India, Aug. 2 -- Deepika Bhatia heads recruitment at a big private bank. She, her husband and daughter have all been cooking, scrubbing, washing and working from home in their Delhi flat. The family left Delhi to drop off her husband Vikram's elderly parents to his brother's guesthouse in Uttarakhand. They were to return after four days.

Four weeks on, their return date remains uncertain. "I never valued the sunrise or the sunset, or lived in such harmony with nature," Deepika says. "I now sleep at 10 pm and wake up early," she adds with a smile.

Running away together

As cities become hotbeds for the coronavirus, urban folk clamber onto lifeboats to escape these sinking Titanics. Some head to rarely visited hometowns. Others to mountai...