Palpa: People living in the Kaligandaki Valley have started returning to their normal life from Covid-19 havoc and its effects.
As per the estimated data including different local bodies, some 200,000 people live in the Kaligandaki Valley, made of eastern parts of Palpa, southern parts of Syangja, south-western parts of Tanahu and northern parts of Parasi districts. Rampur Municipality is the business center of these areas.
The terrified people from the havoc have returned to normalcy. People in these areas have started working in the fields freely, taking part in fairs and festivals, resuming businesses and opening schools and colleges. Their major professions are agriculture and business.
People in these areas are hardly seen wearing masks except visiting hospitals, which is mandatory for all. Even in the crowded business areas, below, five percent of people wear masks, according to the officials at Rampur Municipality.
Krishna Prasad Pandey along with his mother wore masks just before entering the premises of Rampur Hospital. “I have come here for my mother’s regular follow-up check-up. She is a patient of hypertension,” said Pandey, who is a retired schoolteacher. “We don’t use masks in other places but the mask is mandatory at the hospital,” he said, adding that Covid-19 is no more fearful now.
Shankar Bhattarai, 28, resident of Rampur Municipality ward number 6, said that they don’t worry about the pandemic. “We are not afraid of the pandemic anymore,” he said.
Padam Bahadur Malla, a hotel entrepreneur, of Rampur Municipality-6, said that people have already abandoned wearing masks. “I am running my business but I don’t wear masks here,” he said.
Hari Prasad Gairhe, a farmer who is in his mid-70s, was not worried about the pandemic. “We have to work to feed us for our survival,” he said. “We can’t be restrained inside our walls and remain inactive for a longer time. So, we have to be strong enough to fight the disease though we have to be alert in certain places,” he said.
Ram Bhakta Bhattarai, resident of Chapakot Municipality in Syangja district, said that he already left wearing masks. “We were terrified more than necessary,” said Bhattarai, who is also a cadre of the Nepali Congress Party. “I have been taking parts in the programs of party’s convention without wearing masks,” he added.
However, Shankar Aryal, bookseller at Bejhand of Rampur, was conscious of the pandemic. He was wearing a mask all the time while being in the bookshop. “We have to be aware of it. If we are transmitted, we are transmitted. So, we have to wear masks to save ourselves from the disease,” he added.
Over 100 people died of Covid-19 in the Kaligandaki Valley while over 10,000 people were infected from Covid-19 in these areas.
BP Aryal is a freelance journalist. This news is based on a fellowship program.