Corona Diaries – Lockdown in Ooty
One of the many industries that have taken a beating during the Covid-19 or coronavirus times is the travel and tourism industry. Ooty has most of its revenue and fame because of how beautiful a hill station it is in the Nilgiris. It is undoubtedly is a place that has suffered due to Covid. However, as the world limps back to the new normal, even Ooty is crawling back to becoming a great getaway.
Many people suffering from what is often called Covid Fatigue are starting to look for places to go to for a little bit of a getaway from the bustling cities. This means the hills, where the air is fresh, and the view is breathtaking.
Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu are the host to Ooty, one of the best getaways in south India. Though it has struggled through Covid times travel to that place is slowly picking up. The borders are being relaxed, and people are getting to move around without too much of a restriction, intrastate, and interstate.
Many people who would flock to Ooty used to go there maybe to see the different hotspots in the place. However, these days more people go there because they are perhaps tired of being cooped up in their houses for months on end because of the pandemic. They are looking for some time out, some fresh air, and the ability to enjoy while staying safe.
How Ooty is Fighting Corona
The decision-makers of Ooty were aware very early and started acting on it. Ooty is a place that is in a fragile location. It is close to Coimbatore, Karnataka, and Kerala. This means people from three different states take time out in this hill station. This means that there is thrice the fear of rising numbers that have Covid-19 from the various states.
Therefore, Ooty started early and started following the WHO orders about controlling the spread of covid. The administration went on full gear to begin promoting the wearing of masks and insisting on physical distancing. Additionally, they also started to separate patients that require medical admission versus those that could manage with isolation at home.
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They have tried to promote masks in public spaces; however, that has been a challenge in its own. Ooty has a lower oxygen level because of its altitude, and their people often have trouble breathing. Having to wear a mask is not making it more comfortable. Nevertheless, people are trying to wear it and maintaining physical distancing.
Given that tourism is such an essential source of revenue, the number of passes has been increased to ensure that people have the time out. This is while making sure that everyone is safe and Covid-19 rules are followed.
What to do in Ooty
Though Ooty was considered the summer capital during the British raj, it soon became an escape for different people just even to spend a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of their own lives. Covid or no covid, Ooty is one place where people can relax and kickback. The best thing about Ooty is not just its landscape but also its natural beauty. If there is one thing Covid has not managed to take away from Ooty, it is that it remains just as beautiful and almost untouched by the disruption the pandemic has caused.
If you are in Ooty, you certainly have a few checkmarks you have to do as a tourist or a localite. We know that Ooty is a haven for nature-loving travelers and tourists. Therefore, here is a list of the best things to do in Ooty:
- Take a toy train ride
- Visit the Toda Huts
- View the place from Doddabetta Peak
- Get mesmerized from the view of Dolphin’s Nose
- Take a speed boat ride on the Pykara lake
- Get some insights about the origins of tea from the Tea Museum
- Try homemade chocolates
- Go for a trek in Kotagiri
- Take the time to go bird watching
How to Travel to Ooty in The New Normal
No matter where you travel to or where you are, you must try and follow some things. According to the WHO, you must follow some of the following rules to protect yourself and your family.
- Maintain at least a 1-meter distance between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection
- When someone cough, sneeze or speaks, you should maintain the distance.
- Keep a distance between yourself and others, especially when indoors.
- Wear a mask when you are with other people.
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on.
- Ensure you clean your hands when you touch your mask.
- Make sure the mask covers your nose, mouth and chin when exposed to other people.
- When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
- Do not use masks with valves.
Know that when in Ooty, if you do not follow the rules, you might be slapped with a fine for not following the rules. Also, remember that Covid-19 does not just end with you getting it. It also puts your family at risk. There is something called the asymptomatic carrier of the disease. This means you could just get the infection and just put your loved one at risk. They, however, may not have the same kind of immunity your body has. So, while you travel for a break or just need to go to Ooty, stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, and help the world deal with the reckless spreading of Covid.