A few weeks into 2020 and Covid-19 started making news. Somewhere between inertia and sharpening preventive measures, the entire world managed to fall prey to its wrath when we hadn’t even crossed the half way mark in the calendar.
Aside from the gripping implications of an ongoing pandemic, the year so far has brought out some perplexing incidents which left citizens gawking. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes frightening, sometimes tragic, these happenings have added an unusual edge to 2020.
Listed below are 6 unusual phenomena that baffled Indians during Coronavirus pandemic.
A weird looking dessert grasshopper in layman terms, swarming in flinching capacity, dotting the sky and clinging to surface. Harrowing sights of locusts swarming residential areas of Jaipur, sent a chill down everyone’s spine. It mimicked terrifying scenes of a horror film.
Locust infestation is common in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat when these ravenous insects with their mighty consumption and flying powers devour vegetation. They are enemies of crops. The attacks usually don’t start until June.
Eeriness grew from marked difference in the nature of these attacks this time around. For one, their numbers grew multiple times. Secondly, swarming unusually engulfed some residential areas and thirdly, it spread over to the neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
It’s believed to be the worst locust swarm in years. An economy already battling with a pandemic and downsides of a lockdown, is bracing for further financial loss on account of crop infestation. Monitoring, insecticides and warning measures are in place to minimise their blow.
Nature magically healing itself –
The only silver lining come through the route of nature, finally taking matters into its own hands amidst the echoes of climate change. Within days of complete lockdown and absence of human interference, recovery signs blossomed with marked reduction in carbon footprints. Not completely pristine but the start is promising.
As per a study conducted by IIT Delhi, the capital witnessed a drop of 49% in air pollution due to a fall in the percentage of PM 2.5 and 10 microns amongst other air pollutants in the last few weeks. Around November 2019, they were at hazardous levels of 900 plus, well beyond the warning threshold specified by WHO.
With pollution receding, visibility grew magnificently. Himachal Tourism tweeted that for the first time in decades Jalandhar residents could see snow-capped mountains. The range stands 200 plus kilometres away from Jalandhar.
Not just atmosphere, the quality of water bodies all over India improved after dumping activities were ground to a halt. Ganga water in Rishikesh and Haridwar was found fit for drinking with some basic treatment. Dolphins showed up after ages in certain river bodies while Flamingos migrated to Mumbai this time in massive numbers as opposed to other years.
Social media and news platforms buzzed with discussions around the wonderous ways a substantial fall in human encroachment for just a few days favoured nature in healing itself from years of exploitation!
Monkey running away with Covid-19 patient samples –
Animal kingdom is said to be thriving in the wake of lockdown with lowering of pollution and human presence. In the initial days of complete shutdown, there were sighting of animals residing in spaces adjacent to certain towns and cities.
Some viral shots proclaiming notions of animals reclaiming their space were busted as misleading however a few were indeed genuine. For example, strolling down on an otherwise jam-packed integral road in Noida, was a beautiful Nilgai!
Bulls, birds and leopards aren’t the only ones making headlines, a monkey’s gimmicks recently had everyone face palming.
At first, it sounded too spoof like to believe but multiple news portals confirmed that a monkey indeed had snatched away blood samples of Covid-19 patients in Meerut. The monkey seized these samples from the grasp of a lab technician.
Later it was reported that the samples were of routine order and did not pertain to those used for Corona testing. Nonetheless, it sparked fear among the locals.
Norms changing, living with Corona –
Here in India, rallies and bandh are a common sight every once in a while, especially in towns. While they usually last for a day or two, the idea of shutting down went several notches up with the nationwide lockdown. It was as if someone had casted a “freeze” spell barring only the most essential services to keep the country barely alive.
After an initial round of denial when the cases began to rise, most people came around the idea of staying indoors and adopting elaborate hygiene methods to ward off the deadly virus. Norms changed; everyone traded their freedom of movement for the safety of life. Masks, sanitisers, excessive hand washing and social distancing became mandatory for personal safety.
Life as we all knew changed drastically in just a few months. Even the most chaotic and winding Indians streets fell empty. Work from home took over as did the digital classes. Those normally upbeat about socialising, became wary and anxious of heading out.
Senior citizens expressed their shock over the prevailing circumstances, saying they had never seen anything like this in their lifetime.
Restrictions are being lifted slowly. Citizens are encouraged to head out into the world. But with no vaccine in sight and the disease not taking a beating, many hold apprehensions over the theory of a new normal, i.e. a world with Coronavirus till there is a cure in place.
This philosophy lacks takers as many feel that without a vaccine, staying indoors is the safest choice.
What was that sound? –
A couple of days ago, out of blue, a loud and thunderous sound rattled Bengaluru. Apart from being a little frightening considering the suddenness, spooky feels revolved around its source. There was no rocking, no lightening flickering in the sky or an aircraft in sight.
Netizens went into a hilarious speculation spree moments later on the lines of earthquake, thunderstorm, sonic boom and alien invasion!
At last, Ministry of defence confirmed that the roaring sound came through an IAF craft.
Tragic exodus –
Perhaps, one of the most tragic repercussions of lockdown has been the nationwide exodus of migrant workers, who set out on a journey to reach their homes by crossing miles and miles of stretches on foot. Of these migrant workers, many were working in seasonal employment and lost their jobs post lockdown.
Anguished, penniless and afraid, they started heading home on foot from cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, etc to their villages in UP and Bihar. In the short span of a few weeks, a lot was happening. A deadly pandemic in full bloom, government engaged in beating the curve and keeping the country somehow running. Citizens’ life altering from a freedom loaded to being caged for personal safety and adapting to mitigative ways.
And suddenly everyone’s attention shifted to the plight of migrant workers. It was mindboggling for authorities and citizens alike to witness their tragedies amidst pandemic rendering people desperate to end their woes. It is being reported as perhaps the worst kinds of worker exodus in years in the country.
Help has poured in from authorities, celebrities, NGOs, and many citizens but it hasn’t been enough as their population is very large.