Sectors Benefited During Lockdown

As the pandemic Corona badly affected certain strong running industries, let us discuss some of the sectors which are benefited and are thriving due to Covid-19.

1. Youtubers

People spend most of their time at home surfing and searching for new media of entertainment. YouTubers making quality videos have seen a 15-20% hike in their views which reflects in their revenue.

2. Telecom Industry

As people around the world are restricted from leaving their homes, they spend most of their time on internet surfing. Recent reports say that there is a 30% increase in data consumption since lockdown and telecom giants like Airtel and Reliance Jio are benefiting most from this. Work from home in most of the IT industries also contributed to boosting data usage.

3. Supermarkets, Local Grocery Stores

There was a bulk purchase of products like hand sanitizers from supermarkets in the initial stage of the lockdown. Newly delivered products were sold out within hours. There was a tendency of panic-buying and stockpiling among the people. Even now people are purchasing food items in excess fearing the food shortage.

4. Doordarshan & News channels

Doordarshan has become the most-watched channel in the past week. Ever since DD National started re-broadcasting classic shows such as Ramayan and Mahabharat as part of its lockdown broadcasting schedule, the channel’s TRP rate has hiked. Also, a sudden surge in the viewership rates of News channels is seen during the lockdown.

5. Amazon Prime, Netflix, and online gaming

Online video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar report increased viewership. Online gaming platforms are also experiencing record volumes.

6. Online courses & Videoconferencing

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom has benefitted most during lockdown as the demand for webinars and group-calls has increased. Online education platforms like Coursera, EdX, and Unacademy are also making their most out of this quarantine.

7. Social Networking sites

Recent reports show that 75% of people were spending more time on Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp compared to previous months. Indians are seen spending more than four hours of their time on social media. The display of ads in Social Media and digital marketing is creating a spike in the revenues of these firms.

8. Freelance Job websites & Freelancers

There is an increasing demand for freelancers in online freelancing job sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru. High demand for jobs related to the IT industry, writers, designers, and data analysts are seen. These websites are making more profit through the percentage of commission they earn once a freelancer gets the job done.


A Lockdown Marriage

March-15, Tarun’s heart sank as he crossed the arrival terminal of the Calicut International Airport. Things got a bit messy after the pandemic outbreak. He is working as a Graphic Designer in an advertising firm in Kuwait which had most of its clients from Europe. The company was going through a tough phase due to economic slow-down and his salary was cut by one third. His marriage was fixed on 12th April and authorities have strictly demanded 14 days of home quarantine from him.

Tarun had to rethink his plan to renovate his home, which includes decorating the courtyard with new interlock bricks and painting the home. He had a plan to buy a new sedan car worth 12 Lakh Rupees in exchange for his old Wagon R. Additionally, marriage expenses like buying a wedding dress, booking an Auditorium for the wedding reception, food catering, wedding video including pre-wedding photoshoot – Save The Date, are yet to come. He was almost thunderstruck by calculating the estimated cost which crossed Rupees 20 lakhs. Unfortunately, a few months back, he had already assigned a contractor to do the home renovations (but the work was not started yet) and a sales representative (his neighbour) for purchasing the car. Money wasn’t a problem for him at that time, but now the situation had changed, and to make the matters worse, he is not even sure whether he could sustain his present job; totally a catch-22 situation.

Next day, the speculating wizards of that village started circulating a rumor that our protagonist is infected with Corona. The contractor called Tarun’s father and informed him that they will start the work once his son’s quarantine period got over. He tried to back-off from the contract. Tarun’s father tried to convince him, but all his attempts went in vain. In a heated argument between both of them, his father cancelled the contract. The same happened with the Sales Representative who was reluctant enough to go there and give a demonstration of the new car models. As the whole family was on tenterhooks Tarun took his cell-phone and called his cousin brother Deepu, a silent boozer to join him for a drink. In a drowsy voice, Deepu replied that he has been in Goa since last week as a part of Holi celebrations and will return home within 2 days.

Nimisha, a small-town engineering graduate, is the bride who is the only daughter of a local restaurant owner. Her father’s present financial condition is almost akin to that of Tarun’s. The Restaurant business has been dull since the Covid-19 outbreak. He had been saving a small amount monthly from his modest income in the past 20 years foreseeing his daughter’s marriage. He planned to purchase 50 sovereigns of gold as a wedding gift for his daughter in the first week of April and to meet the remaining expenses, he thought of taking a loan from a bank. All of a sudden Corona cases started surging in our state and the state government imposed a complete lockdown for one week on March 23rd, followed by an extension of nation-wide lockdown for 21 more days by the central government from the next day onwards.

A big relief came when the Covid-19 result of Tarun was tested negative. By that time the state government had already imposed certain strict rules by restricting the number of people attending marriage ceremonies to 10. Both the families had no other options and decided to bring 5 members each from their side. But, due to the ongoing pandemic outbreak their family members were hesitant towards attending the wedding. Finally, on the wedding day, they were 7 in total from both sides which included the bride, groom, both their parents and a priest who is the neighbour of the bride. After completing some simple rituals, they were declared as husband and wife by the priest and after having the traditional vegetarian lunch in a banana leaf, they returned back to the groom’s house in the old Wagon R.

