When the government announced a 10 day shutdown, for most people it was the beginning of an isolation period, away from their usual activities. With no modes of transport available, and all shopping malls and cinema halls closed down, it was far from a happy holiday.
However, some people took advantage of the empty streets and a quiet Dhaka to hold wedding programs for their beloved family members.
Ashiqur Rahman, a resident of the capital's Banasree who recently held his daughter's wedding, said, "I do not think there will be a more peaceful time to hold such big events. Decorative flowers are cheaper, offices and educational institutions are closed, and roads are empty – means guests can attend all the events on time."
Since the current restrictions prohibit mass gathering, some chose to have a modest event all by themselves.
"The date for our wedding was already fixed, and rescheduling it would mean more trouble than it was worth. So we decided to keep it simple, and not hold any events until the crisis is resolved," said Evana D'Costa, who tied the knot three days ago at her home in Bashundhara Residential Area in presence of the bride and groom's parents, siblings, and some close friends.
Upon asking Evana if it had made a difference for her to get married without any splendour, she said, "What matters to me is the safety of my family and friends, and above all, the people of our country. Most importantly, I got married to the man I love."
But not everyone is as considerate. Also, being considerate is sometimes not an option for those who have made payments in advance – starting from booking community centres, buying costumes for the bride and groom to buying honeymoon tickets. Cancelling wedding plans at the last minute is like an impending financial doom for them.
"All the wedding expenses were paid for in advance. Cancelling the event now would incur a huge financial loss for me. I would not be able to recover from it, let alone reschedule the entire event," Ashiqur said.
"Had I called off the wedding, the community centre would not have refunded me the booking money, neither would have my daughter's make-up artist, nor the decorators," he added with a sigh.
According to a report by The Telegraph UK, most people are more worried about money than any other aspect of life. And these worries cause them stress which, in turn, impact their lives as social beings.
Being unable to cut down on expenses, many resort to taking up multiple jobs in order to live the life society deems as prestigious. In that sense, maybe our society cannot get rid of boisterous weddings anytime soon.
Amidst the crisis, many celebrities are tying the knot as well. The late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin's daughter Bindi Irwin married her fiancé Chandler Powell on March 25, just hours before the Australian government barred large weddings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The couple carried out the entire event without guests, and musicians set up their gears at the end of the altar, which was empty of any patrons.
In an Instagram post, Bindi wrote, "This was a very difficult decision but important to keep everyone safe. We wish all of our friends and family could have been there with us, however it's lovely that we will be able to share photos and videos," the post read.
In Bangladesh, Dio Haque, Nemesis drummer, also got married a few days ago.
However, there are others who cancelled events at the last minute in a bid to take one for the team and stray away from social gatherings.
"We were all set to have a traditional wedding, but we cancelled as soon as coronavirus hit Bangladesh," said Rayhan Abedin, a digital marketing executive who decided to call off his wedding due to the prevailing situation.
When this correspondent asked Rayhan why he chose to call off the events his family had been planning for months, he said, "It was a collective decision from both the families as many of our family members live abroad and outside Dhaka. None of us wanted an event without all of their blessings."
"Besides, we do not have the right to put lives of hundreds at risk. Lost money can be recovered, but human lives are priceless and cannot be exposed to unnecessary danger," Rayhan remarked.
He added that the events will be held later in all their glory after the situation improves and risks are minimised.