Rajesh Babu, a police officer in Chennai, India, has started wearing a helmet while wearing a closure of the country 1.3 billion people. But it is not just any helmet. Babu’s headgear is designed to look like the new coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 disease. And it’s just another sign that our current reality is getting weirder as the global pandemic continues.
Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprising announcement on March 24 that it would be illegal for anyone in India to leave their home for 21 days from midnight – the largest mass locking in human history. But the closure met with resistance, as many people were trapped in places they did not live and some just couldn’t find food. India’s huge homeless population is something very different.
However, police officers in India have started to deploy new tactics scaring the average citizen of staying at home if he has one. Officers like Rajesh Babu wear bizarre helmets, designed like the images released from the new coronavirus. And it’s not just Babu.
Getty Images has released new photos OVernight shows the traffic police in Bangalore, the capital of the state of India Karnataka, with their own helmets inspired by Corona virus. It is not clear if they were inspired by Babu, which is more than 200 miles away.
India, with 1251 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and at least 32 deaths, Iis not unique in imposing a strict lockdown on his country. About 75 percent of Americans are currently on some form of lockdown CNN, and countries like Italy and Spain are also almost completely locked.
But lockdowns tend to emphasize social inequalities, especially in India, where about 80 percent of workers are in the “informal sector,” meaning they aren’t protected by labor laws.
“I have heard that a virus is circulating from China,” says a young boy from India, who scrapes up waste told the New York Times this week. “But I am more afraid of the police and cannot eat.”
Even citizens in wealthy countries like Italy are worried about where to find their next meal as the economies grind to a halt. People in Southern Italy are clashes with the police because they are trapped indoors and simply do not have access to food.
“It has been 15 to 20 days that we have been inside. We are at our limit,” said an Italian says in a video that has gone viral in Italy and the UK.
“Just like my daughter, in a few days, other children will not be able to eat this piece of bread. Rest assured, you will regret it, because we are going to have a revolution.”
And the US, which saw the death toll from Covid-19 last night, is out of numberr from deaths of 9-11, has made his own problems with inequality worse due to a very weak social safety net. A teenager who recently died of Covid-19 was expelled from an emergency clinic in Lancaster, California and told him to go to the emergency room because he had no health insurance, but he suffered cardiac arrest along the way. He was revived at the ER, but died about six hours later, according to the Mayor of Lancaster.
In Las Vegas, where the city’s hotels are empty due to the state’s closure, homeless people still sleep on the street. But the authorities have adopted new conditions to make it sound like the country’s most vulnerable populations are being cared for.
The photo below shows what is described as a ‘temporary shelter for the homeless’In the parking lot of the Cashman Center, complete with white lines drawn on the pavement for ‘social distance’.
It is not clear how someone dares to use the term ‘shelter’ when looking at that photo. But this is our new reality. Unfortunately, it is very similar to our old reality, but with more police in weird sci-fi helmets.