I have begun to feel the direct impact of the virus, now that I am quarantined in my hotel with a banner hung outside the building that says that it had someone giving in it who tested positive for the virus.
As of now, there are no cops outside the exit gate which was locked when I went down to take a peek, so I pushed it open and went out for a walk. The streets were still empty with the occasional half-empty buses passing by, a tea shop was open there was a cobbler selling his wears who was doing business as it seems he had no choice. A rag picker lay on the footpath trying to sleep under the shed of a cigarette shop. There were groups of dispersed people in fours and threes trying to analyze and asses the times they were living in. The shops had downed their shutters and the overhead bridges and sidewalks were desolate and empty. I was engrossed in soaking in the view and taking pictures. It has been seven weeks off the lockdown and the number of cases in Mumbai is still rising and experts say will peak by July.
Food will be an issue as we are quarantined and no one is allowed to venture out. Within my few minutes of venturing out the manager of the hotel came running out with the cook and asked me to go back into my room. We had been quarantined for 14 days and no one could step out.
Every day new stories of virus mutation emerge, some say the victims are losing their sense of smell, others say it is killing the young too. This has been my first brush with contact tracing, isolation of the infected and quarantine being carried out by the local government, with the app installed on my mobile they can now track my movements and incrassate me if I break lockdown rules or quarantine regulations.
But this is a state of emergency and that is when the police state starts to emerge, the government exerts coral on the people, and civil liberties and right to privacy are jeopardized. I was seeing that happen. The flip side is the authorities need the data to isolate people and then test and treat them as well.
People in the front line like policemen and health workers have also been taken ill by the virus and have borne the brunt of the Pandemic. The poor have had to walk miles to just get back home most of them hungry and without refuge, as the lockdown was suddenly announced, migrant workers are just getting back to their homes and villages. Some of them are carrying the virus with them and spreading it in the rural population.
I managed to make a food delivery from Swiggy who have been delivering food to the hotel, they leave the food packet at the reception 40 min is the time they have said for the delivery to happen.
The rationed food we get at OYO is basic and the variety is getting thin day by day as is the quality, can’t wait to get out into a better hotel Novotel Juhu. I would like to get tested before that and be sure at least I am not a carrier even unknowingly.