People prefer leaving town to lockdown

Many families leave the city to escape confined spaces and rise in COVID-19 cases

Scenes reminiscent of last year’s lockdown were repeated as the countdown to the 14-day lockdown in Karnataka began. For reasons ranging from not wanting to be in the city, which is the COVID-19 hotspot, to anticipating an extension of the lockdown, people had their answers to justify their decision to leave Bengaluru.

Ashik A. and her family decided to travel back to their hometown Kodagu on Tuesday. “Young children feel suffocated in the apartment as they can’t go out and play. There is no school either. At least back home, there is enough space to play without worrying about coming in touch with anyone. It is safer for us too. As my father is a senior citizen, we didn’t want to risk having him in Bengaluru,” she said.

Sanjana Shetty travelled to her hometown Mangaluru just before the announcement of the lockdown. “My in-laws are both patients. We were afraid we would not be able to travel to be with them if they needed us during the lockdown. So we decided to travel and stay with them for a while. For us too, it seems like a better option given that we live in an apartment and there are cases being reported,” she said.

On Ballari Road, a group of people from Nepal were seen waiting for a private bus to go back home. “Going by bus is more safe compared to going by train. Availability of seats is difficult to predict in trains,” said one of them.

Ajay (name changed) travelled to his wife’s hometown in Rajasthan for similar reasons.

Uday K., an engineer working in a private firm, said that his family anticipated a lockdown as there was a steep spike in COVID-19 cases across Karnataka. “Hence, we decided to come to Mysuru, my native, which is relatively safer. Earlier, I was not allowed to go out of station as I am in the crisis management team. This time, I got prior permission and left for Mysuru a few days before the lockdown. Many in my team also left for their native places as cases started to soar in the city,” he said.

(With inputs from Sudhakara Jain)

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