Another month, another issue, but the environment is still the same; we continue to find ourselves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is nowhere near the finish line. This could arguably be the worst health crisis of modern times. The number of cases worldwide are continually increasing, having crossed the three million mark, and Pakistan is no exception. Although the percentage of recoveries is far greater than the percentage of deaths, the fact remains that it is a frightful statistic albeit one that can easily be avoided by if we follow a vigilant preventive regimen, i.e., social distancing, as the transmission of the virus is airborne.
Even though lockdown is the new norm in Pakistan, just like the rest of the world, and generally the population is abiding by it, signs of fatigue are also there. Particularly now that Ramzan is here, many people are wondering how to spend this month of worship without going to mosques and engaging in the activities such as iftaris and family gatherings, that are usually the hallmark of this month. However, we all need to remember that Allah does not want us to put our lives unnecessarily in harm’s way. Ramzan is the month of empathy, abstention and self-control, along with worship and sharing our meals with friends and family. Ramzan in lockdown is a blessing in disguise as it is not only the time to express our spiritual devotion but also a time to show that we, as Muslims, care for the society we live in. It is imperative that we abide by the rules and regulations that the government has outlined and observe the holy month this year in doing a service to ourselves and the people around us by trying to prevent the spread of the virus; for once we can continue to pray from the safety of our homes and stay away from our dear ones for their and our own protection.
Eid, as well, will have to be celebrated this year in the context of the new reality of social distancing; spending Eid differently this year can ensure that the next one will be in an environment of health, peace and joy. This Ramzan and Eid, more than ever before, we can make up for the lost opportunities of sharing our table with our loved ones and of collective worship, by helping, in the spirit of humanity, those who have been hit hardest by this tribulation.
Mother’s Day is going to be another bittersweet celebration this year. Every Mother’s Day we celebrate mothers by showing our gratitude to them for their endless love and care. This year we need to demonstrate an even greater appreciation of the role mothers are playing, not only the usual one but also the metamorphosed one in which they have taken on the responsibility of protecting their families from an unseen evil while at the same time making sure that the fatigue of the altered social reality does not get too much.
During this difficult time, the thing to keep in mind is that this too shall pass, however, while it is passing we should take all precautions necessary to protect ourselves and others. The lockdown might be difficult to adhere to but lifting it altogether can have catastrophic consequences. Our healthcare system does not have the capacity to deal with the exponential rise in cases that can result if the lockdown and precautionary measures are not followed or abandoned altogether. Therefore, it is prudent to practice social distancing so as to break the cycle of the pandemic – staying at home is the only way out!
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