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View Poll Results: Do you support the lockdown extension?
Yes 299 47.46%
No 244 38.73%
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Old 8th April 2020, 21:14   #556
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

What a number of you are reiterating right now about businesses, I have been shouting on top of my voice and even sending mails to the government for the same. This is a Major crisis for businesses! Businesses today are no longer run like the yesteryear with huge chunk of cash lying around.

We run a very tight ship and push through. Right now with the salaries, interest and fixed costs piling up this is looking very very dangerous for us!
Why couldn't the government wave off the interest for the lock-down duration? As it is there is no business, we cannot use the funds for any money making. Why then charge us for idle money which is idle for no fault of ours!

Ideally this Lock-down period should have been treated as a blank! Yes as a BLANK! no business for anyone. Not businesses, not banks, no one! Pay a minimum food & essential item equivalent wage. Once lock-down opens, business as usual!
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Old 8th April 2020, 21:26   #557
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by Nalin1 View Post
Oh God! Well written!

There are some here who do not believe in this 'complete' lockdown. That does not mean we are saying life should go on as normal simultaneously fighting the virus. All we are saying is that restrictions and precautions were the need of the hour and not a complete halt. A complete halt gives birth to so many issues that the virus will take the back seat now.

The decision makers are now saying since the affected numbers are still growing, the lockdown must continue!
Long post......

Oh my god! This really is a circular argument. We keep coming back to the "restrictions and precautions were the need of the hour and not a complete halt". There are only 3 countries - Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea - that have avoided a lockdown and escaped relatively unscathed, 2 of these are city-states. Even one of them - Hong Kong - is now seriously considering a lockdown in the near future, with a THIRD wave of infections incoming.

Singapore (1 month), Germany(March 22 to April 5, now extended to April 14, and still unclear), France (from March 17 to April 15, with the chief epidemiologist pushing for more), Spain (March 14 to April 04, extended to April 25), Italy (8 March to 25 March, extended to April 14), and every other major country is going through a lockdown. Austria, Norway and Denmark are lifting their lockdowns now in the coming weeks, but these lockdowns were instituted in early March.

America tried to make do with "restrictions and precautions" and has just lost more than 1,800 people today. 1,800 people in ONE day. Incidentally, this is more than the annual death rate of TB in India as quoted by another member. 60 million people live in Italy and that country has lost 17,000 people so far. We would lose more than 3,80,000 people in proportion. China built a lot of hospitals in mere days and still had to keep Wuhan in quarantine for 3 months. The most developed healthcare facilities across the world are unable to deal with "restrictions and precautions", what makes you think India would have fared better than these countries?

A vast majority of the people in this forum own private cars and bikes in which they can travel, maintain social distancing and follow "restrictions and precautions". What about those who can only rely on public transport, who incidentally belong to that class of persons who you implore others to think of. Will you tell the daily wage labourer to wait several hours at the bus stand so that he can find an empty bus to follow "restrictions and precautions", especially when you know that the bosses in this sector are willing to cut wages for a wasted minute? Will you tell the maidservant to walk to her place of work 15-20 kms away everyday for the next couple of months so that she can follow "restrictions and precautions"? Will you tell the mechanic at the factory on the outskirts of the city that he has to wait for several hours so that his employer can arrange a bus as they have to spread out the entire workforce on few buses just so that he can follow "restrictions and precautions"? Will you tell the receptionist to pay through her nose for a cab so that she can avoid taking the crowded metro services to follow "restrictions and precautions"? Even if you do, are you willing to sanitize all these places just so that people can go to work? This is just one of the incredible challenges that people across our country will face if asked to adhere to "restrictions and precautions".

Will you force people to go out and ensure a vibrant economy at gunpoint? Because lets face it, consumer spending will fall down incredibly drastically when people are afraid to step out when a virus FOR WHICH THERE IS NO CURE is rampaging the country. People won't go to malls. People won't start binge-shopping. People won't buy hundreds of cars to prop up our auto industry. Every inch of unwanted expense is cut down, lockdown or otherwise. You don't have to take my word for it, look at the image below. This is Beijing's traffic index over the past week. Notice how the traffic is somewhat normal on weekdays. And then poof, on weekends, PEOPLE CHOOSE TO STAY IN. China is a communist country where the government can actually threaten people to work. But no one can threaten someone to indulge in discretionary spending. And when there's no discretionary spending, what happens to the economy?

India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020-capture-1.jpg

Look, I'm not trying to bring you down for criticizing the government. Go ahead. Nobody is going to lynch you for it (its ironic that some members dismiss the Coronavirus deaths as 'media-hype' and 'fear' and 'paranoia', but choose to whole-heartedly believe that people in this country are a bunch of blood-crazed monsters who will lynch anyone for talking against the government) Go ahead criticize the government all you want. I'm not a stakeholder. I simply implore you to think of both sides of an argument before you criticize. Don't just see the cons and declare that the government is out for the blood of the poor. Don't just see someone's argument for extension of the lockdown and immediately declare that person as a completely insensitive sadist who glibly waits to see the deaths of his countrymen from hunger and starvation.

