G Plus Poll | Majority of Guwahatians Feel that Social Distancing has Gone for a Toss in Lockdown 3.0
Social distancing is crucial in the world's fight against COVID-19. It is said to be the only way with which we can break the cycle of transmission and stop the virus from spreading further.
According to a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) last month, one infected person defying a lockdown could infect about 406 people in just about 30 days.
Another study by Harvard University suggests that some form of social distancing may be needed intermittently well into 2022, in the absence of vaccines, to prevent the spread of the virus and prevent future outbreaks of similar diseases.
Ever since the first cases of persons infected by the novel coronavirus were detected, the government has constantly told citizens to avoid physical contact and maintain a distance of at least a metre from others. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too, on several occasions, has asked people to maintain distance from one another while addressing the nation, following which celebrities, sportspersons and even the common man have not shied away from preaching about this practice. In such testing times, the question that needed an answer was whether we’re practicing what we’ve been preaching.
G Plus conducted a poll on its social media channels and asked Guwahatians whether people are still following social distancing in the city with the new relaxations in place. More than 4,500 people participated in the poll which resulted in only 19 percent of people who thought that social distancing was in fact being practised in Guwahati.
A whopping 81 percent of the poll participants voted towards the idea of social distancing being nothing but an oxymoron in the city.
Netizens actively commented on G Plus’s digital channels after casting their votes in the poll conducted on May 5. In response to the question asked in the poll, one Facebook user, Rajeev Singh said, “Only in front of wine shops social distancing is being maintained with utmost discipline.”
Anamika Roy wrote on Instagram that she had not seen this kind of crowd even during festive seasons like Durga Puja.
“In the Spanish Flu pandemic, the second wave was the deadliest and took the highest number of lives, because after the first wave, people started to come out and celebrate, thinking the pandemic was over for good,” commented an Instagrammer, Jyotish Mazumdar.
“Onus lies on every individual to maintain social distancing and people have become more aware and cautious now as compared to the initial days of lockdown. Both lives and livelihoods are important and two critical imperatives for India's economy,” Rajib Choudhary commented on Twitter.
One Facebook user, Paul Nabbasish N, suggested that draconian measures must be enforced and said that Indians are used to living under strict and stringent laws which is why we do not follow rules, unless we are held accountable for our actions.
Another user named Arup suggested that if social distancing is not maintained in front of any shop, the shopkeeper must be held accountable for the same. “If this will be the situation, then the government will impose a lockdown again and we will be responsible for that lockdown,” he added on Facebook.
For many, social distancing is nothing less than privilege with our staggering population density. India, being a densely populated country, the fear of resources getting exhausted also happens to be the root cause due to which people gather outside shops, offices and other places without following social distancing norms.
Another reason why people do not follow social distancing is the fact that the foe on the other side of the battleground happens to be an invisible virus. People have certainly started to take things lightly and avoid practicing with the relaxation of rules and the relentless lockdown extension.
Post the relaxation in Assam, Chief Secretary, Kumar Sanjay Krishna, in a tweet, warned that citizens indulging in any violation during the lockdown relaxation will be strictly dealt with. “Any violation of the lockdown relaxation terms shall be dealt with strict actions against the individuals, establishments, businesses, car & scooter drivers and passengers including cancellation of licences. FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAY SAFE," Krishna tweeted.
With a continuous rise in the number of cases of people suffering due to the pandemic, it is necessary that people acknowledge the importance of following precautionary measures such as social distancing to contain the virus from spreading further.