Morung Express News
Dimapur | June 10
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been clearly unprecedented. Adapting to a “new normal” has been a term frequently tossed around as people try to come to terms with the restrictions on social affairs.
The effects, as diverse as it is, have been life-changing and one clearly visible impact has been on health. As per health experts, reports of general respiratory ailments have relatively reduced over the past year, while the pandemic has affected a renewed health consciousness.
People have taken to exercising like never before, especially in Dimapur, as can be gauged from the droves of people hitting the streets taking advantage of the restrictions on vehicular movement.
For those not keen on running on the streets, a half-done Multi-disciplinary Sports Complex, more commonly known as State Stadium, has been the go-to place. This sprawling complex, with a recently completed asphalt running track and surrounded by ample empty space becomes a spot of choice for joggers, naturally.
It becomes a cause for concern when ‘non-joggers’ also took the opportunity to while away time at the same venue, huddling, chit-chatting and so on in a city with a known high COVID-19 detection rate and restrictions against crowding in effect. Add to it, groups of youths playing cricket and football and some others, who find it sensible to obstructively park cars deep in the running area.
But all good things must come to an end. On June 10, joggers as well ‘non-joggers’ were in for a surprise as the authorities took notice, finally. According to eyewitness accounts, police personnel arrived at the venue, in the evening, dispersing the crowds of people that were gathered as usual.
The intervention worked and the venue became empty of people within minutes.
A reasonable act on the part of the authorities but there was collateral. As summarised by a regular jogger, who wished to remain anonymous, “The unfortunate part of this is that the regulars, who come to train genuinely, will have to miss for some days or go elsewhere because of some ‘time pass folks’.”
It also brought to fore a conspicuously missing amenity in Dimapur and other urban townships in Nagaland— vehicle-free public parks, where adults and children alike would have ample space to jog, walk, play and even read.
“Dimapur also needs public parks for people to de-stress. I wish the government of the day would make such parks,” commented another person, who also wished to remain anonymous.