New Normal Memories #1

#LockdownTales #ChineseCoronaVirus

Today is day 44 of the lockdown in India and as the new normal is about to start changing yet again, am making notes to remember these days in the future. Some of the things we have experienced is so bizarre that it won’t seem real even a couple of years down the line. I have collected some items on this list from FB timelines and whatsapp messages but most of it is my own :).

  1. The liquor shops were opened yesterday in Delhi and there were queues nearly 1 km long.
  2. Two weeks ago, the price of a barrel of oil was below zero !!!!!!!!
  3. Schools and colleges have been closed since mid March and some classes have been resumed online.
  4. One US dollar is 76 Indian rupees.
  5. For nearly three weeks, we could not even go for a walk inside the condominium complex !
  6. Masks are fashion accessories and it is mandatory to wear one as we step out of the house. This may be the norm for atleast for a couple of years.
  7. Ramayan in its re-run also topped the charts with more than 77 million people watching it. Says something about the enduring nature of the historical epic.
  8. We suddenly realised that we need to thank doctors, nurses, health care workers, maids, house help, sweepers, cleaners and policemen.
  9. Temples are closed. Even the Vatican shut down. Mecca and Medina also are shut.
  10. Many weddings got cancelled but Kumaraswamy’s son’s wedding took place with fanfare and no social distancing norms being followed.
  11. Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan became the Chief Minister of M.P as KamalNath’s govt. fell. To celebrate the BJP workers thronged the CM’s residence, flouting all lockdown norms.
  12. Maharashtra lameduck CM, hired a PR agency just before the lockdown and managed to garner attention as the best CM….. till the Covid19 cases exploded and continue to escalate.:(
  13. Funerals not being attended. Parents of an army officer who succumbed to cancer, had to drive down from Gujarat to Bangalore to see him for one last time.
  14. No shaking hands. Namaste goes viral.
  15. There are clear squares/circles made in front of medical stores and inside grocery stores to maintain social distance.
  16. People have re-discovered home-cooked food.
  17. Parks and beaches are not accessible.
  18. Malls are shut and are considered “non-essential”.
  19. In the US the most prized commodity is the toilet paper, followed closely by hand sanitisers.
  20. Amazon is not delivering and we have survived 44 days without it.
  21. Airports are empty. Train stations are empty. Tourism is dead. Travel is only from one room to the other or from one end of the room to the other end.
  22. India produces 70% of the world’s supply of Hydroxychloroquine … didn’t know that. 55 Corona Virus hit countries have been supplied with this drug already.
  23. BCG vaccine may be the one to deal with the corona virus – Dr. Gobardhan Das was the first to mention it. He is an Indian.
  24. Parents are worried about managing children at home …. and they are insisting on easing the lockdown so that children can go out to play. Till 44 days back, parents were unable to peel off their children from the video games and the internet !!
  25. Ramanavami festival in Ayodhya canceled.
  26. Delhi CM succeeded in creating panic amongst migrants and several thousands got out of Delhi.
  27. Tablighi Jamaat ensured that the number of people infected in India rises sharply. No one knows why foreign “mullahs” had to be holed up in mosques across India when they all entered India as tourists.
  28. Every Muslim managed to remember Allah even without the “azaan” blaring from the loudspeakers.
  29. Nature got a breather and blossomed.
  30. The day is actually quiet and birds chirp throughout the day….
  31. Pollution cleared up to an extent that Kanchenjunga was visible from Siliguri and Dhauladhar ranges were visible from Jalandhar.
  32. Bumper Rabi crop and the Govt extended its procurement window.
  33. The world turned Brahmin – washed hands several times, left footwear outside or atleast didn’t walk with “outside” footwear inside the house, ate home-cooked food, didn’t share “jhoota” food (food that’s been bit into by someone else) etc etc.
  34. Survived without IPL happening.
  35. Canadian citizen Akshay Kumar donated Rs. 25 crores to the PM CARES fund.
  36. Repair work on railway tracks done. Unfinished roadworks completed.
  37. Metros stopped running or ran on empty.
  38. US Navy admitted to seeing UFO’s but the world never took notice.
  39. UK’s PM, Canadian PM’s wife and Tom Hanks tested positive. The virus is non-discriminating.
  40. Friends and family only speak over video calls. Zoom became critical and when its Chinese ownership became known, people shifted to other conferencing software…. wonder why, as not everyone is working on secret biochemical or nuclear weapons.

This is a partial list and am sure I have missed many other points. Will compile another list as we come out of Lockdown #3 on May 17th. Hoping that the economy bounces back and things go back to a better normal. Remember, the spread of the virus has been slowed down, but the virus isn’t gone.

#StayHome #StaySafe

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