Omi Vaidya on life in lockdown in Washington DC: This country is run by capitalism, people in power more focused on money than lives
Actor Omi Vaidya’s opening statement, talking to us from Washington, DC where he lives, is “I am okay. We are all alive!” Describing the situation there in the current Covid-19 pandemic, he says it’s not great.
“It’s not a lockdown like in India, which it should be. It’s starting to open up here, because this country is run by capitalism, so people in power are a little bit more focused on making money, than lives sometimes. But it’s okay, there are only a couple of big hotspots — DC, New York, LA, there the rates are still high of cases. Luckily, these are also the places where professional and intelligent people live, so most are following rules,” he tells us.
Commenting on how everyone, right from the rich to the poor is at equal risk, he adds, “This virus doesn’t care who you are, or which state or country you are from. It’s something the globe, we as a species, really need to come together. If one country does this, and the other doesn’t, it’s just not going to work. If one person follows rules, the other doesn’t, both will suffer. It’s actually a test of us humans, whether we can all work together for the first time. There are going to be worse things coming up, God knows what is going to happen with climate change.”
Vaidya’s wife is a public health expert, so she is always telling the actor what to do and not do. One thing which he did in the lockdown is starring in a web show, Metro Park: Quarantine Edition, portions for which he shot on his wife’s phone, himself at home.
He mentions that the lockdown in the area he lives in, is yet to be lifted. But there has been an ease in restrictions now. “They have opened up boating and you can go to outdoor venues, but more than 10 people can’t congregate. Before, it was ‘safe’ at home, now it is ‘safer’ at home. You can go out, but not really. You have to wear a mask. I am lucky I work here, and have another job other than the film industry. My job is one where I can do it virtually, so can my wife. But the unlucky ones are the essential workers, like in grocery stores. Those people tend to be ones who don’t make much money, they don’t have the ability to say ‘no, I won’t go’ because they can’t afford the rents. People want to be alive, and at the same time, put food in their family;s stomachs. I am the lucky one.”
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