Delhi gets its masks up again
For Delhiites, it is now mandatory to wear masks in public again
For Delhiites, it is now mandatory to wear masks in public again. And not only that, violators must get ready to part with ₹500 if caught with their masks down in public. Here is what Delhiites have to say about the return of the mask mandate, announced this week by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), following a similar move by the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh administrations.
Vaibhav Bansal, a Rohini-based businessperson, says that masking up should be mandatory in public places and crowded areas. “Prevention is better than cure. In crowded and public places mask should be mandatory; many Delhiites are party animals so there should be strict guidelines in restro-bars. If you go Punjabi Bagh and other party places, they are so crowded with little precautions.”
Restaurants, too, have begun to tighten the rules around Covid precautions. Amit Bagga, co-founder, Daryaganj (Delhi), says: “It’s a good move by the government seeing today’s situation. At the same time, we hope it can be overturned again if the trending cases go down. This is now going to be a way of life in a post Covid world, no doubt. We will be communicating to customers by sending text messages and emails on the new rules applicable.” Akshay Anand, the co-founder of Cosy Box and Ophelia says that, “The mask mandate was necessary given the prevailing conditions of resurfacing of Covid. By now we have been completely used to this mandate and will follow all the guidelines laid down.”
“My mother had an interesting experience when the mask rule was put again. My mother goes to pick up my brother from his school. Every day at the time of dispersal, she is allowed to collect her ward without any mask but yesterday she wasn’t allowed to enter the premises and she was enlightened about the news. She didn’t have a mask in her car so she had to struggle to find it from a nearby shop around 10 minutes away to finally pick up my brother,” narrates Priyanka Singhal, second year B.Com (Hons) student at Hansraj College.
While classrooms in schools and colleges carry on business as usual, students say they are more conscious about masking up as well now. Harshita Pal, a fourth year B.El.Ed. student of Miranda House shares, “Until now, not everyone in classroom was masking up, but from now on, we should be wearing masks even inside. Abhi tak toh meine aur mere friends ne masks nahi utaare the, even despite the relaxations, and now we won’t.”
Even Delhi’s performing arts community is welcoming the move. “Apart from being an effective deterrent, the sudden mask mandate signals a sense of urgency and threat. Yesterday, when masks were made mandatory, I witnessed nearly 60% of the people were wearing masks, which is a good sign. Due to the reduction in Covid cases in the last few months, we were able to do innumerable offline performances and dance classes. Hope we can keep doing that in conditions safe for all,” says city-based Kathak performer and student Pallavi Lohani.
Author tweets @siddhijainn