This lockdown comes at an incredible cost, NO ONE IS DENYING THAT. Milan in Italy said that the economy and livelihood of the millions cannot be sacrificed at the altar. Look what happened. The Brazilian president still sticks to his stand of denying the calls for a lockdown. Surprise surprise! They're under-reporting deaths and not even testing the dead for possible Covid infections. The US president's tweet comparing this to common flu is out for all to see. Yet today, IN ONE DAY, they've lost 1800 people.

The USA tried to implement only "restrictions and precautions" and now, bodies are being loaded up into refrigerated vans since the morgues can't hold so many corpses. People in China didn't get to see their relatives after they were dispatched to the hospital. Think about that. You ask someone to imagine what his family would do when someone in it loses his job and they have to worry about their next month. Then, imagine someone in a family being sent to the hospital for Covid and returning home in an urn. Wait, scratch that. Imagine being called to the morgue 3 weeks later to pick up their urn, without knowing if the ashes inside are actually theirs are not. I'm not making this up, this actually happened in China. The last sight of them would have been them desperately gasping for breath. It's a lot easier to ask others to lay their lives down at the altar of Covid for a version of the "greater good".

Apologies if I'm using strong words but really, the callousness with which some people are quick to dismiss Covid as some kind of lesser evil to the economic aftermath is really startling. Let me make it clear, I AM NOT DISMISSING THE ECONOMIC AFTERMATH. I'm sure that's been made clear by @mohansrides post earlier and I don't think I could have put that side of the divide any better. My simple point here is this, this isn't really a black or white situation to say "Economic Pain > Covid Pain". I just urge members to think of the other side of the divide without blatantly calling for "restrictions and precautions".

Some are quoting low fatality numbers. Pray do tell, were the governments in these low fatality countries standing by and watching the virus wreak havoc? They stepped in and THAT is why they pulled back the onslaught. Denmark, Norway and Austria are considering lifting their lockdowns after Easter. They managed to contain the spread and had low fatality. And all of them point to the early measures instituted by them in controlling this virus, WHICH COINCIDENTALLY INCLUDED A LOCKDOWN FOR A MONTH.

And once again, just so I'm absolutely clear, I DON'T ADVOCATE FOR THE DEATHS OF PEOPLE FROM THE ECONOMIC AFTERMATH AND I KNOW LOT OF PEOPLE WILL DIE IN THE FUTURE. I am simply trying to present another side of this argument that many here are brushing aside like the current scenario is any other normal day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Excellent.. hope this lockdown continues, is even more strictly enforced by the cavalry going in patton tanks, shoot on sight orders be given and all for a minimum of 5-10 years (subject to extension by double that if necessary).

The world which will comprise only of bureaucrats, army, police and the 1% (which will become 40% due to population falling like flies), can re-populate and start a new earth, most wildlife would've been eradicated as well by then.
Deepest apologies, but this is an unprecedented event in our history and there is no right or wrong way out. There is nothing that could have prepared our country for the magnitude of this crisis. There is no safe way out, with deaths of a large people looming on both sides, no matter our choices.

But when certain members on this forum compare the steps taken by nearly every government across the world, including those considered to be the most democratic and welfare-oriented, to one of the most shameful events in mankind's history, it really, really fouls the entire discussion on this subject. Lot of countries are stepping out of a month of lockdown and believe it or not, they have saved an incredibly large portion of their population. But when certain members, sarcastically or otherwise, seem to think that this lockdown will cost India's entire population, it takes the word hyperbole to a whole other level and really trashes any meaningful debate on this topic. This isn't a meme site or twitter, so a humble request to keep the discussion civil and to keep sarcastic and, frankly, pathetic comments out of this forum.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th April 2020 at 07:41. Reason: Rewording paragraph
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Old 8th April 2020, 22:17   #558
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

I dont think people will be questioning the complete lockdown with proper measures in place. I am very familiar with what the European govts (specifically Austria and Switzerland ) are doing. They are paying the salaries of all the employees for the companies impacted by the lockdown ( manufacturing, restaurants, theaters, etc ). Also in Austria, the complete eCom lines where fully operational, almost all shops were open with social distancing. So luxury brands would have been hit but the barbers, bakers, mechanics were not out of job.

