THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: December has always been the month of celebrations — lit stars and Christmas trees lining the cityscape, people shopping and carol groups visiting homes.
This year, however, the pandemic has dampened the festive spirits, especially for those who made a living out of the celebrations, it is a painful reminder of many misfortunes.
As health experts warn of a second wave of Covid-19 following the elections, and the possibility of a new and stronger strain finding its way into the country, this season is turning to be anything but merry
This year, even with Christmas and New Year around the corner, the otherwise crowded markets in the state capital are dull and lifeless.
According to traders, they are not even expecting 50 per cent of the business they had last year, as the pandemic threat is still looming large, and the state is yet to recover from the losses that came with it.
Online platforms have definitely become the new markets for shopping everything — from food, gifts, decorations to clothes. Though it is convenient to buyers, to many local shop and business owners, this is a huge blow.
SS Manoj, state secretary of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti, said that the Christmas market is dull because there are no major festivities or gatherings happening. Many churches and religious groups have cancelled all major plans and gatherings in the wake of the pandemic threat.
“The traders are preparing accordingly so that they don’t suffer more loss,” said Manoj.
Though there is demand for Christmas cribs, stars, lights and other decorative items, the shops in the capital are struggling to source items which are now unavailable in the open market.
According to Fr Augustine Puthiyedathuchalil, manager of Carmel Book Stall, one of the popular Christmas decorative items stores in the city, there are no new items in the market this year.
“We struggled to source the stock. Sale is also very less,” said Augustine.
Online markets play villain
Online platforms have definitely become the new markets for shopping everything from food, gifts, decorations and clothes.
Though it is convenient to buyers, to many local shop and business owners, this has come as a huge blow.