Hyderabad: From Lockdown to Vaccination, a lot has changed in Hyderabad and across the world as well, between the March of 2020 and the March of 2021. From the heart-wrenching images of hungry children of migrant workers who walked hundreds of kilometres to StayHome campaigns, challenges on Twitter and Instagram to posed clicks of the most wanted of all times, life has undergone unexpected changes, in many ways irreversible.
Heard the word ‘lockdown’ for the first time, change is keeping its promise of being constant. The virus appears to be on the path of a resurgence in many places, just as the world was heaving a sigh of relief after the shout of ‘Eureka’ from vaccine laboratories.
Will life go back to what it was? The short answer could be no. Because the term ‘Work From Home’ is getting etched in most official bylaws. Zoom and Microsoft Team meetings are becoming the new normal. Deals happening over the phone. Even consultations with the doctor over the phone are normal now.
Mask has become a part of the wardrobe, so much so that there are some who walk about in pajamas with their masks on though. Even if we forget the deodorants and perfumes, we won’t miss the hand sanitizer. Going to malls is not the same anymore. Lakes, dams, and long scenic routes on the city’s outskirts are where many head to in the weekends.
Telangana and the city of Hyderabad, who responded to one of the worst crises that humanity has seen will also be remembered for long. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had declared the first lockdown in the State before the Centre called for the first 21-day national lockdown. And from being the first to reach out with a helping hand to stranded migrant workers with all expenses paid special train trips to their homes, to the move that drew applause from the UNESCO as well – the Annapurna meal scheme, Hyderabad saw its people rallying around the official machinery when they were required to.
The police personnel risked their lives by being on the roads to enforce the lockdown, the healthcare setup at Gandhi Hospital, successfully bore unprecedented pressure, GHMC’s sanitation workers and DRF personnel who dutifully went about disinfecting every nook and corner – the city did well in 2020, with the latest challenge being how to go about a repeat of last year’s collective spirit to fight the virus. The war is not over yet.