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Pandemic threat looms large over weddings, social gatherings in city
The global pandemic coronavirus is not only affecting countries and economies but also smaller social gatherings like weddings and parties. Several public events are being called off in the city as a precaution to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Theatre owners are also worried as the release of Hollywood movies are expected to be delayed and there might be a dip in the number of people visiting the multiplexes and malls.
Event managers in the city said that many private parties and weddings have been cancelled due to fear over COVID-19 spread. They admitted that the pandemic had brought a financial strain on them but pointed out that the health and safety of the public should be the priority.
Ashwanth Saravanan of Big Bang Entertainment said that they were expecting more than 5,000 people to gather for their Holi celebration. But it was cancelled following a notice from the Greater Chennai Corporation. “We had around five private parties scheduled this month. All of them were cancelled due to COVID-19 spread. We had invested around Rs 2 lakh to prepare for these parties and we incurred a loss. The government is taking steps to prevent an outbreak in the State and we appreciate it as the safety of the public comes first,” he added.
Another event manager based in the city said that some of the events are being held as planned. “I had to cancel only one wedding, which was scheduled for next month. rest of the events that I am managing will go on as per schedule,” Krishna Chaitanya of Bezinto said.
Meanwhile, a member of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association said that No Time To die, a James Bond movie, was scheduled to release next month. “But it was postponed to the end of the year following the outbreak in China. Similarly, Fast and Furious-9 has been postponed to 2021. If these two movies were released as schedules theatres would have been full for weeks,” he added.
Theatre owners also pointed out that March is a dull period in their business even otherwise as it is exam season. However, considering the outbreak, several theatres in the city have started to keep hand sanitisers under the direction of State government. “If the number of infected patients increases further, the government might shut down all businesses,” a theatre owner said.
TN Theatre Owners’ Association president Tiruppur Subramaniam said that the outbreak has not affected their business yet, even though there is a small percentage of people who are avoiding theatres.
Why social isolation is important
The rise of coronavirus threat has brought to the fore a concept that is largely unknown to the Indian public: Social isolation. In simple terms, this means an individual keeping themselves away from the society almost completely. Though this is a more serious form of loneliness, it serves a definite purpose. As the image above shows, the healthcare facilities have limitations when it comes to dealing with a large outbreak. If it breaches that limit, there is a risk of breakdown, which could lead to complications including deaths – Italy, for instance, have now decided to offer treatment only to those who could be saved to ensure that their energy, efforts and resources are spent on lives that could be saved. But if individuals practise self-imposed social isolation, they would be able to take themselves off the risk, thereby bringing down the total number of cases to a manageable level.