Bhopal: Salons reopen to people’s delight, corona fear persists

Lock going down has been high on the list of frustrations caused by the corona pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

The tousled thatch has sprouted from many a head for more than three months.

For that reason, those upset about their dreaded locks have begun to feel happy after the salons were reopened.

One such person was Sunil. His long black locks have streamed down his forehead. Now, Sunil wants to do away with his dreaded locks.

Yet, a trip to a barber’s has been a markedly different experience for him. All close contact businesses have to adhere to strict government guidelines to ensure safety for both staff and clients to stem the virus spreading.

Sunil is discouraged, because he has to wait for a day or two for haircut. Others like him have already had time fixed with hair-doers.

And one of those with comb, scissors and face-covering at the ready is Virendra Sarathe, 40, proprietor of B & B Men’s Salon in Gautam Nagar.

He says the lockdown was heartbreaking, but after it was lifted, he as well as his clients was happy.

When Sarathe unlocked the door of his salon, some youths, like Sunil, thought they would get rid of their long locks and beard.

Sarathe and his two assistants, however, dampened the spirit of those youngsters who wanted to shun their hair and beard at a stroke of scissors.

The team Sarathe told those youngsters to visit his salon one after another. There should not be any crowd.

“I’ve taken all the advice and regulations very seriously. Chairs are carefully spaced, and hand sanitizer is everywhere,” Sarathe says.

Another hairdresser Raju Sen of Harsh Men’s Salon in MP Nagar says customers are all logged, and handed slips of paper advising them to contact the salon should they test positive soon afterwards.

At the beginning of lockdown, Sen had the feeling of helplessness, but, after the reopening of his parlour, he looks relaxed.

“I’m really, really happy to be able to welcome my clients. This job is something I really love,” says Sen.

Customers look for reassurance that a business is following the correct measures, he says.

Sarathe, however, feels the parents are scared of sending children to salons. They fear lest children should contract the infection, he says.

Whatever the business – pub, restaurant, hairdresser or clothes store – there is expert scientific guidance to follow so that staff and customers remain safe and the virus does not make a return, Sarathe adds.

Yet the fear of corona prevails, and unless it goes for ever, many people have to be happy with their dreaded locks.

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