The year 2020 began with an unexpected twist which turned into sheer unprecedented misery for people across the world. A misery, which lasted almost the entire year, with no hopes for a better tomorrow. However, with the onset of December the global pandemic has shown the first real signs of dwindling, atleast in India. The scientists too have come up with the first set of vaccines.
Fit Northeast speaks to few people to understand the struggles and disadvantages that they faced during the recurring lockdowns and the entire pandemic ridden phase in general. Our intent in doing so was to discover the silver linings (if any) of this challenging year.
Aaron, a small time businessman who also owns a food stall said that the pandemic took everything away from him. "Because of the pandemic, I had to invest all my money in the food stall since there was no other source of income. However, the lockdown soon began and I couldn't sell anything to anyone. Even after the government initiated the first unlock measures my condition did not improve. Simply put since we had to maintain social distancing, I couldn't serve any food in my stall. However, I began to take orders and started home delivering to people who wanted fast foods. Social media was the primary source for spreading awareness on my new mode of business. Initially not many people were ordering, but after we upgraded our delivery service by following all the SOP's mandated by the government, my small food stall began to flourish. Since then I have managed to save enough for my family and pay off my workers as well," he narrates.
Atoka, a local butcher, recounts a similar experience. He said that most of the meat at his shop had got spoilt during lockdowns and he had to incur heavy losses. According to him the number of customers had also decreased for fear of the virus. This low phase had continued for over a month until a colleague of his apprised him about online delivery.
Fit Northeast speaks to few people to understand the struggles and disadvantages that they faced during the recurring lockdowns and the entire pandemic ridden phase in generalAtoka shared, "I decided to take a leap of faith. Since I am not well acquainted with the internet, I was skeptical at first. However, slowly and gradually (after a month of consuming most of the meat which was meant for selling) my online delivery system began to pay off. I am grateful and indebted to those who advised me to proceed with the online system. Today I sell both online and offline."
The experience shared by a lady named Jennifer is quite inspiring. When asked about the highs and lows she experienced this year, Jennifer replied, "Most people were suffering financially due to the sudden outbreak of COVID 19. I incidentally lost my father in the lockdown phase and couldn't give him a decent burial. Thereafter I experienced acute anxiety and depression and my financial responsibilities too grew. I was the oldest in my family and had to provide for them. Eventually despite my mental state I decided to thrust forward and today looking back that was the best decision I have taken. Being an entrepreneur, I was initially thinking of selling products which the general public would require the most. But then I realized that there were more than a thousand families who have no source of income or any means of acquiring financial aid. I wanted to help them but did not know how."
She continues, "After weeks of discussions with my team, I came up with the idea of opening an online market with many vacant places. We invited regular vegetable vendors, clothing shop owners, vehicle repairing shop owners, IT specialists, catering companies etc. The response was so good that in two weeks, almost every netizen was utilizing our service to order foods, repair their phones or vehicles and even organize birthday parties etc. The consumer statistics went from 200 to 3000 people in just one month. I felt accomplished and truly happy that I could help at least a handful of people who thought that they were out of business because of the pandemic."
When asked what her message is for the people reading her story, she said, 'In life, circumstances will divert our paths. However, making use of the circumstances, be it good or bad and making every situation work to our advantage is paying and truly rewarding in the long run.'