Last edited by vb-san : 9th April 2020 at 06:34. Reason: Toned down
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Old 8th April 2020, 22:40   #559
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by m8002? View Post
I am very familiar with what the European govts (specifically Austria and Switzerland ) are doing. They are paying the salaries of all the employees for the companies impacted by the lockdown ( manufacturing, restaurants, theaters, etc ). Also in Austria, the complete eCom lines where fully operational, almost all shops were open with social distancing. So luxury brands would have been hit but the barbers, bakers, mechanics were not out of job.
Sir, I will call you out on Austria. A simple Google search brought me this. Almost all shops were not open. Allow me to quote the exact point where you seem to be mistaken, but I am happy to be proven wrong though:

Quote:
Kurz presented a timetable on April 6 to restart the Austrian economy, outlining a series of phases to normalize life while minimizing the risk of a surge in new infections. “There will be a step-by-step reopening,” Kurz told a news conference. Non essential stores of less than 4306 square feet (400 square meters) and DIY shops will be opened on April 14, followed by all shops, malls and hairdressers on May 1, he said.
The definition of essential varies from place to place, no doubt. We can argue back and forth on what they left open and what not. Plus, if India followed this choice of letting "barbers, bakers, mechanics" function, then I'll ask you to justify why a construction site providing employment to hundreds should be shut down, but a bakery or anyone else be allowed to function. Why deprive the labourer and force him to sleep on an empty stomach? Like I said, this is a very grey area and there are hundreds of ifs and buts.

Regarding the government providing income, the tax rate on individuals in Austria starts at 25% and tops out at 55%, above a basic exemption of EUR11,000. If people in India are willing to honestly declare and pay that much tax, especially the rich, then we'd move on to the next problem which is the government's corruption and incredibly inefficient structure, which isn't wrong in itself.

Frankly, I don't know how Switzerland manages. But, off the top of my head, I can think of at least one reason. These 2 economies aren't burdened with the incredibly large level of subsidies that the Indian government is burdened with. We have LPG subsidies, the incredibly large PDS, MNREGA, and hundreds of other schemes. And with almost all beneficiaries contributing no taxes, since they fall below the tax brackets. This isn't wrong, just a practical impediment.

But honestly, I hope India reaches the level that these countries have, and call me an idiot, but I'm still optimistic. That's a discussion for another day.

Last edited by vb-san : 9th April 2020 at 06:43. Reason: Quoted posts deleted/edited. Removing related responses.
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Old 8th April 2020, 22:53   #560
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
I am sure lockdowns are very good at slowing transmission. Nobody ever disputed that. But whenever lockdowns are ended be it 3 weeks or 5 weeks or 8 weeks, transmission will speed up again. All it takes is 1 infected person remaining behind after those 5 weeks or 10 weeks who will then infect 2 people, who will infect 4 people & after a few weeks we will be back to square 1.
.
It wont go to square one or atleast thats what govt is trying to do, in the lockdown time we have to identify and remove maximum number of persons from circulation. If successful it will reduce the infection rate. Once the number cases are reduced to managable numbers the lock down can be removed in a phased manner but the testing should continue in large numbers inorder to identify new cases and quickly remove them from circulation, this is what all countries are trying to do including america. If india can achieve this we will be able remove lockdown by may. All this can be achieved even without lock down if we had started these procedure in january itself like quarantine all international passenger and mass testing, BUT even the best of the minds/countries underestimated this pandemic.

But maharashtra's case is unique, total number of death there is high which hints a large scale infection, even if we take death rate as 2.5 there is around 3k unidentified infected persons in maharashtra, if we take death rate as 1 as some one suggested, its more scary around 7200 unidentified persons running around.

Last edited by splitsecond : 8th April 2020 at 23:00.
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Old 8th April 2020, 23:22   #561
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by splitsecond View Post
Once the number cases are reduced to managable numbers the lock down can be removed in a phased manner but the testing should continue in large numbers inorder to identify new cases and quickly remove them from circulation, this is what all countries are trying to do including america.
Even if you could test a very large number of people, say 1 million people per day still it will take 1300 days (or about 4 years!) to test everyone in our country once. Even to test 10% of our population it will take almost 4 months. That is for 1 time testing. And testing 1m a day is no joke. Just imagine the logistics involved. How many centers will be needed? What about crowding in those centers? And since everybody cannot be tested and quarantined at the same time and there are enough asymptomatic cases that dont show symptoms for days, its quite possible the transmission can keep happening. Lets say you get tested, you come out negative, you go back but still you can contact the virus later when you are buying groceries or going to office or whatever and even while getting tested (which is highly likely as hospitals these days are the most risky places)

For countries having limited population maybe extensive testing is still a viable strategy but for a humongously populated nation like India is it really the best course of action?
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Old 8th April 2020, 23:28   #562
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by TRR View Post
Long post......
..This isn't a meme site or twitter, so a humble request to keep the discussion civil and to keep sarcastic and, frankly, pathetic comments out of this forum.
Hello Sir ji,

I wanted to start with you because you make some excellent points.

Before we get into any arguments, let us be clear that we are NOT talking about the current lockdown. We have all accepted that the current lockdown is here and that it will likely be extended for a couple of weeks at least. So, at this point, we are debating the benefits and pitfalls of potentially extending the lockdown to a few months, as many people here have suggested. So, let us talk about that, and ONLY that.

First, let us see this article from yesterday. It says that two people in Kerala who showed absolutely no symptoms tested positive for Covid 19. This happened because these two were actually tested. That is a big departure from just three weeks ago when these two would not have even qualified to be tested considering that they are asymptomatic. All of us know that prior to the lockdown plenty of people voluntarily asked to be tested given their travel history. They were asked to go home if they showed no symptoms or very mild symptoms.

