All through my teenage years and a little beyond, the 10pm curfew was the one of the most hated rules at home. Get back home before 10 pm, or face hell. One complied with alacrity, mostly, for fear of being grounded. That’s one thing I didn’t want – it would mean missing out on playing table-tennis, among other sports, with friends.
I always made sure I was home and dry by 10.
Years later, I had to reach home by 10am. This time, for fear of being whacked on the legs, or more embarrassingly elsewhere, by policemen and BBMP-appointed marshals who had a clear mandate to enforce Covid protocols during the lockdown. They were just doing their job, but it was quite tough to do the regular grocery/ vegetable runs in the neighbourhood so early in the morning. By nature and profession, I’m an owl who finds it extremely difficult to wake up early and get any work done other than read newspapers and scroll through the Twitter feed.
So, the 10am curfew was a downright pain and, mercifully, it has now been extended to 2pm.
The larger questions about the efficacy of such lockdowns and tough restrictions are best answered by epidemiologists and scientists with sufficient expertise in this field. But, once they’re recommended by experts and mandated by the government, it’s up to everybody to follow the guidelines in the larger interest of the community. In the era of smartphones and easy & inexpensive net connectivity, everybody is suddenly an expert. Larry Page and Sergey Brin may never realise what they have unleashed but they have a lot to answer on their day of reckoning for making it extremely easy for anyone to spout half-knowledge gleaned from the web. Perhaps, they’re not really to blame, but just us users.
So, people contest the need to wear a mask or stay indoors or stop the spread of the virus by citing bits of data plucked off dubious sites. For data they are, just raw material from which valuable information is yet to be distilled.
But I digress. The 10am tyranny ruled my life for some weeks and messed with my sleep cycle but made sure I did my small bit in the war against Covid. If only more people everywhere did their bit too, maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t have had such a brutal second wave.
The lesson has been learnt, hopefully, as we prepare for the third wave, which doctors say is as inevitable as the rising of the sun in the east, we can do enough through aggressive vaccination and continuing with Covid-appropriate behaviour for some more time.
I dread the 10am curfew and hope it’s never imposed again.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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