Mumbai Zoo was closed on Sunday till further orders as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)
The weekend this time was a less eventful one for most citizens as they spent it indoors, what with malls, cinema halls and events cancelled in Mumbai with an emphasis on social distancing. People chose online streaming platforms, indoor games, spending time with pets and “bonding” with family members to pass time while many saw house parties and gully cricket as safer options.
With schools also shut till March 31, parents said they are finding ways to keep children busy. “I didn’t want my five-year-old to be on the phone watching videos and playing games. Since my husband and I are home, we played cricket indoors,” said Sefra Daniel, a Mulund resident. Board games were also a hit with many other families. At the Mokashi household in Thane, 30-year-old Manas played Monopoly with his 82-year old grandmother, parents and wife. “It is an opportunity to spend time with family,” Manas said. Other top choices were Uno, Scrabble, Pictionary and Ludo.
“We had a cricket tournament in Mulund, where every society member was invited to play. But since it was organised in the turf area of a mall, the tournament was called off. With this, I have just opted to stay home and play Fifa on my computer,” said Kushank Shetty.
“I usually go to some coffee shop with friends on the weekend. A majority of them are in malls, which are shut. So, we are planning to meet in the premises of the society and play some sport,” said Aditya Mujumdar.
Several people who went out to party on weekends have decided to host house parties. Riddhi Sawant said, “Instead of going out on the weekend, I hosted a small house party on Saturday.” Others decided to rely on streaming sites. Rujuta Shinde, who had plans to attend a party on Sunday before it was cancelled, said, “There were a few shows I was meaning to watch for sometime. I plan to order in some food and watch a series on a streaming site.”
Some others are using the time to finish pending work. Shruti Thakor, an IT professional, said, “For months I have been planning to pursue an online course. I will take it up now with work-from-home opportunity.” Others saw it as a time to curl up with books. Glen D’Souza said, “I have only been buying books without taking out time to read any of them. I plan to catch up on some reading and have cancelled plans to meet friends.”
Mental health practitioners have also taken to social media, advising people on self-care while practising social distancing.