By Abdellatif Sharaa
Every evening I go to my private corner in my apartment to go through the news and review certain topics on social media, and of course to follow the latest on the coronavirus epidemic around the world. Unfortunately, the issue has become a matter of numbers, as numbers have become the gauge of whether the situation is getting under control or not (x number of cases discovered, x number of cases died, x number of cases recovered, x number of persons quarantined…), and these numbers are alarming all over the globe without exception.
The latest information is that more than 190 countries are hit with COVID-19, so why don’t we take the example of – although in its infancy – and follow suit, of China? It may sound very strange to mention the country where the virus started. Thousands of people there were infected and thousands died, and there were horrifying images shown on TV of some affected people, yet within a relatively short period of nearly three months, the country has begun returning to normalcy, although gradually. Officials there slapped a total lockdown on Wuhan, which was hit hard, then decisions followed, and soon enough the place became relatively clean and already residents are being allowed out!
We can do the same; we must listen to instructions word by word. We were told to maintain social distancing, we were told to keep a distance between each other in line, we were told to frequently wash our hands with water and soap, we were told to use sanitizers and we were told to stay home and not leave unless absolutely necessary, which is the most important factor to stop the spread the virus. But we did not listen until the government took strict measures related to activities during the day and a curfew from sunset to sunrise.
Though the curfew proved effective, there is something that takes place just before the curfew goes into effect – laborers rushing out of their workplaces at around 4:00 pm to get to their transport vehicles and return home before 5:00 pm. The crowds are very close to each other without any caution.
So please, let there be more awareness campaigns about what should be done in these vulnerable areas, because it seems that efforts by many government departments in various languages did not reach the target audience. Many voluntary teams can take over this duty, as we see them doing organizational work in co-ops and other places, so we can have more control over the situation and minimize the chance of contracting the highly contagious virus.
Authorities in Kuwait took and are taking admirable action to keep the virus in check locally, so let us help each other by following instructions and heed warnings. “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” (Unknown)