Thimphu’s THIRD LOCKDOWN when it was announced 3 days back was abrupt and instantaneous, and without warning. Considered from the point of prudence, it was spot on.
Even as the lockdown was being announced of which I was clueless, I was driving down to town to make some purchases. When I reached a certain outlet, the place was jam-packed with shoppers. I refused to enter. I moved back to Motithang to do my purchases at the regular store where I generally do my shopping. That store was also jam-packed. It dawned on me that something was not quite right.
I was told a LOCKDOWN had just been announced – effective 6.00PM. It was few minutes past 6.00PM.
Through the door, I told the store owner that I am not entering his shop. I requested him to deliver what I wanted - at home. I rattled off the items I wanted ---- he agreed.
Hours later I got a call from the storeowner informing me that he would soon deliver my order. I said no thank you – it is not necessary. I do not want them.
The reason: I did not want him to bring the virus into my home. I feared that if there were any undetected active cases in the community, he would surely have picked it up – given the massive throng in his store.
The lockdown was good and necessary …. I would call for it again and again. But the way it is to be implemented needs serious pondering.
I am told that people were stranded on the road for hours. A number of vehicle accidents were reported.
The reason: Upon hearing of the lockdown, people did not heed the call for lockdown – instead they rushed out to stock up. They choked up the traffic, they jammed up the shops – so bad that some shop owners voluntarily downed shutters, because they could not handle the crowd.
The result of all these was that the rule of physical distancing was ignored. People compromised their safety – if there are undetected active cases in the community, you can guess the outcome of this mindlessness:
Our FOURTH LOCKDOWN …. very, very soon.