Coming back to the present day, the above mentioned two people only got tested because they arrived from the UAE. That is one more criteria they had to fulfill to get tested.

Next, let us take a look at yesterday's news again where 51 ex-Covid patients tested positive again after having been cured of the disease and released from the hospitals. And you yourself have pointed out that Hong Kong is pondering the problem of a second wave of infections.

If we take the above two points in tandem, it begs the following questions...
  1. What really is being achieved by an economy crushing lockdown when we know that there could potentially be tens of thousands of Covid positive, and yet asymptomatic, people who will never be identified because we are not testing every single person in the population? I mean, these people could be spreading the infection even after a lockdown is lifted, could they not?

  2. What is the assurance that an extended lockdown will eliminate the virus for good considering that it is now coming back in waves, as is the case with South Korea, or even Hong Kong by your own information?
Valid questions, no? Asking these questions should be interpreted as us being dismissive of this massive health crisis, wouldn't you say?

Let me be clear. No one; absolutely no one here is watering down this health crisis. In fact, I myself am very scared for the health of the old people I care for and for the health my children. I have not left the house for 15 straight days. And even after the lockdown is lifted, I will likely not venture out immediately.

But, as a society, we have to ponder the bigger question. If we are going to say that human interaction is injurious to health in the foreseeable future, how are we going to function as a society?

The real problem is the horrible catch-22 that is India. Yes, we carry the highest risk of transmission. But, in absolute numbers, we also have the largest population which is dependent on immediate money. A month, or two, or a quarter, is a lifetime for these people to go without money.

Many who are not even daily wagers are living paycheck to paycheck; and not to due to bad financial planning on their part either. There is simply no financial room in their lives for them to be able to build a financial cushion in their life times. That will have to happen by their next generation which will hopefully enter the economy with an education. My maid is a great example. If I don't pay her for a month, she is toast.

We partly financed both her kids college education. She works in two other houses. And I know that those people too paid partly for her kids' tuition fees. If I put it together, I realise that our maid is fully leveraged out; the money we pay her evaporates in the day-to-day. Still, she is lucky. Because I will pay her for as long as I can even if she does not come here to work due to this lockdown. But, how many people can do that to other professionals whose services they consume?

What about rickshaw and taxi drivers? In Mumbai, a rickshaw driver makes anywhere from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 15000 if the vehicle is not his own. Quite a few of them are putting kids through school and college within those meager incomes, thanks to public education and the charity of their friends and associates. How are these people to get by even assuming that they get food assistance from the government?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aadya View Post
My point is when you do not face the heat yourselves you won't understand the seriousness for the situation. My offer to volunteer is to feel that heat in real time....My point people should not take Contrarian position and take the job of only questioning without knowing the realities, just to prove the point
If you are indeed a doctor, I want to first extend a big thank you to you and to your colleagues for fighting this fight from the front lines. Certainly, nothing of what I said was meant to minimise or debase the work of the medical community. No one is saying that we are not in the of a medical crisis. Nor are we minimizing the nuts and bolts of this crisis. Yes, it is messy. Yes, it is ugly.

Our point is that shutting down an economy is uglier with huge structural changes that will cause irreparable damage to people's lives.

Taking reasonable, even big precautions is OK. For example, we can ask people to not crowd markets and enforce that strictly. We can mandate masks. We can ask people to not intentionally touch others. But, these precautions aside, we cannot ask people to stop living their lives. Certainly if we extend the lockdown for 6 months or an year, there will potentially be mass suicides of families who are unable to provide for themselves.

And no, I will not agree with you that PDS is a well-oiled machine. If we had such wonderful mechanisms we would not be a third world country still.

Finally, no one is taking a contrarian position to prove a point. Each one of us talking here has real skin in the game. See below, my response to @ValarMorghulis.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ValarMorghulis View Post
Well I wanted to post a long winded reply with all the numbers and screenshots but then I realized the pain behind your reply and I totally understand..
Sir... you are only one who actually saw through my pain. So, here are some quick and painful facts for you.

I help manage a team that works in IT for a consumer-durables major. The lockdown was announced on March 24th. On the morning of March 25th, I received word that 9 members of my team were being removed from billing positions from our client organization. These 9 guys have been at this client for 4 years and were in no danger of removal. Their work is excellent and every single person they interact with at the client side vouch for their work. And yet, in 24 hours everything changed.

When I asked for a reason, I was told that with the lockdown in place, the client organization is going to be focused only on those who provide basic support for ERP transactions. Since these guys were doing value added work for management, they could not be afforded. Subject closed.

I frantically reached out to other teams to see if these 9 guys could be accommodated elsewhere in our organization. I was told that virtually every team had received intimations of headcount reduction by their clients, including and especially US clients.

All in all, I lost 60% of my team and my organization lost 25% of it's revenue stream; just on day one of the lockdown!!