As the Thali Chain was sponsored by his mom, Tarun almost didn’t have any additional expense, altogether the expense amount was under 2000 Rupees. As the textile shops were closed during the lockdown, the bride and groom came in traditional Kerala outfits which they wore during some Onam celebrations in the previous years. Just when Tarun was thinking about the materialistic obsession and extravagance in Indian weddings, he got a call from his Kuwait office informing him that they have got a new client from Canada and the management has given him provision to work from home in the coming months until the pandemic gets controlled. Enjoying the peace and tranquility around him, he changed his WhatsApp status to “Home sweet/safe home” but was a bit puzzled to see the name of a WhatsApp group operated by his cousin Deepu being changed from “C2H5OH – The Spiritual Venom” to “H2O – The Liquid Gold“.


Kerala Model Tackling of Covid-19

Twenty days back on March 16 Keralites were down in the dumps after being declared as the state having most of the Covid-19 cases reported. Today, the world is appreciating Kerala for the proactive measures they have taken to flatten the Corona Virus curve.

Kasargod, the district in Kerala where the most number of Covid19 cases were reported was shut down completely a day before the nationwide lockdown. The government warned people from going out of their homes and provided facilities for the home delivery of essential items. Authorities tracked the movement of people in quarantine using geofencing. Kottayam district police was the first to adopt this program. Police also introduced drones to track the movement of the public.

In the Mid-March itself government launched a mass handwashing campaign named ”Break The Chain’, which aimed to educate people about the importance of public and personal hygiene. People were urged to use hand Sanitizers when they are outdoors, even roadside handwashing kiosks were installed in most public places in the state.

Kerala deployed more than 30,000 health workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This was the first state to institute a three-week quarantine for suspected cases. Free Kits, worth around Rs 1,000 were distributed via Ration shops in Kerala. The Kit included 1 kg sugar, 250 gm tea powder, 1 kg salt, green gram, 500-liter cooking oil, 2 kg atta, 1 kg Rava, 1 kg black channa and soaps among others. They set up community kitchens and appointed IAS officers at the state level to oversee these efforts. The state also took several measures to ensure the health and safety of its migrant workers.

From their previous experience in tackling the Nipah Virus, the government imposed various measures and protocols in place to mitigate the mortality rate and spreading of this pandemic.


Positive Outcomes of Quarantine in Families

Lockdown – The term itself made people uncomfortable and panic. But, once a few days have passed they became adapted to the current scenario and started enjoying their quarantine. There are a few positive outcomes that came out during this home quarantine, especially in families.

Workaholic parents started concentrating more on their kids. Despite working from home, they were able to spend more valuable time with their children. They started enjoying every moment which is simply to be around their families. Relationships and family bonding became more strong and rigid. This was the time when they realized they wanted to work less and spend more time with their family in the future.

People became more creative in cooking and started experimenting with different dishes. To avert themselves from going to shops they started cooking traditional dishes as evening snacks. Kids started enjoying the homely dishes made by their mothers and grandmothers. Elderly ones were elated in spending quality time with their children and grandchildren.

Individuals started valuing their health and beauty. They started trying different online beauty tips and simple workouts in order to maintain their fitness. Each one of them turned out to be more disciplined especially in becoming less wasteful – by collecting fewer stocks of food. Some of them started spending more time in their garden or related places experiencing the serenity around there.

Children’s creative and innovative skills got enhanced and they got nurtured by their parents. Daddies and brothers started fixing things in their home, by doing small repair works and modulations. Each one of them started to cherish their children, siblings, parents, and love blossomed around them making the best out of this pandemic Corona lockdown.


Impacts of Corona on the Environment

Deserted streets can be seen in most of the lockdown implemented countries. Pubs, Bars, shopping malls, theatres, schools everything has been closed and people are warned by the authorities to stay in their homes. The government is taking more stringent measures to control Covid-19 and to reduce the death toll. Till this moment more than 10,000,00 people have been sickened and over 53,000 have succumbed to this pandemic virus.

Ironically, the world has witnessed certain positive outcomes over this novel Coronavirus. Researchers state that the air quality has improved by 22 percent since lockdown. Satellite images that were released by NASA show a sudden drop in the toxic Nitrogen dioxide which is emitted from industries, power plants, and vehicles.

Studies show that the Ozone layer had started healing itself since Covid-19 lockdown. Human activities for the past few decades had caused depletion of the vital Ozone layer. This self-recovery has hindered many hazardous changes in the earth’s atmosphere which could have jeopardized the whole world.

Consequently, there is a major improvement in air quality since the lockdown. Transportation, factories, offices, shops, and airports were shut down over the past few weeks. This has caused a massive difference in the quality of air which has curtailed the pollution rate. Environmentalists say that the pollution rates are expected to decline further in the coming days.