They say that ‘Prevention is better than cure’. However, how many heed to this golden advice? The seriousness of the circumstances, under the global pandemic COVID-19, has resulted in a nationwide lockdown. The singular objective has been to prevent the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The Central and the State Government have laid down rules and regulations to follow as we collectively battle against this catastrophic crisis. The importance of health security has been emphasized countless times. Despite the efforts of the corporation authorities and the city police to ensure a complete lockdown in Visakhapatnam, several citizens are gathering in groups and violating the rules. As the lockdown deadline, set by the Government nears, there are a few realities against the expectations of people.
Expectation versus Reality:
The Government has set down the basic lockdown guidelines to follow. These are using face masks, regularly washing hands, remaining indoors and moving out only when necessary, avoiding crowds, maintaining social distancing, refraining from spitting on roads, and avoiding venturing out in groups. These are some of the preventive measures that can benefit all of us in the long run. However, its implementation depends on the diligence of the people.
Yet, people are seen flouting these rules on several occasions in Visakhapatnam. It brings only one question to mind: Just why would they be foolish enough to do that? After all, these actions may be putting their own lives, as well as others’, in jeopardy. Here’s how we are violating lockdown rules in Visakhapatnam.
The Morning Dose of Crowds
Mornings are a busy time. People are permitted to move out in the morning as they shop for groceries and other necessities. The importance of limiting the amount of physical contact, in this situation, has been stressed upon numerous times. However, putting it into practice has proven to be a hard task. The crowding of customers, near the butcher’s shop, is also posing a problem.
Unmasking the Unmasked
While most of the people don their face masks or have their nose and mouth covered with their handkerchiefs, others are being quite lax in this regard. As the latter come out of their houses, they forget to abide by the fundamental rule of covering their nose and mouth.
Out, About and Strolling
“Many people are going for their morning and evening walks. Some are even seen going out on these walks in groups of more than two, laughing and chatting hours on end,” said a resident of Kalinga Nagar, NAD. Such people could have used masks, and followed social distancing, as preventive measures, however, they can be seen doing neither. In fact, some people are also seen roaming around with the pretext of shopping.
Playing the Game of Cricket
On a normal day, the open field is usually filled with a small group of boys playing cricket in the evening time. This daily routine has not changed during the lockdown. As everyone is at home, due to schools and offices being shut, they are coming out to play cricket in the evenings, bringing a large group of people to the cricket field. One wonders, how are they following social distancing?
Kavya, a resident of Malkapuram, shared her views on people’s actions; “I think one reason why people being ignorant towards COVID-19 pandemic is that they are unaware of the repercussions of this virus. And most of these healthy people think that ‘how can I pose a threat to others as I am healthy myself.”
Sharing his observations during the lockdown, Madhav Reddy, the Founder of RedMad Learnings and MRICS Startup Accelerator, from Visakhapatnam says, “Unfortunately, there are many individuals who consider themselves immune to COVID-19 and roam around carelessly. Every evening, I go to our building’s terrace to breathe some fresh air and spend some time watching nature around. From there, I observe people violating lockdown rules by walking, and jogging, on roads, playing cricket, and gathering around street food vendors in Visakhapatnam. Some just sit around in groups to discuss regarding COVID-19 while they themselves are breaking the rules. Even though police forces are patrolling, it’s not working much on this kind of people. They hide away on hearing the police siren and come back once the vehicle moves out. In our area, there is an empty plot just a few steps away. I see around 30-35 teenagers playing cricket every day there. They were warned by the police, multiple times, but they still don’t listen.”
While we cannot expect the police force to sit round the clock and keep a watch these lockdown violators, Mr Reddy reminds that as a responsible citizen it’s our duty to make sure these people are stopped. In order to make it happen, he requests the denizens to take pictures and clips of these violators and share them with police personnel and spread the same on social media. By doing this, he believes that at least 20% of them will stay back at home. As the first step in this initiative, he shared the pictures and videoclips through this article and across his Social Media handle.