All publications of Hassan Ashraf Cheema . لاھور , Pākistān
I saw a dream, no masks, no SOPs, no restrictions on social distancing. For a moment I felt contented that the world once again started the normal routine. It was a “Nikkah” ceremony which was going on but suddenly i realized that i was not dreaming, it was reality that no one was wearing any mask or following any precautions against corona virus. And the bad part was that pandemic was still there and people were not taking it seriously. Soon the “Qari sb” started “Nikkah Khutba” and men got attentive while women put their “dupatts” on their heads. As soon as the ceremony concluded, there was a long queue to greet the groom by hugging; this is the mandatory “rasam” in our “shadis”. I was watching that entire scene by both eyes wide opened and thinking why people were not taking the SOPs seriously. I cannot explain what happened while serving the dinner because it is difficult to sum it up in words for me. This similar sort of scenario is prevailing in all over the society. You visit a shopping mall or go to a park, you will find very few people wearing the masks, which is the basic and primary part of corona SOPs. I think people sometimes face peer pressure while obeying the rules or sometimes consider themselves misfit or aliens by putting on their masks. I believe, as the responsible citizens we all should follow the corona SOPs strictly for us, our families and whole society.
The Covid-19 has shown its diversified impacts on various business segments around the globe. The food business has also shown the adjustments with the changing consumer behaviors. From dine-in to takeaways and indoors to outdoors, the share of food business is being redistributed among its stake holders. It has been observed that the large restaurants faced huge financial crisis as compared with the small ones in past half year. Over the period of last 6 months in Lahore city, around 20% of relatively big restaurants have either been closed or moved to a smaller set up with only takeaways and home deliveries. Similarly on the employment side, the nature of jobs have been changing from order takers and servers to delivery boys or even some have changed their industry entirely due to salary cuts and joblessness. The uncertainties are still going on in all sectors until the execution of any proper solution of Covid-19 in form of vaccine or otherwise.