The sooner we accept living with coronavirus, the better. We cannot wait indefinitely for the virus to vanish to get back to the pre-COVID-19 normal. After all, lives and livelihoods are at stake --- more if we keep the economy under lockdown than if we restart, albeit with all possible precautions against the solution defying microbe. It is therefore welcome that the national capital has decided to reopen hotels and weekly markets from Thursday.
The decision was taken at a joint meeting of experts from the city and Central governments. However, gyms and yoga institutes were not given the green signal. Use by multiple persons entailed a high degree of risk of contracting the infection through body fluids (perspiration) and physical touch involved in exercises conducted at these places. Delhi has lifted the initial severe lockdown conditions in a graded manner, but so powerful is the general fear of the pandemic that people are reluctant to visit bazaars and other public places.
As a result, though open, even major markets bear a deserted look. Besides, the local bus service is yet to operate its full fleet while the far more popular Delhi Metro, is still to resume even a truncated service. Also, notwithstanding the official numbers, the virus has now spread among the middle and upper-income groups, contributing further to the fear factor. But, as we said at the outset, the authorities have to be ready to slowly reopen the economy. They also need to launch an awareness campaign for the people to learn to live with the pandemic but with due care and precautions. Living can no longer be put on hold until the elusive vaccine is found and ready for mass consumption.