Three years have passed since the painful story of lockdown but be careful


Rambabu, 67, a flower seller at Connaught Place, recalls how the pandemic decimated his business. They are finding it challenging to assess the losses they have incurred since 2020 when flower buyers were just a handful. All they remember is that Covid-19 was the biggest tragedy for their business.

Some 30 chefs working at a famous restaurant in Khan Market lamented that when the shops opened after the prolonged lockdown, there were no customers. Simultaneously, many works were done to follow the Covid rules, which also increased the burden of additional cost.

He pointed out that when restaurants reopened, customers disappeared and the change in seating patterns, greater focus on online delivery, hygiene as well as costs from daily expenses on gloves, sanitizers and masks etc. There was an impact. The industry reflected the crisis in the hospitality sector during COVID-19. According to the National Restaurant Association of India, the industry recorded a 53 per cent decline in FY 2021.

Many retail shops, restaurants and small vendors in the city declined to say how Covid has affected their business. Many of them say that their earnings are still low, due to which they are disappointed.

Apart from businesses, students have also felt the impact of COVID-19 greatly. Viraj Joshi, 24, a post-graduate student in urban planning in Ahmedabad, who was then stuck in the foreign land of Vietnam, describes his struggle like this, ‘When the first lockdown was imposed, I didn’t even know when I would go back home. would go.’

Viraj was one of the 36 lakh foreign students who were called home by the government during the lockdown. It is very sad and disappointing to finish your college studies online. But Moin Khan, a 22-year-old IT worker who joined the job during Covid calls it a beautiful idea.

They did not need to go to the office and had the freedom to work from anywhere. At the same time, they also feel the generation gap in the office that does not work in front of computers and with other co-workers. Gurugram-based data analyst Ritika (name changed) points out that working from home doesn’t lead to time management, but the flexibility it offers is great.

However, there are many who also found opportunity during Covid, even if it was for a short period of time. For example, take Ramesh Shinde (name changed), a mobile phone salesman. He explains, “It was an opportunity as the demand for budget smartphones was at a peak with schools going online and e-commerce platforms. Consumers with an urgent need for a smartphone approached us. It is a different matter that the prolonged lockdown has also harmed many businessmen including Shinde.

Nearly 40 percent of small business owners are no longer self-employed, according to a pandemic impact study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research. Neeraj Nischal, Additional Professor in the Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, explains how the healthcare system around the world faced huge challenges during the pandemic. On the current situation, Nischal says that now there is nothing to panic even if the cases increase. He says, ‘Most of us have been vaccinated and have developed immunity to the disease.’

While returning from AIIMS, Nischal gives his advice to reporters and says, ‘Don’t let your guard down now and keep an eye on the hospitalization rate.’ At the same time, he says that frontline workers have not only provided medical services at the cost of their own lives, but have also had to fight an epidemic of misinformation.

(Reporting by Udisha Srivastava, Nuha Buber, Ashley Varghese, Sanika Sarod, Ananya Narayan Dhanbalan and Ajinkya Kanwal on the first batch of the Rahul Khullar internship program by BLiTZ)

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