Phub Dem 

Four days after Paro was declared green zone locals are making the most out of relaxation.

As one enters Paro town, the traffic is heavy. Almost all the shops are open.

People are busy shopping.

Chaelu, 90, has come out to sell stuff left from his trip to India earlier last year. He said that it felt good to come out and continue his small business. “I earn around Nu 1,500 per day.”

Tshering Pem, a street hawker, has been selling fast foods in Paro town for the last four years. She said that the number of people visiting town had increased.

Although she is anxious about the increasing number of people, she said that she had to do the business as it was her only source of income.

She said: “I use face mask and encourage takeaways.”

Damche came to do the shopping for her children who would be going to school in March.

Lockdown relaxation has come as a blessing for the farmers in Paro. It is time to prepare for potato and paddy season.

The farmers are seen ploughing the fields, scattering manures and irrigating the farms.

Lham from Kyichu said that she could not tend to her farm as the area fell in the red zone. “It will take around a week to set the land to grow potatoes.”

Another farmer, Pem Choden, said that she began her farm work right after the relaxation of lockdown. “We do not know when the next lockdown is. We have to be prepared.”

She said that avoiding crowd was easy because essential items were made available at the gewogs.

Like Pema Choden, many locals from the gewogs refrain from visiting the town unless necessary.