Fast forward to this Monday, I am hearing that since the order book at the client organization is all but empty, they will likely release another 4 or 5 people, or even my whole team, since ERP support is meaningless when the ERP system is hardly being used, what with no new orders being in the pipeline.

So, in just two weeks of a lockdown 15 people that I personally know are staring into the abyss. Given that we are a very small organization with thin operating margins, everyone on bench is awaiting the dreaded communication from HR. These are our guys. They helped us deliver value to our clients. We recruited them. We mentored them. We all gave each other opportunities to earn a living. Now, the thought of what they face, what we all face, is too scary to even contemplate fully.

Looking back at my own life, I lived out of a suitcase for a full year when I shepherded my dad through his cancer treatment. Then exactly an year later when my wife was pregnant with our second child, both of us had to virtually live out of trains, planes and buses to help my father-in-law who despite us throwing the kitchen sink at the problem, succumbed to liver cancer in ways that were too painful to watch. Both times, the only saving grace was that we had a job and could somehow pay for the unimaginably expensive treatments.

Coming back to the 9 people in my team, I don't know everything about their personal lives. But, I do know some big talking points. One of them is supporting a parent with renal failure. Another has a teenage daughter who is a special needs child with the intellectual development of a toddler; a girl with a pathological need for open spaces and special classes to help her get through the day. Two other guys just had babies. And almost all of the guys in the team have loans. If I ask, I am sure that I will find more humbling details about my team. I am just afraid to ask.

I have no idea as to how people in the middle class are going to tide over this massive crisis, if a lockdown extends beyond a month or 6 weeks maximum. The government's 3 month moratorium on EMIs will only help for 3 months, and only for EMIs. What after that? OK forget EMIs. How are people going to pay for food? I mean, none of the guys in the middle class are rich. So, unless they all have lots of money put away, which is highly unlikely given that salaries in urban India do not allow for tonnes of money hoarding, everyone is looking at a nightmarish future.

Money is not everything. Until it is.

Those people who are advocating a prolonged lockdown, I fervently hope that they don't find out first-hand the full economic meaning of a lockdown.


Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
..Even the largest companies will not be able to sustain a third payroll date (31st May) with zero or marginal revenues....

GST collection in March 2020 i.e. pertaining to the month of February was INR 97,000 crores~about 8% to 9% below the needed 105,000 crores. In April pertaining to March I would be surprised if the collection gets beyond a range of INR 75 to 80,000. For May i.e. pertaining to trade & production in April expect GST to be well below INR 50,000. The need to find the cash to deposit GST when the customers are not paying alone will cause a large number of micro and small businesses to fold in. These are just my views. Experts may have a different perspective.
Narayan sir.......Thank you for these numbers. I didn't have an idea about the specifics of GST. This is a tough problem to crack. I am really hoping that this pandemic serves as a point of learning for our administrators as to how to respond economically to future crises.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
..At our apartment complex, the iron guy (who presses clothes) reached out to us for help. He (with family) was very badly affected. Luckily lot of people stepped up to offer help - monetary, supplies, and whatever else that might be considered necessary for the times. Many such people might not even have a recourse where they can safely reach out to someone for help...
Think about how long you can continue to help him if the lockdown continues. Your first responsibility would be to your family, would it not?


Quote:
Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
Really? Because you can easily substitute one statistic for another since the original one lacks the desired bite? He was talking about using the PDS system to avoid starvation deaths. And you bring up malnutrition in kids to counter that. The govt had announced that it has food grain reserves to feed every person in this country for four months...

Honestly I couldn't understand your analogy - any I guess it is just me. But my layman brain tells me this: China lifted the lock-down on Wuhan yesterday after almost 3 months..
Two points for you.

First, that we have enough food stockpiled as a nation is well-known. But, it is the logistics of distribution that is a killer. That is so even during normal times. In a lockdown with more than half the labour being unavailable, the logistics problem compounds greatly. How are we to ensure that everyone in the country gets food at the right time? Can we really guarantee that?

Second, please remember that China locked down only one city and one province. That is vastly more helpful than downing the shutters on an entire nation, industries, businesses, institutions and all.

Quite honestly, this is something that has been puzzling me. How is it that the pathogen has spread all over the world, and yet all our China stories are only about a lockdown in Wuhan? Didn't the virus get to Beijing? Or to Shanghai? How are these other areas of China not under lockdown?


Quote:
Originally Posted by navpreet318 View Post
What a number of you are reiterating right now about businesses, I have been shouting on top of my voice and even sending mails to the government for the same. This is a Major crisis for businesses! Businesses today are no longer run like the yesteryear with huge chunk of cash lying around...
Sir... Believe it or not, this is the exact thought that occurred to me just this morning. I was looking at my bushy sideburns in the mirror today and thinking about my local barber. As a customer of many years, I have seen his family. He has two school-going sons at home. They live in a tenement close to his shop. On any given month, he must be clearing Rs. 25 to 30 k after all expenses. That is enough to feed his family and send his kids to the government school. So, he isn't poor enough to receive government assistance. But, he is poor enough to not have any financial room to survive 2 or 3 months of no income. If no one comes to get their hair cut for months, I am wondering how he is going to survive.

