Crowds give distancing the go-by

Crowds give distancing the go-by

People are gathering in huge numbers everywhere, and social distancing is already a thing of the past

People are gathering in huge numbers everywhere, and social distancing is already a thing of the past

Across Bengaluru, people are paying little attention to social distancing.

Rajbir Singh, chief marshal, BBMP, is in charge of enforcing pandemic precautions. He says violations are rampant. People are wearing masks by and large but not maintaining physical distancing. “They have excuses when we approach them. They mostly shift the blame on the people around them,” he says. 

Religious events and wedding halls see barely any physical distancing. “We don’t penalise people at religious institutions keeping in mind that it is a sensitive space. But even there, most people follow mask norms and ignore social distancing,” he says. 

Manya Gupta (name changed) attended two weddings in a day this month and found both flouting rules. “One of the weddings even had a baraat, but without a horse. Many guests were not wearing masks,” she says. 

When the guests walked up to the couples to greet them, they took off their masks and posed for pictures. “I don’t think anyone is paying heed to the rules anymore. It looks like the fear of the virus has died down,” she says. 

Rajbir Singh says malls, markets and restaurants are also teeming with people.

“While mask wearing is mandatory to enter, social distancing is completely ignored. We have started visiting these places and penalising violators and even the establishments,” he says. 

Samay Mishra (name changed), who went for a concert at a Koramangala club earlier this month, saw no one wearing a mask.

“They didn’t even check our temperature at the entrance. People were standing groups and no social distancing was maintained,” he says.  He adds that the bar below the club was packed. “it looked like a pre-pandemic day,” he says.

Riders on Namma Metro are growing in number. People aren’t sitting on alternate seats and the security trays aren’t being sanitised as meticulously as before, says a rider.

While mask wearing is easy to enforce, social distancing is not. “We’re not targeting social distancing so much for this reason. We’re spreading as much awareness as possible but at the end of the day there’s only so much we can do,” says Rajbir Singh.