Ever since the nationwide lockdown was implemented on March 25 to curb the coronavirus outbreak, all commercial establishments were completely shut down except for essential services. Unsurprisingly, this included liquor and paan stores. As India has entered the third phase of the lockdown, the government has decided to implement some relaxations, owing to the suffering economy.
On May 3, the government announced that liquor stores across the nation will be allowed to re-open in all zones, keeping social distancing in mind and with no more than five people at a time in a store. But with stores being shut for over 40 days, it seems like people couldn’t care less about social distancing or contacting coronavirus. As liquor stores opened today, kilometre-long queues were seen around them, with cops having to resort to lathi-charge to disburse the crowd at certain locations.
Of course, people crowding around liquor stores after being deprived of it for one and a half months made perfect fodder for memes, and twitter did not disappoint on that call. We bring you the best of the best.
— Shivangi (@kamedy_kween) May 4, 2020
— Rajeev Hitman🇮🇳 (@Hmka_join_krlo) May 4, 2020
— Robin🚩 🇮🇳🚩 (@R_ch_2003) May 4, 2020
— अभिषेक मिश्रा (@Abhi_Mishraji) May 4, 2020
*#LiquorShops Opens today*
Normal people Daaru lovers
at 5 am Today outside Liquor
shop at 5 am pic.twitter.com/7FW30axite
— Vijay Jaiswal (@puntasticVU) May 4, 2020
— Akkshay (@akkshayjain1995) May 4, 2020
— तूफ़ान का देवताᵀʰᵒʳ 🚩 (@iStormbreaker_) May 4, 2020
— The Steno Boi (@Thestenoboi) May 4, 2020
Wine lovers after returning from theka today : pic.twitter.com/54Vog9x0te
— Riya (@jhampakjhum) May 4, 2020
— Siddi Boy 🖤 (@siddiboy21) May 4, 2020
Jokes aside, this is certainly a worrying trend. While we love popping open a cold one at the end of a long day, let’s not forget that we’re living in the time of a global health crisis. Crowding at liquor stores will not only put your own health at risk but also that of your loved ones. This is the first time that the government has lifted such restrictions for the public, and to say it’s going badly would be an understatement. If we can’t handle the opening of liquor stores, what will happen when more restrictions are lifted in an effort to save the economy?
Let’s hope the government can successfully ensure proper enforcement of social distancing norms at such stores across the country!
Featured Image: Twitter