The lockdown in India has entered its 5th week following the jantacurfew on the 22nd of March. Suddenly, the word “New Normal” is being spouted at every available opportunity.

A lot of firsts in the lockdown, most importantly the impact on the environment. Satisfying news from places like Haridwar in uttarakhand and New Delhi about how the Ganges and Yamuna are cleaner than ever before

The #Ganges river in #Haridwar, #Uttarakhand flowing peacefully during the lockdown
Image credit – PTI; Banks of the Ganges in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. Ganges water is fit for direct consumption from the river

The same story repeats with lakes in the city of #Bangalore. The Air quality across major cities have also seen significant improvement during the lockdown. Researchers recorded the air quality of these 10 cities and after three-weeks timeframe noticed that harmful microscopic particulate matter, PM 2.5, has significantly reduced. The PM 2.5 pollutant is smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter and is very dangerous for human beings. The pollutant goes to our respiratory system from where it passes into other organs and bloodstream which may cause breathing problems. 

Back at the workplace, the weekly activities begin in full force. Planning calls for the week, deciding where to set foot, which activities to lead, which disputes to get in to is a necessity. While all of this happens, how does one set aside for one’s own personal growth, extra reading, new skill building etc.,

When it comes to activities within the home, we are slowly reaching the mode of self-reliance. What then happens to our household support personnel who dutifully support us through various chores during the day. There are debates underway in various whatsapp groups on the salaries to be paid to them in the absence of a single days’ work. In the end, the unregulated nature of this sector, leaves the support staff at the mercy of decisions taken by the household. Children who were not used to washing their cups / plates / clothes are suddenly hostel ready. This lockdown has proven to be a huge blessing for parents who regularly have to put up with uncooperative children. Some enterprising kids have even got an opportunity to try their skills at the kitchen. A case in point is the Miss. Bravo!

Lunch was a simple cabbage kootu with a cut mango pickle and steamed gooseberries (Amla). This is more of an exhaust the remaining vegetables kind of a dish. Simple to chop, put them in a cooker along with moong dal and turmeric, salt and tempering follow after which it is ready to go.

Cabbage kootu rice, cut mango pickle and steamed gooseberries / amla
Cabbage kootu rice, cut mango pickle and steamed gooseberries / amla

Two more weeks for the 2nd #lockdown to get over. Experts are looking at many elements before getting the country back on rails

  1. How clusters are being controlled
  2. How successful has contact tracing been. Once traced, how well have the contacts been quarantined
  3. How local governments right up to the level of villages are able to enforce quarantine
  4. Coming clean on the data across states

All of the above will be a true reflection of how people are cooperating across the country. Simply put, in India’s case, prevention truly seems to be the best medicine.

Jai Hind!

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