Tomorrow, Monday 8th June, it will be back to work in an office environment for many. Mumbai is allowing upto 10% of the workforce to be present in offices, though work from home and staggering of working hours has been recommended. Religious places, restaurants, malls are all set to open too. People are free to get back the services of their household helpers, subject to approval by the societies/resident welfare associations where they live.
There’ll be enterprising and innovative people out there, and some unscrupulous ones too.
Starting 3rd June, physical exercises in open spaces have been allowed. This was Marine Drive last evening. People have flooded the streets like caged animals released into the wild.
In the excitement of getting back to normal, it would be wise to remember how things were when lockdown began on 25th March. We were all scared of catching the virus. We stayed indoors stepping out only for essentials. We wore face masks. We avoided touching our eyes, noses and mouths. We stood in queues waiting for our turn. We stayed far away from people – maintained social distance. We washed our hands with soap or sanitised them when we got home. We cleaned our packages. We exercised at home.
Mumbai’s first two cases of Covid-19 were detected on 11th March. On 25th March, before lockdown, Maharashtra as a state had registered 107 cases. Today, 7th June, Maharashtra has 85,975 cases of which 43,601 are active. With less than 4,500 tests per million, the numbers are likely to be far higher. ##
## Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Maharashtra
What this means is just one thing – the chance of contracting Covid-19 is significantly higher now than anytime in the past. Mumbai, Maharashtra and India in general, is yet to reach the peak.
People going out to work will come into contact with people at their offices. There will be people going to religious places, restaurants, shops, and so on. There will be people socialising with friends and neighbours. It is a long chain. We need to take care of ourselves and our dear ones.
Contaminated surfaces play a very small role in spreading the virus (as per most recent studies), so though washing hands is very important, it is the actual physical contact with people that needs to be addressed. Wear a good mask when stepping out and when meeting people. Maintain social distancing norms. Restrict ourselves – this is the best we can do. The rest is luck.
Take care! Stay safe! Use your new freedom sensibly.
Pictures from social media/forwards