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March 25th, 2020

My Delhi (virus) Diary. 24th March 2020

In my blog yesterday, I shared with you how the days are beginning to blur into each other, and I am now giving you advance warning that it is only going to get worse.

Because India is now under total lockdown for 21 days.

You thought we already were?

Here, let me remind you of the sequence of events:

21st March, 8 pm Saturday night, the Prime Minister announced that the next day would be a 16 hour long “voluntary” People’s Curfew. Along with many people, I suspected that this was just a dress rehearsal for the main event.

22nd March, on Sunday evening, before the “voluntary” curfew was even over, the Chief Minister of Delhi announced that we (Delhi) were going into lockdown until March 31st.

24th March also at 8pm, the Prime Minister announces that the whole country is under immediate strict lockdown.

So we have gone from curfew -> state lockdown -> national lockdown in 3 days.

Not surprising that the days are blurring.

I haven’t stepped out of the house since I went for a run on…er…when?…oh yeah, Saturday…

The 8pm announcement was the usual Prime Ministerial thing.

Make a televised address – Mr. Modi doesn’t do press conferences and questions – announcing a dramatic move.

Total, immediate lockdown.

As in now.

As in how the hell are all the hundreds of thousands of migrant labour, day wagers, street people supposed to cope?

And who has enough food in the house for 3 weeks?

Predictably enough, people rushed to the shops to try and stock up, so the whole notion of social distancing went for a toss.

Then, inevitably, came the follow-up official clarifications and explanations, within a matter of minutes. Why can’t these big dramatic announcements be thought through in advance?

Food shops and chemists will work, we are assured.

But if you live far away from one, how are you supposed to access it?

We are (yet again) very lucky in that we have a local market 300 metres down the road. It is scruffy and unkempt and poorly maintained, but there is a chemist, a food shop, ATMs. So we should be OK. Though Bahadur tells me that the meat shop has already announced that it is closing. Doesn’t bother me, since I’m a vegetarian, but there are others in the household who eat meat, so they will be affected.

Just hope that the general provisions store and the chemist stays open.

So, yes, how did I spend my lockdowned day, I hear you ask?

Like the other previous, blurry days…however many that may be… 😛

Roof top jogging with a super excited puppy.

Lots of photo editing and scanning of old transparencies – might as well get my digital life tidied up a bit!

Huge storm in the afternoon – string winds, & rain, & nice crash-bang-wallop-y thunder.

Loads of plants on the terrace came crashing down, but the rain was lovely and the temperature immediately dropped.

One slight change of routine – after all the broken plant pots had been cleared away and all the fallen pots righted – an evening walk on the roof terrace with a reluctant hubby.

I’ve warned him, he has no choice – he’s gotta do some exercise, now that yoga has stopped.

We did 3km which isn’t bad.

The dogs dutifully trotted up and down, and up and down with us for a while, obviously expecting something fun to ensue, since Himmat never walks with them, but they soon lost interest and wandered off.

And thus endeth Day whatever it is of lockdown.

Stay safe, friends!

3 comments to My Delhi (virus) Diary. 24th March 2020

  • Arjun Singh

    Labourers in diff. States of India are given 5000 each under this lockdown.
    N one more thing you wrote in your article that cant the govt. Make such announcements in advance, well what would ne the point of lockdown then.
    Labourers from Maharashtra n other states of India can easily transport this virus to their poor villages in U.P n Bihar where they hardly have any modern facility to keep them in check.
    Looking at the conditions of developed Nations like U.S, Italy i would say this is the best thing for India that has a huge population but not enough resources. Its better to be lockdown before the virus spreads than later on.

    • Christine

      No, no – what I meant was that the govt should have thought through the modalities of what was to be kept open – like shops – and which delivery companies could operate – and make sure authorities on the ground, like the cops, knew. Stories all over the internet today of food and grocery delivery companies not being allowed to deliver. Read a letter from a company that said they’d had to waste thousands of litres of milk, ‘cos they weren’t allowed to deliver. Hope this is first day teething problems…

      • Arjun Singh

        Yes, there has been a great misunderstanding between Modi Govt. n the police authorities, our police system has major problems specially the uneducated staff n yes this time Modi Govt. Did create many misunderstandings by not issuing major points like what services to remain open n closed in his last speech yesterday

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