There is also a small restaurant right opposite my society. It has been there for 15 years straight. They are not a giant chain with huge revenues. They must make just enough to feed their owners. Again, not poor enough to qualify for aid. But, poor enough to fall victim to no footfalls for 2 months or a quarter.

Unlike what we think, all businesses are not being run by millionaires and billionaires. Many businesses are just mom and pop joints which fill a local need and therefore are able to earn a living for the owners and their employees. How are these small businesses, which are so dependent on people coming in person to their facilities, going to survive an extended lockdown of many months?

Last edited by mohansrides : 8th April 2020 at 23:47.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:03   #563
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

All points raised by @mohansrides in the previous post are genuine and valid. Whether lockdown in India is extended or not, our services and ITeS industry is going to see negative impact until their European and US clients resume their business in normalcy. That seems to be months away.
If lockdown is extended, small businesses and unorganized labour force will suffer. Many might suffer beyond recoverable levels.
If lockdown is withdrawn and social distancing is not enforced properly, the consequences of the disease on the public health and the lives of elderly is unimaginable. I can't imagine a day where everyone around me is coughing with no cure in sight!

We are stuck between a rock and a hard spot and the ability of our society to come out of this depends on how much pain can we all collectively bear until a vaccine is invented. I hope the damage is minimal and we all come out of this stronger than ever.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:17   #564
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

This is to remind all to stop roaming around in this covid time, if it is not absolutely essential. Several blokes are seen roaming around to see if others are roaming around, throwing caution to the winds.
This is where Team Bhp, our own and India's .topmost automobile community's much admired adage, and most copied at that, comes in.

Stay indoors and be safe so that all can
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:19   #565
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by navpreet318 View Post
What a number of you are reiterating right now about businesses, I have been shouting on top of my voice and even sending mails to the government for the same. This is a Major crisis for businesses! Businesses today are no longer run like the yesteryear with huge chunk of cash lying around.

We run a very tight ship and push through. Right now with the salaries, interest and fixed costs piling up this is looking very very dangerous for us!
Why couldn't the government wave off the interest for the lock-down duration? As it is there is no business, we cannot use the funds for any money making. Why then charge us for idle money which is idle for no fault of ours!

Ideally this Lock-down period should have been treated as a blank! Yes as a BLANK! no business for anyone. Not businesses, not banks, no one! Pay a minimum food & essential item equivalent wage. Once lock-down opens, business as usual!
I completely agree with this and I am sailing in the same boat too. This lockdown and the apathy from the government on wages, interests, etc is hurting big time. The next biggest culprit is the rent and the land sharks want their money irrespective of the situation. The landowner of the place I have rented is definitely one harassing at every opportunity. There may be exceptions but the SME ones struggle with these big-ticket items salary/wages and Rent
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:20   #566
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post

There is also a small restaurant right opposite my society. It has been there for 15 years straight. They are not a giant chain with huge revenues. They must make just enough to feed their owners. Again, not poor enough to qualify for aid. But, poor enough to fall victim to no footfalls for 2 months or a quarter.

Unlike what we think, all businesses are not being run by millionaires and billionaires. Many businesses are just mom and pop joints which fill a local need and therefore are able to earn a living for the owners and their employees. How are these small businesses, which are so dependent on people coming in person to their facilities, going to survive an extended lockdown of many months?
Lets ask that question other way around, how these restaurants going to survive if lock down is removed? There are some business which are going to be affected more than the other like restaurants, movies,sports events etc were people wont go unless this virus is eradicated completely,, which is some 2 years away unless some wonder drug is invented. There will be business which can function once the infected persons are reduced to manageable numbers. But tourist sector,hotels,theatres etc are all in trouble if lock down is extended or not.

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Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
Even if you could test a very large number of people, say 1 million people per day still it will take 1300 days (or about 4 years!) to test everyone in our country once. Even to test 10% of our population it will take almost 4 months. That is for 1 time testing. And testing 1m a day is no joke. Just imagine the logistics involved. How many centers will be needed? What about crowding in those centers? And since everybody cannot be tested and quarantined at the same time and there are enough asymptomatic cases that dont show symptoms for days, its quite possible the transmission can keep happening. Lets say you get tested, you come out negative, you go back but still you can contact the virus later when you are buying groceries or going to office or whatever and even while getting tested (which is highly likely as hospitals these days are the most risky places)

For countries having limited population maybe extensive testing is still a viable strategy but for a humongously populated nation like India is it really the best course of action?
Dont need that kind of testing numbers you are talking about,Your are assuming that we are already in stage 4 of the epidemic, then india's case is closed!!. What i believe is, we are still in early stage of 3, so lock down have already halted the exponential growth and slowed down the rate, now we can do testing to identify clusters and hotspots and shutoff those location from rest of the state. Open districts with less number of infections with restriction and social distancing. Like what korea have done from the beginning.I cant type all details here.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:22   #567
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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How are these people to get by even assuming that they get food assistance from the government?
They are not.

