With Europe taking over China as the hotbed of COVID-19 and India also in the midst of taking up the honours or definitely competing for it, reactions are aplenty but being the pessimist that I am, I see a recession coming as a worst-case scenario. An acclaimed economist in a leading daily could not fathom what a recession could look like in the near to distant future for India but he gave a very potent fact stating that if we were to reduce our daily activities by 5%, then we would head into a recession.
Today, my neighbours got together at 5 pm IST(Indian Standard Time) and clapped in appreciation of Doctors, paramedical staff, security forces such as the Police and media personnel who are still working even in the face of infection at every corner. As a concerned citizen, I appreciate such endeavours but at the same time, fear for my parents who are well past their sixties and are prone to infections or complications and I wrote as such when I commented on a fellow blogger who had posted one such account on WordPress.
Gung Ho Celeb
The media is doing the right thing by informing about celebrities or politicians suffering from the Corona Virus but what do you do about a singer as reputed as Kanika Kapoor who rather than self-quarantine, attends a huge function with politicians and celebrities galore, shops at the swankiest markets of Lucknow, lodges at a chic five-star hotel in town and throws tantrums when she is admitted to a hospital. The fact that she interacted with a host of people and got them in harm’s way is another story for another day. Just so you know, there has been an FIR(First Information Report) lodged at a local Police Station against her for negligence.
It Happens Only In India
Take the case of another politician from Telangana who represents the TRS(Telangana Rashtra Samiti) and instead of being in isolation after returning from the US instead goes to his assembly constituency, attends Municipal Corporation meetings, meets several officials because he said that he had tested negative for Corona Virus and hence there was no need for quarantine.
Now that the majority of the country has been brought under some sort of lockdown/restrictions in travel, tomorrow would be my first day of Working From Home(WFH). Only time will tell if this would translate into a successful exercise but I do know that if it continues for long then pink slips and lay-offs could be a very real possibility. I hope and I pray that it does not “come down” to that. The process to begin operating from home started in our office by a chosen few led by the Managing Partner and I saw several employees burning the midnight oil and reporting for close to sixteen hours for three days in succession. The office was only at 20% of capacity and I was not surprised given that it was the first day of WFH.
In addition, today was a “Janata Curfew” at the behest of the Prime Minister and I have never seen the roads so deserted with hardly any vehicles going by considering I live right next to the main road. I am a complete sports buff and support franchises across different sports, however, all sporting activities on the telly have gone for a toss and there is a clamouring for postponing the Olympics as well. Forget hoarding and stocking, the real fight is for eyeballs when it comes to Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime etc. There has been a notification by EU officials that since so many countries are under restrictions and people watching streaming platforms, Netflix has been advised to lower their streaming from 33k to a lesser number to prevent the internet from breaking. My mom watched and finished “She” and “Mirzapur” over two days while I am in the third season of Game of Thrones(GOT). Yes, I hadn’t seen GOT till now and am binge-watching. So much for constraints and restrictions.
World Water Day
I would like to end by bringing forth an occasion which needs to matter on a much grander scale by observing and adhering to water conservation efforts and celebrating World Water Day which happens on 22nd March every year. The majority of the world population is not lucky enough and there is not much access to clean drinking water. Through this, I hope, in our small and concerned way we may think of the needy and try our best not only to save water but also think about climate change so that the next generations or a Greta Thunberg has reasons to smile.