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General

It was just another day in the month of March. I was going through random videos on internet when I saw it. Our Prime Minister addressing the nation at 2100 hours. Urging the citizens of the country to observe a ‘Jananta Curfew’ on the upcoming Sunday. I was quiet surprised. I didn’t know that the situation has got so much out of hands that 1.3 billion people are asked to stay at home. But this was only a start, a beginning to the terrible future which holds such devastating effects that it will not be forgotten ever.

The very next day when two days were left for the curfew. I saw people raiding the supermarkets, buying whatever they can to stock for the worst case scenario. They were scared to death. It was all over their faces. In a couple of hours the store went from fully stocked to almost empty. And then it happened on 22 March 2020. All you can see on the roads were closed shops and Law enforcement announcing and requesting people to stay at home. They also didn’t completely understand why they are announcing this but the orders came from above. And when they came from above you are not supposed to ask too many questions.

The day went by and at 1700 hours citizens of our nation came to the balcony of their house to perform a small task asked to be done by the supreme leader himself. To clap and appreciate the warriors who are risking their lives trying to stop the spread of this deadly virus ‘Covid 19’ which is the reason in the first place why the Curfew was imposed.

I saw this curfew as a beginning to a long halt which is going to affect millions of lives. And on 24 March my prediction came true. A complete 21 days lockdown was announced starting from 25 March. People were panicked, many were away from their home. State borders were sealed, transportation services totally shut. Many got trapped at where they were. People lost their source of income. Food prices saw a hike. In a few days millions lost their jobs. In the days to follow all you can see on news channels were deaths all over the country. Poor people walking miles to reach their homes without food and water. They were not allowed to cross state borders. They couldn’t walk back to where they came from, as they had no job or money left to survive there. The best option is to go to their hometown and hope to get any form of help from the people they know there. During these 21 days all you can find on Internet was the rise in the number of affected people. Chaos everywhere. Migrant workers demanding to be sent home. Politicians making accusation on each other. Faceoff between police and the workers. Corruption, fear, hunger. Our media used to ask questions to the government. At least till the last regime. I don’t understand weather they are completely sold out now or are they too afraid to ask questions. Won’t this lockdown lead to many severe problems? Won’t it cause financial downfall of our economy? Could this lockdown be implemented in a better organized manner? But no. They are too busy with flattering their leader. Then came the next announcement on the last day of this decision to shut down the second largest population in the world. Phase second of the lockdown. The country was divided into three zones green, orange and red. Some relaxation were provided by the government for small scale business. But how are you supposed to do business when people are too scared to visit to your shop. At the same time when this situation were going on many people around the world are working day and night to study, analyze and find a cure for this virus. To develop a vaccine. Simultaneously finding the infected people, quarantining them, and sealing the area was becoming stressful for the team of doctors. In some areas they faced resistance. In this time of social media misinformation spread faster than any virus. A misinformation spread that people who are being taken by the authorities to the hospital are being ill treated based on their religion. So people rejected the treatment. Media played an important role in sidelining a certain section of society saying that they are to blame for the exponential spread of the virus across the country. These people came from different regions and attended an event in the country’s capital and went back to their home. Now some people were found positive from that event. This gave the media to carry forward the government propaganda’s. They kept on accusing that these people are hiding their details about being present at the said event. Nobody could have known that there were infected people at the event. And who will come forward if you keep on targeting a specific group of people. Feeding poison to others against them. Anyways this isn’t the first time such plans have been manifested to raise communal riots. These 19 days also passed and till now many have understood that this lockdown is not going to end soon. Neither the virus is going away. Certain guidelines were released by the government for phase three of lockdown.  Normal movement is permitted in green zones with buses limited to 50 percent capacity. Orange zones would allow only private and hired vehicles but no public transportation. The red zones would remain under lockdown. The zone classification would be revised once a week. Till now some good news had started to come out. People who are financially capable have come forward to help the needy. By providing them food, water and arranging for their shelter. As they say good and bad are the two faces of the same coin. After four phases of lockdown our country has now moved towards the unlocking phase. While most of the work has now been done online, many don’t have access to this privilege. In this time when financial assistance package are being announced for helping the people in the lower to the middle of the economic food chain. I wonder how many will actually get benefited from this and how many will bent down their knees in front of this disaster. Either way the people in power will find a way to survive by any means necessary.

June 03, 2020 14:04

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2 comments

Michael Woods
10:59 Jun 11, 2020

My comments: This text exactly captures how we are all feeling at this critical moment in our history but I am not sure that it fits the category of “short story”. My view is that is reads as reportage in a good journalistic sense, describing the ever present anxiety of the writer and his readers, setting out what possible outcomes there might be. Apart from the need to recheck spelling I think it might read more easily if it had been broken into more paragraphs; the latter part is one very long paragraph and the reader may want to see a...

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Dhananjay Sharma
17:07 Jun 11, 2020

Understood.

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