Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Though corona cases have crossed a 1,000-a-day mark, a section of people on local streets are moving around without wearing masks.
As the third wave of pandemic is surging through the state, a team of Free Press talked to people on some of the busiest streets in the capital city on Friday. Most of them either played a blame game or gave a casual response when asked about their masks.
Many were found either holding masks in their hands, or having it hanging around their necks. They would wear only after FP team would ask them the reason for violating the rule, to which they offered excuses.
An unmasked visitor who just finished sipping tea at a kiosk near district court said, I was wearing one but removed it only to have tea. And why donít you ask these roadside vendors. Look, none of them is wearing mask and they meet the maximum number of people a day. The visitor refused to tell his name.
When FP asked the elderly tea kiosk owner, Ramlal Uike, the reason, he said, I wear spectacles and wearing mask obstructs my view as the glasses get covered with vapour. I feel suffocated in mask. I cannot work in this manner the whole day.
Just look at all these government office employees who come to my shop in between their work. Do they wear masks? No. Does anybody question them? No. We, who belong to lower-strata of society, are easy targets, added Ramlal.
Many people feel they do not need masks as their immunity has grown strong and Covid will not affect them. And, many bluntly refused to wear one. A young assistant for a food delivery company, Prabhu Rajak, said, I was infected with Covid-19 twice. And I used to follow all the protocols before that. Wearing masks doesn't help, except giving a sense of security. Now, I have developed so much immunity that wearing one or not wouldnít make any difference.
Not wearing masks became a common practice after the cases declined post the second wave. But now even though the cases have begun to accelerate, many shopkeepers in New Market can be spotted either not wearing masks or have them dangling from their ears.
A shopkeeper at New Market, Vishal Talreja, said, Our business was badly affected by the online shopping portals and then by lockdown and curfew. Now if a customer comes to our shop without a mask, we just cannot send him away. The customer will go to some other shop.
Our shops are too small, how can we follow social distancing? We donít want to come back to the lockdown-like situation when we had nothing to run our household, he added.
A middle-aged ATM guard who was spotted smoking in MP Nagar area, however, felt that face gear makes no sense. Refusing to disclose his name, he said, We always knew a third wave would come and here it is. Nothing could prevent it. Nobody knows how to stop it. If politicians can do all they want, why should we compromise?
He even showed team FP that he had a mask but smoking was more important for him.Published on: Saturday, January 15, 2022, 01:33 AM IST