COVID times: More of a summer vacation, less of a lockdown

Nihad Amani

Hyderabad: The war on COVID-19 does not seem to have an end in sight. Engaged yet very drained doctors, fatigued policemen, citizens caged up in their homes and the beleaguered government are all helpless amidst these roads that reek of desert-like emptiness. “It is high time that people realize that the only thing which can keep them protected are the four walls of their homes,” stated a Medical officer at Gandhi Hospital.

‘While traversing the streets of” the City of Nawabs, it was astonishing to see a number of men out on streets sitting in lanes and by lanes of the colonies. The boys were spot carrying their mother’s medical reports to present an alibi to any police official who seeks to reprimand them for being out and about. 

Men were out in search of their daily drugs that either get them through the day that give them a legal high — cigarettes, paan and tobacco. It is as if there is no worry in the world for such folks. Even worse, the fact that they buy cigarettes which sellers are now selling at double the price seems causes no worry for smokers. These cigarettes are sold from the insides of these or by these vegetable sellers.

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Cigarette sellers are making a killing as they are sold for Rs. 25 or more as compared to the pre-pandemic rates of Rs. 15.

Meanwhile, all kirana shops were spot taking advantage of the situation by hiking the prices for every item. The biscuit pack which would cost Rs. 5 now ranges from Rs. 6 to Rs. 7. Buying sugar or any other essential would burn a hole in his/her pocket.

On the other hand, people are finding this good time to earn extra as vegetables are being sold at hiked prices, be it from the bylane markets or directly to the customers at their homes 

Ironically, one could not help but was notice that calls for heeding lockdown instructions fell on deaf ears.

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However, the nighttime hours of curfew saw gave way to a sedate atmosphere. Though such relative calm come about as a result of the fear of the police’s laathi deadly blow and not the fatal virus itself.  

hyderabad lockdown

Children were seen enjoying galli cricket, playing PUBG, badminton and the ladies carried on with their gossip with coronavirus being the latest scoop. For most of them it was merely a summer vacation and a break from working life.

Stating the facts, a lot of elderly men were seen going to mosques for namaaz despite constant imploring by the government and many Imams asking them to confine their prayers to their dwellings.

Despite continuous warnings and awareness about this rapidly spreading pandemic, it seems to make to make no difference to the public.

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