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2020: the year of the pandemic: from blockade to slow release


When the country entered a state of lockdown on March 25, our lives were disrupted in a way unlike anything we had encountered before. For a city that is always hard-working, hard-working and assiduous in completing the day’s tasks, Delhi had to adapt and adapt quickly to a change of pace. Schools closed and children had to start attending classes online.

Our offices asked us to work from home, and we stayed, as instructed, for days and barely went out if we could help it. Many lost their livelihoods; almost everyone started doing much more housework than before. Mayank austen soofi captured this Delhi through his camera and phone, searching for new ways to tell the stories of our lives as we battled the coronavirus pandemic.

How we work

1. Stylists Wakeel and Bali, both 40, at work in their white PPE outfits at Khan Market’s Bharat Hair Dresser in late November. “It is to protect ourselves and our customers from the virus,” Wakeel said. His daily attendance at the salon, which opened on June 1 after more than two months of being closed, emphasizes the fact that while many professionals can continue to work from home, there are others who are required to perform their duties in person, in the job. sites.


They wear their new uniform throughout the day, except during lunch hours, and change to another washed outfit the next day.

2. The legendary Old Famous Jalebi Wala store in Chandni Chowk is protected with a plastic curtain one morning in early December. A special poster appeared three weeks ago asking customers to maintain social distancing. The masked cook, Vicky, just finished frying the first batch of jalebis of the day. The store was closed for two months during the closure and reopened in early June. The owner says “the business is as cold as the weather

How do we manage

1. Radhika Singh, 52, of Janakpuri, irons her newspaper before any family member living in the three-story residence touches it. In the early days of the pandemic, many stopped delivering newspapers to their homes for fear that the newspaper could carry the Sars-CoV-2 virus within its folds. But Singh’s house did not. The fear was soon proven to be false due to the disinfection procedures followed during the printing process. Still, Singh believes that the application of heat kills the virus.


He said he had the idea to iron from the popular English series Downton Abbey. Singh still doesn’t know anyone except that he visited his parents in Dwarka twice, on Raksha Bandhan and Diwali. In late November, he agreed to meet over WhatsApp video, a poignant reminder of how people are communicating with each other.

2. A bottle of hand sanitizer occupies a decorative place of reverence at the Sufi shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi during the celebrations of the saint’s 806th birthday in October. Closed for more than five months, the shrine reopened to visitors in September, and this was the first major event to be held there.


The dargah was adorned with flowers, balloons, and pennants, and hand sanitizer bottles were attractively installed in various locations to encourage visitors to use them. A team of volunteers was assigned to ensure that the devotees did not stay for more than a few minutes. The tomb of the saint is still surrounded by a plastic screen so that no one tries to kiss it, as was tradition in the time before Christ.

How we study

1. Muskan Singh, a 21-year-old fourth-year engineering student, prepares for his ongoing final exams at his home in Ghaziabad in December. Singh has not been to her university campus at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women since the shutdown began in March.


Although his parents returned to the office in recent months, Singh spends all his time in front of his laptop and on his mobile phone. “We will soon complete two semesters without meeting our teachers in person … can they recognize us as their students if we pass them somewhere?” he said, adding that he missed the pleasure of sitting among fellow students. However, he plays badminton for two hours with friends on his apartment complex’s outdoor court.

How we were ruled

1. Masked customers in a small roadside tea shop in Seelampur on a crisp November morning. A poster issued by the Delhi government on the wall reads: “Not wearing a mask is not a heropanti …” But, of course, customers were forced to remove their mask to wet their shawl.


The government, through the district magistrates’ law enforcement officials, continues to fine people who do not wear masks, but street vendors and stall owners, who run the risk of customers with the Masks lowered, they have no choice

How we interact

1. Venetian native Elena Tommaseo at a Zoom gathering with friends and family in Italy from her East of Kailash apartment in April. This photograph was taken at a time when Italy was witnessing a large number of deaths due to the pandemic and Tommaseo, a longtime Delhi resident, was anxious for her parents, especially her elderly parents.


Now that she is 50 years old, visiting them during the summer was an annual ritual, but this year she was forced to spend the months of May and June in Delhi due to the closure.

How we play

1. Fitness trainer Muhammed Zaid, 30, works out one morning in early December at a gym in Kucha Chelan, Old Delhi. Before the lockdown, Zaid spent many hours at the SolidCore gym, across the street from his home, where he trained 15 clients over a 10-hour period. It would also take a couple of hours for your own set of exercises. While Zaid did not go to the gym during the lockdown, and even for a few weeks after he got up, he did not stop exercising for a single day. “I put together a lot of equipment on my roof where I would exercise without fail.” Zaid wears the mask as often as possible.


Twice a week, he runs for 12 kilometers in Rajghat, a ritual that he continues for six years. Sometimes he plays pool in a lounge near Delite Cinema. “I was about to move to Dubai to work as a fitness trainer, I got all the necessary certificates to have such a job in Dubai … and then the pandemic came and my plan failed.”

Hindustan Times