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Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
Certainly if we extend the lockdown for 6 months or an year, there will potentially be mass suicides of families who are unable to provide for themselves.
This is what I fear. Riots stemming from mass unemployment / suicide / hunger.

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Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
So, in just two weeks of a lockdown 15 people that I personally know are staring into the abyss. ... Now, the thought of what they face, what we all face, is too scary to even contemplate fully.
In a very similar situation with the team I lead. Literally haven't slept in days trying to figure out permutations and combinations.

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Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
Unlike what we think, all businesses are not being run by millionaires and billionaires. Many businesses are just mom and pop joints which fill a local need and therefore are able to earn a living for the owners and their employees. How are these small businesses, which are so dependent on people coming in person to their facilities, going to survive an extended lockdown of many months?
They won't. Most MSMEs will fold unless the market situation improves drastically, which in itself looks unlikely.

Because of misguided policies in the last half of the decade, our economy is in the dumps. Previous administrations were no holy deities, but the economic growth numbers don't lie. Unfortunately now, the recent economic foolishness and adventurism, coupled with our chronic issues like corruption, sub-par public health, and obtuse bureaucracy are all impeding any chance we had of escaping lightly. The question is less of whether the manure hits the fan and more of how far it spread and who all it covers. Our chickens, sadly, have come home to roost.

I am glad to see empathy amongst members here. I will put that down to the fact that many of us are responsible for others, whether teams or businesses, families, or even other professionals like chauffeurs who are dependent on us.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:24   #568
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Originally Posted by nagr22 View Post
.....

We are stuck between a rock and a hard spot and the ability of our society to come out of this depends on how much pain can we all collectively bear until a vaccine is invented. I hope the damage is minimal and we all come out of this stronger than ever.
I didn't mean to write in this thread but I couldn't help but write after this reply. from @nagr22

What @nagr22 said is 100% correct. There is no right or wrong answer. Both choices has it's ups and downs and in the end, each one of the options is going to affect us, the citizens. Not the rich or even upper-middle class. Middle class and below will be affected and this is true regardless of whatever option we choose.

I run a small business(IT/Software/Hardware) with couple of employees and I'm telling you, life is already going tough as it is and the lock-down puts a big rock on our head which is unbearable. With client payments pending and expenses mounting, I am looking at taking another loan immediately after lock-down is lifted, just to tide through this. We ran out of our cash reserve this week and already at the mercy of our vendors, landlords, and employees.

But at the same time we don't want to risk our lives by venturing out and get infected, only to further spread it to our loved ones. That is a scary though indeed. Now we are stuck in a fix.

The scenario is like below:

Please tell me which one will you choose, If the answer(s) to the all these questions is as below:

1. Sacrifice x lives to save y lives by choosing lock-down.
2. Sacrifice y lives to save x lives by not choosing lock-down.

Guess this is tough one to choose. Isn't it?

I put all my life savings and started this business last year and it is picking up for the past few months only to be massacred by this virus. I don't know how we are going to face this situation if lock-down extended post April 30. But one thing for sure. Either way, we are in some deep trouble in future.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:36   #569
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Default re: India on full lockdown. Edit: Now extended with relaxations till June 30, 2020

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Hello Sir ji,

I wanted to start with you because you make some excellent points.

Before we get into any arguments, let us be clear that we are NOT talking about the current lockdown. We have all accepted that the current lockdown is here and that it will likely be extended for a couple of weeks at least. So, at this point, we are debating the benefits and pitfalls of potentially extending the lockdown to a few months, as many people here have suggested. So, let us talk about that, and ONLY that.
Hi sir. I will start off by saying that what you said makes for an interesting read and really makes a discussion on this subject worthwhile.

As I said in my previous post, I do understand that there is an incomprehensible cost to the economy and livelihoods of lakhs. I even agreed that you make valid points in your post and referred to your post as an example of how the lockdown can ruin lives. The point of my post was simple. We must keep in mind the economic consequences of the lockdown while making our opinions on this matter, absolutely. But at the same time, we must consider the consequences of lifting the lockdown too early.

First off, let me state in unequivocal terms that I do not support a months long extension. Allow me to respond to a few of your concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
If we take the above two points in tandem, it begs the following questions...
1) What really is being achieved by an economy crushing lockdown when we know that there could potentially be tens of thousands of Covid positive, and yet asymptomatic, people who will never be identified because we are not testing every single person in the population? I mean, these people could be spreading the infection even after a lockdown is lifted, could they not?
2) What is the assurance that an extended lockdown will eliminate the virus for good considering that it is now coming back in waves, as is the case with South Korea, or even Hong Kong by your own information?
1) with regard to the testing of persons, I stated this very clearly in my post here. We are ramping up our testing facilities so as to widen the net of testing, because that is KEY to coming out of this mess. We were forced to turn away people at the start of this mess, simply because we did not have enough test kits and had to maximize utility of the precious few that we had. Hopefully with the ICMR's new strategies, no possible case is turned away going forward. No use of a lockdown alone, I agree whole-heartedly. The lockdown has bought us time, at a cost of lives, to ramp up testing. Because if there was no lockdown, we'd be going the USA way. Just in a much worse fashion, no two-ways about it. This is what I believe we are achieving with this economy-crushing lockdown. I've also talked about rapid response capabilities that will (hopefully) arise once we're out of this lockdown to nip future infections in the bud. Do take some time out and go through the above linked post of mine, then you'll see where I am coming from on this.

