With the festive season around the corner, 36% of people in India might be getting ready to socialise, sparking fears of large-scale COVID spread, a survey by LocalCircles has revealed. October-November, popularly known as the festive months mark the starting of festivals like Navratra, Durga Pooja, Dussehra and finally Diwali. Community and social media platform LocalCircles conducted a survey to get an understanding of how people plan to socialise during the upcoming festive season. The survey received over 28,000 responses from over 226 districts of India.
When citizens were asked how they plan to socialise during this festive season (Oct - Nov), 3% said they will attend neighbourhood events, 3% said they would attend private get togethers/parties that they are invited to, 23% said they will visit and have over close family and friends, while 7% said they will do all of the above. 51% said they will not socialise at all. This means that 36% Indians want to socialise over this festive season. The prolonged impact of coronavirus has meant that Indians have been avoiding get-togethers, meeting extended family and crowded places, but it looks like the chains are going to be broken during the upcoming festivals.
In early September, residents of Kerala became quite careless during the Onam festival celebrations which resulted in a huge surge in coronavirus cases rising from 4,000 a day to over 10,000 cases a day. This led to the Kerala government invoking Section 144 and banning the assembly of more than five people across the state for the entire month of October.
The next question that was asked was that despite COVID, what is the primary reason people want to socialise this festive season. 17% said it has been a tough year socially for them/their family and this will cheer them up, while 10% said there will be social pressure so they must do it. 63% said they plan to take precautions and socialise so they should be all right, and 5% said they have already had COVID-19 so it is not a worry. 5% were unsure.This shows that 63% of those who want to socialise this festive season believe they will be safe by adhering to precautions, while a need for cheer and social pressure were other reasons cited for why people plan to socialise.
With COVID-19 cases almost at the 7 million mark in India, the Ministry of Health has come out with Festive Season SOPs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 8th launched a â€śJan Andolanâ€ť for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and said the government will launch an action plan with region-specific targeted communication in high case load districts. But in the end, it is the people who will have to ensure they remember that during these festivities, COVID-19 is still raging out there and that they must take all due precautions, LocalCircles says.