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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Release from lockdown and revenge tourism; Where did communication go wrong

Department of Community Medicine, Dr. RP Governement Medical College, Tanda, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission19-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance12-Sep-2021
Date of Web Publication25-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunil Kumar Raina
Dr. RP Governement Medical College, Tanda, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jphpc.jphpc_20_21

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How to cite this article:
Raina SK. Release from lockdown and revenge tourism; Where did communication go wrong. J Public Health Prim Care 2022;3:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Raina SK. Release from lockdown and revenge tourism; Where did communication go wrong. J Public Health Prim Care [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 26];3:1-2. Available from: http://www.jphpc.org/text.asp?2022/3/1/1/340808

From complaint of struggling to get beds in hospitals during the month of May (COVID peak) to clamoring for hotel rooms now, we seem to have moved a long way. Unfortunately, however, we are still in the middle of the pandemic. We seem to be experiencing a “release from lockdown” triggering a sort of “revenge tourism.” Choked roads, unprecedented traffic jams, mid-way hold-ups on the National Highways and parking lots brimming with tourists' vehicles sums up the scene post-COVID regulations relaxation in Himachal Pradesh state of India, one of the most famous tourist destinations in India.[1] This is just one of the examples. Stories are not different from other tourist destinations, from north to south and east to west. With hotels running with 100% occupancy on the weekend, many tourists had to spend the night in their vehicles as they did not find suitable rooms to stay in Shimla town, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.[1] This has not just compromised seamless movement of the vehicles, but also put adhering to COVID-appropriate behavior for a toss. The Shimla police have realized a fine of Indian rupees two million for mask violations already in the last few weeks only, suggesting an unwillingness to conform to the rules.[1] The rule on wearing of masks in public places continues to be in force.

Fortunately, this was not the case in the first phase of the pandemic. People adhered to guidelines strictly then.[2] India was benefitted was excellent communication strategy in the first phase of the pandemic (2020).[2] The communication was clear, consistent and largely focussed on actions to be taken at the individual and community levels. The community responded as messages delivered could exhibit hierarchy in information by ensuring the latest updates and myth dismissal. The key component of messages was in providing the thrust and emphasis on some words, cautiously used adverbs and were specific in completing the message in its entirety. One message that was commonly played on the radio was “The relaxation in lockdown has been announced by the Government and not by Coronavirus.”

If India was worried about its migrant laborers trekking distances to reach their destinations and carrying COVID-19 infections with them in 2020, then it should be more worried about its middle class now. When the cases have started falling and going to <40,000 per day from a peak of 0.4 million per day, the acceptance of the inevitability of new resurgence is baffling. The common masses seem to be in a hurry to prove this right. A common refrain heard from people on the road is “It is two months of freedom, let us enjoy.”

So where have we gone wrong? Probably fuelled by our inability to predict a surge in cases leading to so-called second wave, we went into an overdrive to define the probability of timing of 3rd wave.[3] This has been the most commonly talked about phenomenon in the Indian media industry for the last month or so. The take-home message for common masses from these debates has translated into “the third way is inevitable and we are again heading for a lockdown in 2–3 months' time.” Hence, despite restrictions on travel (although to a limited extent only) people are flocking to tourist destinations in huge numbers as if to prove the predictors of 3rd wave right. Although the top leadership of the country continues with messages on observing restraint, it appears the communication has gone wrong and people have become resistant to it and want a release.

The revenge tourism is on, waiting for a revenge from the corona.

  References Top

COVID What? Tourists Choke Roads, Hotels in Himachal Post Lockdown. Available from: https://www.outlookindia.com'Website'National. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 19].  Back to cited text no. 1
Raina SK, Bar-Yam Y. Was India saved by staying below the critical travel threshold and was lockdown and travel restriction the most important public health intervention? arXiv:2102.12405 [physics.soc-ph]. Available from: https://www.endcoronavirus.org. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 19].  Back to cited text no. 2
Could Not Predict Exact Nature of COVID Second Wave: Scientists Working on Mathematical Models. Available from: https://www.livemint.com. [Last accessed on 2021 Jul 19].  Back to cited text no. 3


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