It took a series of lockdowns, smart and otherwise, over a period of almost half a year for the country to be able to reopen its economy and various sectors and industries following a pandemic-induced closure. The world over an unimaginable price was paid. Losses were not just material in nature. Lives were lost as many across the country, and the world over, suffered pain and anguish due to the raging pandemic.
But now, gradually, the government has lifted the general lockdown. What now appears as the bigger challenge is adapting to this new normal. While most of the country may have reverted to how things were prior to Covid-19, and while people may be finding some relief in this situation where there is some semblance of a ‘normal’, the threat has not yet disappeared entirely. That in itself poses immense risks. As the government issues a series of safety measures and instructions, and SOPs to ensure a safer reopening, there is a need for constant messaging, informing the people of the threat and for the public to support a safe enough reopening to allow economic activity to continue.
With various sectors opening up, there is a need to examine not just the impact the lockdowns have had on these but also how long it will take for these sectors to bounce back and adapt to the new situation in a world that has been fiercely hit by the pandemic. We examine not just the challenges of reopening but also what reopening means for many who have lost all sense of normal in the past five or so months. From the resumption of healthcare services, industry and public transport to impact on other non-essential but important sectors such as tourism and food and restaurant industry, we explore various dimensions. We also look at how people have responded to the reopening in terms of their own safety and that of others. In our Special Report this week, we dive deep into our new normal.