Social Spaces in the Time of Coronavirus
Publication Year : 2020

A few pertinent questions sprang up in our minds when we received an email last week about the postponement of a local conference our paper had got accepted for. The conference was supposed to be held in mid-April this year. The reason, without any guess, was the global outbreak of deadly coronavirus. In order to minimize the susceptibility of transmission of the virus, we are inching towards lockdown of different economic, educational and social spaces. Conferences postponed, cinema halls shut down, hostels vacated, eateries closed, public transportation system curtailed; in short social mobility has been restricted in the wake of institutionalizing social distancing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has to be distance of at least one meter which needs to be maintained between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. This caution is prescribed in the light of the fact that social contact can increase the susceptibility of catching the virus. Hence, any form of social contact, most critically physical proximity, is being consciously restricted, at different levels, by governments all over the world, without exceptions.