensive) grocery store instead & got the last 2 bottles of oil, apparently…so the panic buying has well & truly started here.

This evening, the Chief Minister of Delhi has closed all restaurants until March 31, though home deliveries & takeaways can still take place. As I mentioned yesterday, hubby hates eating out, so personally the restaurant closure does not impact us at all.

But it will affect the livelihood of so many people – like the already poor, already poorly paid waiters and kitchen staff in the myriad of small eateries that you find all over the city.

Also, no scheduled commercial international flights can land for a week in Delhi, as from March 22nd.

And – quick drumroll:

Am I allowed to roll my eyes and say “whatever”?

Please note the word “asked”.

Not told.


End of discussion.

So, yes, how has my day been other than panicky WhatsApp forwards and the lack of noisy, honking traffic that otherwise hurtles up and down our street? (I could SO get used to that aspect of the virus, by the way)

A good long walk/run in the Biodiversity Park early this morning, maintaining my social distance from fellow walkers.

So fabulous

And a top up walk in the same park this evening with Grumpy Husband.

I think there are more people in the park these days, and definitely more kiddos – probably because they have no school. Makes sense.

Oh yes, went to the bank again today. This was the sign on the ATM:

No guard squirting hand sani like a few days ago, but there was this in front of the teller. Yes, yes, I used it:

And we’ve just heard from our friends in Himachal Pradesh that all visitors are banned from the state indefinitely…so looks like we won’t be fishing & yomping any time soon 🙁

Goodness knows what the PM will announce at 8pm.

Goodness knows what tomorrow will bring.

Super worrying times.

Sending positive vibes to everyone.

Stay safe.

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