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A more hopeful Diwali: we should still be cautious, but the future looks brighter

It’s hard to avoid crowds during festival season. Should we be celebrating yet?

A more hopeful Diwali: we should still be cautious, but the future looks brighter

It’s hard to avoid crowds during festival season. Should we be celebrating yet?

A more hopeful Diwali: we should still be cautious, but the future looks brighter

It’s hard to avoid crowds during festival season. Should we be celebrating yet?

A more hopeful Diwali: we should still be cautious, but the future looks brighter

It’s hard to avoid crowds during festival season. Should we be celebrating yet?

It’s Diwali – and things look a lot more hopeful than last year. But the pandemic isn’t over.

This year, in many places, Diwali seems to be — almost — back to normal. Some celebrations have been called off, and the government has issued warnings asking people to avoid mass gatherings and crowded places as much as possible.

But Covid fatigue has set in — we’re all tired of the pandemic, and craving a celebration and the promise of fun and family gatherings again after more than a year and a half of lockdowns, restrictions, and losses.

Before the festival, Delhi’s airports were packed with people escaping the city to visit relatives or enjoy a few days break in a tourist spot. After more than a year stuck in one place, for most people, there’s a huge demand for travel. Within the next few months, according to aviation experts, air travel in India will be back to pre-pandemic levels.

Airports weren’t the only crowded places, as people flocked to Diwali markets around the country. Social distancing may be recommended by health experts, but when everyone’s out buying flowers, candles, sweets and gifts there’s hardly room to move, let alone keep a distance.

The situation seems to be getting better. It’s certainly a long way from the grief, chaos, and horror of the second wave in April and May this year, and the government can now boast that over a billion doses of the vaccine have been issued at the same time as the World Health Organization grants approval to India’s own Covaxin.

Will this Diwali be the beginning of a brighter future — at least when it comes to Covid-19?

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