There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that coronavirus has finally taken hold in India. Social isolation is now in effect in various parts of the nation and Odisha is one of them. As Bhubaneshwar was is the capital of the state, it was the first to go under lockdown, specially when it is a transport hub to many places both in Noorthern and Southern India.
I, being the imbecile that I am, decided to tough it out. I could have gone back to Rourkela; I had the time and I could see the signs well enough.. However, as I am not a part of the at-risk group and my parents doubtlessly are, I decided not to go home to Rourkela and stay here in Bhubaneshwar.
Was it a wise decision to make? I really don’t know. One the one hand I have stockpiled everything I need. On the other, the isolation is driving me crazy. So after spending a week in lockdown, here are my thoughts on the matter
Has It Been A Good Decision?
So the government finally locked down the state and imposed a curfew. Is it a good idea? Absolutely. Simply because there is no other effective way to stop the disease.
Coronavirus spreads very fast and there is no treatment for it yet. There is no vaccine either, at least not for 18 months. The lethality of the disease is also higher than regular flu.
There is no other recourse to take. Phillipines and Italy gave too much of a lead time between announcing a quarantine and enforcing it. So millions of people escaped the quarantine zones and spread the disease further. The UK has gone the opposite route and decided to ride the pandemic out. However that would lead to guaranteed deaths for the at-risk population.
This is the correct step to take, even if it is irritating for us and the economy is going to slow down due to this.
What Did I Do?
The first thing I did was fill in my pantry with non perishable stuff. That means rice, flour, dried peas, soy chunks and others. Then get myself some hand sanitizer, or to be more accurate 2-3 refills and a bottle. I also stockpiled snacks as I knew those would be the first to vanish off the shelves.
I left out the fresh stuff like vegetables as the markets were not closing completely. However, as the operating times of the markets were restricted, I thought it prudent to get myself a 2 week supply of onions and potatoes.
As fresh vegetables were now in short supply, I decided to go for eggs and got myself a big stock. Overall, the grocery situation is pretty okay.
As for the work situation, sadly our business is currently suspended as no one is doing deliveries right now. As team members cannot meet physically, we cannot film our videos that are going to be in our second project so that is out too. The last is this blog.
How Did The Week Go?
As all other work was now suspended the only thing remained was the blog and a secret project. As of now most of my attention has been on the secret project. I’m not going to explain what it is right now but it has been quite a productive week for me.
Aside from that, I’m keeping myself busy doing routine stuff on our arthouse site. Overall, the pace of life has slowed down and as I am here all by myself, I have taken up sketching once again.
My advice would be to keep yourself busy with something. Read something, watch movies, practice dancing, whatever suits your fancy. It will stop you from going stir crazy.
Speculations On How Long It Will Last
The lockdown is sure to be extended after it ends on March 31. As the number of coronavirus cases are rising, it surely means that the danger is still present. There is a real chance that the government will extend the lockdown to 15 more days.
If the cases continue to rise, government may also extend the lockdown all the way upto May. We still do not know the true extent of the spread of the disease as there are just not enough test kits. All the numbers on TV say are the confirmed cases.
So, don’t think that this is a short break from the usual business. The situation is evolving, but there are enough signs that it will get worse before it gets better.
What Can We Do About It?
There is not a lot we can do except follow the guidelines. Maintain hygiene and keep your distance from everyone. And of course do not believe everything that comes out of social media. There is no cure and there is no vaccine.
People are hard at work developing an effective treatment for the disease but as a viral infection, our options are limited to anti-virals, which are of limited effectiveness.
What you can do however is support the [email protected] project if you have a big internet plan and spare computing power. People all over the globe are helping by pooling computational resources to map protein folding patterns of COVID-19. This would help the scientists get faster and better results on developing and testing various treatment plans. For details, visit here.
Any Plans For The Next Week?
I have decided to go week by week, so I’ve not made any solid plans. As the first weeks has gone by, I’ve not faced much difficulty as I was prepared. However, as my pantry dwindles, I’ll have to go out shopping once more. Probably get myself some variety in snacks and top up my essentials. However, the situation may change quickly and go even worse. We just don’t know enough.
So overall I’m keeping myself ready for a long siege. If it happens, I’ll be ready and if it doesn’t, I’ll have extra pantry items for a month.
This pandemic can be stopped, but it will require some sacrifice from us all. We hope that this only comes in the form of a few weeks of discomfort rather than thousands dead when it could be prevented. So, keep on keeping on.
All stock photos from pxhere.com