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The world was running at its highest pace, then came the monster Corona Virus, which turned the lives of over a million people upside-down. The first human case of COVID-19 was noticed in Wuhan (China), and by time, around 213 countries are being affected due to coronavirus COVID-19. The world health organization (WHO) declared this new outbreak a pandemic.
The first case of COVID-19 in India was identified on January 30, 2020. Currently, India has the highest number of confirmed cases in the Asia continent and the world’s third-highest cases after the USA and Brazil. According to Doctors and Scientists, COVID-19 can spread from person to person through the droplets from nose or mouth. When a person coughs or exhales, these droplets land on their nearby objects and surfaces, and the virus catches another person if they come in contact with those surfaces. In-short, the transmission of coronavirus, which leads to COVID-19, is only possible when a person interacts or comes close to an infected patient at their workplace, markets, store, or anywhere else.
So, to break the chain of person to person transmission, we were left with the only option of avoiding our interactions with others. In the beginning, 1.3 billion population of India were addressed by the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stay at home for one day as “Janta Curfew” on March 22. It was the first step taken by our government to fight against this virus. Gradually it turned into an epidemic, and due to a sudden increase in the number of cases, the whole countrymen were restricted to stay at home. It was termed as complete lockdown when the entire nation was locked in their houses. Schools, colleges, offices, industries, malls, everything was shut down from March 25. The world started shivering with the fear of corona. India witnessed lockdown in different phases:
- Phase 1(21 days)- March 25 to April 14.
- Phase 2(19 days)- April 15 to May 3.
- Phase 3(14 days)- May 4 to May 17.
- Phase 4(14 days)- May 18 to May 31.
Impacts of Lockdown
COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and social distancing is a key point of prevention from the communal spread of this disease. It has pushed us into a situation of lockdown and self-Quarantine, which has adversely affected the world’s economy. Many countries are under a financial crisis. India’s GDP growth is 1.9% in 2020-21, and our country can face the worst economic growth rate in the coming year. The informal sector comprises the major assets in India’s economy and employs almost 94% of the population. The complete lockdown situation has shut down all the factories and industries, which has created a serious problem of unemployment and poverty. The scarcity of work causes the migration of daily wage workers to their villages.
The hospitality sector has faced huge losses in the last few months as people avoided going out in hotels and restaurants. Interstate and international transportation were blocked entirely, so airline companies are also under loss. Tourism, Automobile, import, and export services are severely affected during this lockdown. According to report data, five lakhs of people have lost their job, and around 20 lakhs of jobs are under high risk. These are the dark side of the lockdown in people’s lives and the economy of India.
Besides the losses, the lockdown has many positive impacts too. Though the industrial activity is down, the economy is facing losses, but we should also look into the positive aspects. After humans’ interaction with nature has restricted due to this lockdown, it resulted in a blessing for nature. The decrement in pollution due to factories and traffics on the road has improved the air quality and purified water bodies.
NAQI has observed that 40% to 50% of air quality was improved just after the five days of commencement of lockdown. The pollution level of many rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, etc. have decreased with an increase in the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) value of water resources. Even the water of Ganga located at the bank of Haridwar and Rishikesh was reported as suitable for drinking. Wildlife habitats are also blooming in a hygienic environment. This pandemic has taught humankind how we can reorganize our living style to preserve the precious gift of nature.
Under this lockdown, we realized that nature could heal itself if we do not interfere. In-fact everyone was busy with their office works, colleges, and schools until the lockdown was declared. And often, many of us wish to have free time to develop the skills of our choices and follow our passion and hobbies. We always wanted to spend some quality time with family. We used to make fun of not having college and rest at home all the time, like idle.
Although the condition was most unlikely, but all our wishes come true at a time.
Everyone would have to spend their lockdown period with different experiences. I would also like to share some of my personal experiences of lockdown. I remember, When the government had declared holidays in schools and colleges, I pack my bag and rushed to my home. I spent the initial days of my holiday in a very chill mood as like there was no college, no study ever. I love drawing and photography, but I had to shun my hobbies due to a shortage of time. I enjoyed my passion and used to draw at least once a day under this lockdown. I started gardening and also tried my hand in cooking. Though I had never worked in the kitchen before, but I followed new cooking recipes and surprised everyone with tasty & flavored foods. After completing the 10th standard, I was parted away from my family and shifted to a new city for my higher studies. Under this COVID-19 situation, I spent the best hours with my family after a very long time.
The lockdown was soon extending one after the other as corona cases were increasing at a high pace. So, the college began with its online classes, and teachers also started sending assignments as they have to compete with each other. After a few days of fun and enjoyment, I realized that I must utilize my free time to explore new things in constructive ways. Therefore, I started a course of my choice, coding, and participated in online coding competition on different platforms. Moreover, I learned about so many things that I always wanted to know, but due to lack of time, I never have gone through them before.
Though this pandemic is life-threatening to humans but apparently it has taught us a lot. We have learned a new way of living and realized the importance of family, nature, and work. There is no proven cure for COVID-19 to date. Moreover, the medical sector is trying its best to control this pandemic, and scientists are working day and night tirelessly over the vaccine of coronavirus. Countries like Russia and Israel have claimed to make their first vaccine against COVID-19. The actual scenario is that until mass production and distribution are available at all the stages, we have to be very careful and concerned about our health. We should avoid going out for no reason and take a healthy diet to inbuilt a strong immune system. At last, stay at home, take care of your near and dears, and always stay positive.
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