Initially, when the lockdown began, our apartment association in Anna Nagar with 16 flats bought a hand-wash dispenser and asked the security to ensure all visitors use it before entering the building. Now that we may have to live with this situation for months, the association has issued detailed guidelines and has also started investing in new equipment.

Sanitisation of common areas like lifts, hand rails, motor room and doors daily are a common feature now. Thermo-scanning, not allowing unknown visitors and vendors inside the building are a few other measures we took in the subsequent weeks. We are planning to install a sanitiser equipment, which will pour the sanitiser into the hands when a lever is pressed with a leg. This will reduce the work of the security guard, and make for contactless dispensing of hand sanitiser.

I can also see my neighbourhood adapting to the changes by innovating in various ways. The vegetable shop I visit regularly has introduced a queuing system. They have kept only a limited number of baskets, so very few people can be inside the shop.They sanitise not only your hands but also the basket handles. This, I thought, was a case of according greater significance to safety. All the employees wear masks as well. Most have switched off the A/C which is good, though the bearing the heat is a challenge.

The local kirana shop has adapted quickly to the situation, thanks to technology we can send our list of provisions and they will deliver the items home and they also accept cards.

Our relationships with people have improved. We are helping each other to the extent possible and exchange messages too. In the last one week, I have taken the initiative to walk to the local shop to buy a few items, rather than using the car. So from denial we are all moving to acceptance. Most shops are open now and business is getting close to being normal.

We are all working from home and working for home. Life goes on in Anna Nagar, but with acceptance of the new situation with masks, social distancing and sanitising.

Anna Nagar

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