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Coronavirus pandemic | Love is in the air: Many couples resort to 'virtual wedding' amid COVID-19 lockdown

Online matrimonial website, Shaadi.com, has coordinated several digital weddings

April 24, 2020 / 04:41 PM IST
Representational picture

Representational picture

The coronavirus pandemic may have halted normal life across the globe, but it is yet to dampen the spirits of couples in love. The lockdown has forced many to postpone their weddings; however, for those who hold their wedding dates close to their heart, 'virtual wedding' is the new mantra.

Sushen Dang, 26, and his fiancee, Keerti Narang, had dreamed of making their wedding an affair to remember — but not like this. Instead of hundreds of guests gathering for cocktail parties and elaborate feasts, the couple got married over the video conferencing app, Zoom.

While Dang appeared on the screen from his parents' home in Mumbai, Narang, a makeup professional, was miles away in Bareilly, wearing her mother's wedding lehenga skirt.

The priest, based in Raipur, chanted mantras in front of the ritual fire and asked the bride's father to lead a digital kanyadaan, or giving away of his daughter. A hundred guests logged on from their homes to shower their blessings on the couple. Many also danced to the latest Bollywood hits.

"Not even in our wildest dreams did we imagine our wedding would turn out this unique," said Dang, a competitive intelligence analyst based in Toronto.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"It's the great Indian Lockdown wedding," said Anupam Mittal, founder and chief executive officer of online matchmaker Shaadi.com, which facilitated the Dang-Narang event. "We are helping them make the best of the situation in these times of adversity."

For startups, the pandemic requires innovation. Shaadi.com has helped coordinate several digital weddings with online makeup and mehendi (or henna) professionals, digital wedding invites and food deliveries to guests' homes. The online matrimonial service, with about 2.5 million live profiles, plans to build a separate resource for digital nuptials.

Similarly, Avinash and Kirti, two Delhi residents, had an online wedding on April 14 which was virtually attended by 80 of their friends and relatives. They also held an online mehendi and a sangeet ceremony.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 24, 2020 04:41 pm

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