2) There is no assurance because we know precious little about this virus, this I concede. But I ask you this, what would you have the administration do with respect to these future threats? I have already highlighted how they are ramping up testing facilities and isolation centers. Would you rather the government lift the lockdown and pray the virus goes away? I genuinely want to know the better solution that you seem to have. After all, I'm here to widen my views on this aspect, not stick to what I know.

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Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
But, as a society, we have to ponder the bigger question. If we are going to say that human interaction is injurious to health in the foreseeable future, how are we going to function as a society?
The bigger question from whose perspective sir? Why don't we ask this same question to the families of the people who got infected and died simply because that one person who returned from abroad and refused to isolate at home spread the disease? No amount of "greater good" will console these people. Which is why I made my previous post. I reiterate, I identify with the hardships faced by the poor and unemployed, while I also sympathise with those who have been affected by Covid in a physical sense. That is my whole point when I say, this is a very grey area with no right or wrong answers and cannot be looked at from one angle alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
Many who are not even daily wagers are living paycheck to paycheck; and not to due to bad financial planning on their part either. There is simply no financial room in their lives for them to be able to build a financial cushion in their life times. That will have to happen by their next generation which will hopefully enter the economy with an education. My maid is a great example. If I don't pay her for a month, she is toast.

-snip-

What about rickshaw and taxi drivers? In Mumbai, a rickshaw driver makes anywhere from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 15000 if the vehicle is not his own. Quite a few of them are putting kids through school and college within those meager incomes, thanks to public education and the charity of their friends and associates. How are these people to get by even assuming that they get food assistance from the government?
Again, I will reiterate, that I am not denying people will face economic hardships, more so the poor and less fortunate. That was never the crux of my argument.

But since you bring up the topic, let me bring up the other side of the argument that doesn't allow me to dismiss an extended lockdown as a crime.

You talk of your maid. How would you explain to your maid about the "bigger question" when her aged parents die due to Covid because some person on the bus coughed on them and they contract the disease? You talk of the auto drivers. How would you explain to the auto driver when the doctors remove his father's ventilator and let him die because a younger patient comes in with a greater likelihood of being saved? These aren't ifs and buts, rather this is what has actually happened in Italy. Would explaining the need for social interaction work as any consolation to them? Let's face it, the poor and downtrodden will face the brunt of both Covid and the economic lockdown, whatever we choose.

If we extend this lockdown for a bit and allow for our healthcare infrastructure to cope, there is a greater chance that we can provide better healthcare to the downtrodden since the middle class and above will largely adhere to the lockdown and stay out of the hospitals. We can afford to drive our cars to work and use hand sanitizer every 5 seconds and, God-willing, stay out of the healthcare network. These people will need all the help they get when the lockdown is lifted.

I will refer to your own post (Many parts of India are in curfew) here sir. As you said, for no fault of your own, you were back to square one due to the fallout of events like 9/11 and the 2008 crisis. But fortunately, you're still alive, aren't you? You earned your way back up to a respectable living standard and kudos to you for that. Simply put, this is one argument of those who ask for a lockdown extension. Your maid can continue to work once this mess comes into a manageable situation and pull herself out. That auto driver can still work after the lockdown and make ends meet. There will be hardship, I am not dismissing that. But the ending seems better than the alternative, which is where they end up dead due to the administration's and healthcare infrastructure's inability to handle the deluge that may occur, if we go for a hasty exit. Then what would you say to their children and dependents? Only if there is a life will there be a livelihood. Apologies if I am talking too much about the death of people, but seriously, that is a VERY REAL POSSIBILITY and one we should consider while making a call for the economy to be revived.

I will reiterate that I am not one of those looking for 3 months, or a year of lockdown to experiment on our citizens. Like I said in the other post, we cannot afford to wait for herd immunity. A two-week extension will buy us some time that we may be able to afford at this stage. And in this I concur with what some other members of this forum are saying.

No matter how you want to look at it, there are 2 sides of looking at this extension that some states want. I just hope our administration is being advised by the right people and makes the right call in this regard.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:36   #570
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According to me, we have two choices:

Have a 2 or 3 month lockdown now and contain the virus
OR
Have no lockdown now, 10% people infected, half of them dead and morgues full... and then enforce a lockdown for six months.

Let me know if there is a third choice.
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