Unlock 1.0 and the learnings of Hyderabad

With Hyderabad limping back to normalcy, there is a new normal that we are adopting, albeit cautiously

Updated - June 11, 2020 11:05 am IST

Published - June 10, 2020 03:02 pm IST - Hyderabad

At the basement of a shopping complex, the security guard stands at a safe distance. A pile of tokens and a bottle of sanitiser on a rectangular table ensure that customers and security personnel are safe. Before handing out a token to customers, the security guard sprays them with the sanitizer and checks their temperature. Upstairs, however, the eagerness of the sales staff to show me something that I was not looking at made me nervous. As an elderly couple walks, the automatic sensor door ensures a no contact entry. The masked couple point the staff to a bottle of sanitizer, squirt some into their palms and proceed to shop. As I went through what I wanted, a T-shirt, I paused to wonder ‘would I do the right thing by trying it on’?

With the spread of COVID-19, there are many things we will be relooking at, without making a conscious effort. No matter how much we plan to stay safe, Unlock 1.0 has seen a constant upgrade on the way we plan to carry on with our daily activities. “Until Unlock 1.0, I wasn’t wearing gloves to pick vegetables or buy groceries. The more people I see at shops and grocery stores, the more nervous I get,” says Rekha Subhash, a homemaker.

This makes us wonder whether street food lovers will ever go back to relishing their favourite chaat s. “It is very sad to see the spot where my pani puri wala stands, empty. I don’t think I can bring myself to relish my favourite street food ever again,” says Daisy K, a chartered accountant working with an MNC. What if the vendors were to wear gloves for hygiene? “Not even then; it is not that the virus gives anyone an upset tummy. Yet, if contracted, it could be life-threatening and it’s mostly through hands that we can contract the virus,” she adds.

The same applies to makeup lovers. They swear to stay off trial lipsticks. “Not even on the hand! Until this virus gets eradicated, nothing is safe. Malls might open but I am in no hurry to walk into one. I will purchase whatever is required online,” says Rohini Kumar, a student at Bhavan’s College in Secunderabad.

Movie lovers too aren’t keen on stepping into a movie theatre. Long hours in a closed environment with people all around could make them quite susceptible to contract the virus. “The same goes for dining and staying in a hotel. I cannot think of dining in a restaurant. That’s irrespective of arrangements like face shields and fibre sheet separators that eateries are making. Unless I feel safe and confident, I don’t think I can step in without anxiety,” says Rakesh Joshi, a businessman.

As people tread with caution, the sight of people queueing up outside a coffee shop at Jubilee Hills for their labelled cuppa had passers-by worry even more. “I was shocked, to say the least. I had stepped out of my house after a gap of three weeks and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that queue. Unlock 1.0 doesn’t mean we have defeated the virus. I am not up for this careless attitude,” says Samvendna K, a communication professional.

Lots of changes are in the offing but more people need to take better care too.

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