HUBBALLI: Markets across Hubballi witnessed a big rush of shoppers on Thursday, July 31, a day before the festival of Varamahalakshmi.
Durgadbail and the surrounding shopping hubs attracted buyers from Hubballi-Dharwad and the surrounding districts, especially in the evening. This was arguably the busiest shopping day after the Covid pandemic began.
But before the evening rush, chaos, confusion and fear had prevailed at Durgadbail and the surrounding business centres. The decision of the Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike (HDMP) to station rapid antigen test vehicles at the market spooked shoppers and traders alike.
Most of the shopkeepers quickly downed their shutters, fearing that the HDMP would force them to take the Covid test and hospitalize them in case they tested positive, said a footwear trader.
But the morning’s fear gave way to exuberance and excitement in the evening as people from all religions flocked to the market to make purchases. Regrettably, however, few people maintained social distancing or wore face masks. The lifting of the lockdown doesn’t mean we can lower our guard, does it?