From exploring our hobbies to developing new interests and giving ourselves a break, most of us have found ways to deal with the COVID-19 lockdown. However, for many it is not just downtime, it is dealing with the threat of losing their only source of livelihood. With no money in hand, it is uncertainty and gloom which occupy their minds.
As a part of our series 'How Coronavirus Changed My Life,' we spoke to Jayashree Rajesh Pawar - a beautician from Goregaon East, Mumbai. Her life is experiencing the worst jolt owing to the ongoing lockdown in the country. The beautician is the mother of two young kids and mostly provides home-based beauty services, but all of a sudden, her life has paused, because of the nationwide lockdown.
Getting Used to The New Normal
I used to give beauty treatments for a minimum of five or six times during a month. Apart from this, my clients also visited my home. Since we cannot even move out of our homes now, I do not have a source of earning anymore. For these 21 days, things can be adjusted, but in case it extends beyond this, it'll be very problematic for people like us. Whatever we have at home, we're doing with it. As moving out of the house is even more fearful, as per what we see in the news."
My husband works in a sugar factory. Owing to the COVID-19 lockdown, there's a lot of financial uncertainty. My kids are small - one is three and the other one is eight. We cannot ignore their basic needs. And it is the month end, so even more problematic. Everyday expenses, including the education of kids, is so much, that it's difficult for us to save as well. My younger kid has some health issues, so that is a major part of our expenditure.
Stress Of The Future
It is quite difficult to explain to kids why they cannot go out of the house. My younger kid is just three and when we go out to get the essentials, it becomes too difficult to make him stay at home. The stress of what will happen in the future keeps me sleepless at nights and the same is the case with my friends. One of my friends' husband even lost his job.
Sceptical About Receiving Help From The Government
The government has announced financial help, but we don't know if it'll even reach us. I do have a Jan Dhan account but I'm skeptical if I'll receive the help.
Vegetable Prices Have Increased Exponentially
I heard on the news that the vegetables will be available at cheaper rates, but when? Rice, which used to cost around Rs 40 per kg, is now being sold at Rs 60. On the other hand, the cost of vegetables has been increased by 20-25 rupees. I bought peas for Rs 60! So even if the government says that the things of basic necessity will be available at cheaper rates, the opposite is what is happening. A lot of celebrities reside near my place. For them, it doesn't matter how costly everything is.
Also, the Sarkar Bhandar which is supposed to sell the essential commodities in our area isn't operating normally. I stood in broad sunlight outside the shop, but they didn't open the shop as their staff isn't working.
No Sanitizing Facility For Us
It was said that all the areas will be sanitized, but nothing like that has been done in our area. We spoke to the Nagar Sevaks of our area since they are responsible for sanitizing, but they ignored it right away. So we try to stay in as much as possible.
Stricter Lockdown Needed?
The government needs to ensure stricter lockdown. I went to the market today, but the scene was like every day. There was no social distancing, no one was following the rules. When my husband and I returned from the market, we put all the clothes in the washing, since the scenario is really dangerous outside. If anyhow, I bring the virus with me, my children too will be affected.