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How has the coronavirus lockdown changed people’s life in India?

April 25 will mark one month since India went into the lockdown. Let us look at how life has changed over this past month. While people are largely keeping their distance now the government says the number of new coronavirus cases is stabilizing and suggests that there is evidence of slight flattening of the curve and that the public adherence to the measures is definitely having an impact.

At the same time, India has also recorded its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases on April 20th as the government eased the lockdown concerns or restrictions in the second phase suggesting it’s not all better yet. No more journeys public transport is shut so people are just stepping out to go to their workplaces in case they are unable to work from home or to shop for essentials.

So what used to be normal like going out to your favorite restaurants, or shopping have all been shot for one month. Sales of non-food items have fallen drastically instead you see social media flooded with pictures of experimental cooking at home. The suspension of all transport and construction activities has meant pollution levels have plummeted.

The overall Delhi air quality index was recorded in the satisfactory category on April 21st. Less than six months ago Delhi was gasping for breath, people now are celebrating by sharing pictures of clear blue skies, and the joy of breathing clean air rivers have become cleaner too.

All this provides a contrast to illustrate what we are doing to ourselves in the rest of the time. The lockdown also has brought forth the lack of public health infrastructure, the lack of health care staff, and facilities also for them. We are still facing a shortage of medical equipment and protective gear. Experts have time and again raised questions on the low number of tests being conducted in India even now, also the other stark reality Indians came to realize was the number of people whose life depends on daily wages. The eruption of migrant workers on roads brought into focus the immense need to support these strata of society.

Now the good news is that crime rate has gone down drastically, yet at the same time incidents of anti-social behavior have gone up there are several reports of abusive behavior against, health care workers the police, and the front line workers and spent. Meanwhile, incidences of domestic abuse have also increased quite sharply, health lines are recording lakhs of SOS calls during this kind of a lockdown period.

On the brighter side people have actually taken out time to focus on themselves their health and fitness during the lockdown, people are also making efforts to learn new skills. Now with the ban on going out people are now consuming data more than ever before. The online consumption of content has increased substantially, subscriptions of apps like Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar have gone up.

A month on people is more at ease with the lockdown right now. Most of all what people are valuing is spending time with their family at home which they never used to do earlier, balancing work-life has also become easier for many people. Most people are also realizing how they missed out on a lot of little things like chopping of birds, while they work remotely at homes as most of the time earlier was spent cribbing about traffic congestions. The change in people’s lives and around us is effective however, the query is will we be extra inclusive and delicate as soon as we return to what was once normal the fall.

Well, the lockdown has helped the country bring down the growth rate of COVID-19. It is set to cost the Indian economy up to 17 lakh crore rupees, even as partial opening of select sectors outside of coronavirus hotspots from April 20th has kindled some hope.  A Barclays analysis estimates India’s lack of financial exercise could possibly be as high as 234 billion {dollars} within the lockdown period leading to 0% GDP progress this fiscal. The toll task for the government right ahead is to prevent an economic doom.

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