Mangaluru: Mangalore's total lockdown was eased after three days today. MLA Vedavyas Kamath in his WhatsApp appeal to Mangaloreans yesterday requested that discipline be maintained to ensure that the gains of nil positive cases in the last three days be extended through social distancing.
His appeal read as follows
This crisis is NEW to all of us. So each has their own opinion on how to tackle this. So here is an update and BIG REQUEST. We have had several meetings and discussions and we have come to a conclusion, we also wanted to be sure before giving relaxation. This is the time to alert, Smart and quick.
Tuesday on 31st March, there will be a relaxation of Lockdown from Morning 6 AM to 3 PM. THIS WILL be continued only on the basis of CITIZENS on how they tackle this RELAXATION.
Here is MY request to you. Planned some detailed things:
1. Shopping should be done by only one member of the family.
2. It should be QUICK as others will be waiting outside.
3. DO NOT touch the products at SUPERMARKET unnecessarily.
4. Carrying SANITIZERS and TISSUES is a MUST, MASK is 100% MUST and should cover the nose and mouth.
5. Make a SHORT list Tomorrow on what YOU NEED.
RICE, Sugar, Dal, Salt, Tea Powder, Pulses, Clothes Washing Powder, Utensils Washing Powder, All OUT, BISCUITS, Bread, Oil, Maida are most required essentials as of now for daily use. You can add only 2-3 products to this.
6. Maintaining MINIMUM 2.5 MTRS is a must.
7. After reaching home directly go for a SHOWER and soak your clothes in Hot Water.
8. Delivery will be there and passes have already been given.
9. No talks with friends or any relatives while going out JUST GO, SHOP and RETURN HOME.
This is only to reduce the shopping time
It is high time we follow this. I request you all to follow this to keep our MANGALORE HEALTHY.
A Special request to all of you. And I am sure we will pass this phase.
#StayHome #StaySafe #MangaloreFightsCorona""
Some of the guidelines were followed, some were not. People wore masks but did not maintain the 2.5-meter distance except at a couple of the supermarkets. At the Market, people were literally jostling each other elbow to elbow.
People were desperate for groceries and other food items and surprisingly medicine. Even the Jan Aushadhi store in Atttavara had a queue half a mile long. One wonders if Mangalore is so unhealthy. Its quite possible, given how the health care system thrives here.
Starting early morning, the queues were immense at Medical Shops the Market and the Grocery Stores. This included the central Market where the rush was horrendous.
At around 9 am when we took a tour of the Kankanady Falnir Belt, the crowds had eased at the market, but so had the vegetables and groceries. But at supermarkets like More, Big Bazar, Martins, Apple Mart, and smaller all-purpose grocery shops, the crowds were lined up for almost half a kilometer from the doors. So too at the fish stall near Casa Grande. The silver lining is that barring the market spaces, the crowds were disciplined trying to follow the guidelines of social distancing.
There was hardly any conversation though. People were focussed on filling their grocery bags and leaving the place. Whether they followed the guidelines after reaching home is anyone's guess.
The larger question remains as to whether having regular windows for shopping can help or mar the lockdown. Sporadic and last-minute announcements of shopping windows, tend to end up this way, where all the gains of a lockdown and social distancing initiatives, may or may not be washed away.
Mangluru needs to be more disciplined no doubt, but desperation and anxiety about tomorrow often override discipline and perhaps the right but difficult balance of isolation and connection needs to be found.
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