This is our first post of 2020. Along with the rest of the world, India was overtaken by the Coronavirus epidemic early in the year, and there has been no normality since. We have delayed writing, hoping for some clarity. We can’t say that we really have that, but feel we need to give an update on the current situation.
As of the 12th August, India as a whole has experienced 2.33 million cases and 46,091 deaths. On the other hand, the figures for Sikkim are 910 cases and 1 death. So it is comparatively a very safe state, but because it also has a small population, the density of cases is in the middle rank as shown on the map.
The students we support and keep in touch with were, at the beginning of the pandemic, in Dehradun, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Kalimpong and Sikkim (Gangtok). A national lockdown was ordered by the government on the 24 March. By then, colleges in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Delhi had already closed. All of our children had moved home to Sikkim from Dr Graham’s Homes in Kalimpong, West Bengal apart from those studying for Year 12 exams (at the end of secondary schooling).
From 4 May the lockdown was eased with activities permitted and restricted according to a zoning by district into Red (High risk), Orange (Intermediate) and Green (Low). At that stage, Year 12 pupils in Kalimpong went home.
As of today, two Year 12 pupils have results based not on an exam, which never took place, but on the pre-board exam results. Hissey is waiting to do an online exam to complete her degree at Mt Carmel College in Bengaluru, and Topden has just decided to go back to university in Dehradun because the internet connection is too poor to follow online lectures. We are hoping Dr Graham’s will reopen in September.