Coronavirus in KuwaitKuwait

COVID-19 changes people’s behavior, attitude overnight

KUWAIT: A notice fixed outside a church in Kuwait, notifying visitors that it is closed until March 14. – Photo by Ben Garcia

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The behavior and attitude of people and the way they are communicating and relating with others saw a noticeable change overnight after the outbreak of coronavirus in Kuwait. In buses, people are wearing masks and talking about the virus. Some won’t even talk to you or answer back when you talk to them without a mask. “I don’t want to wear a mask, but because people are wearing them, I feel obligated to wear it as well,” a passenger said yesterday.

“The driver refuses to talk to passengers unless they have mask. A driver told a passenger to wear a mask or don’t talk,” another passenger said. “Yesterday, two passengers fought because one of them sneezed and coughed. Even though she was wearing a mask, the other passenger told her to stop sneezing and coughing, and they shouted at each other,” she added.

At the Holy Family Cathedral, the main gate was closed, but there was an announcement at the gate that masses and other activities will resume after March 14. The adoration chapel is open and people are advised to worship in silence. But two people are allowed at a time to enter the room to pray. “They told us to avoid kissing the statues and have no contact with people; no handshaking – only a nod is okay,” said a worshipper at the church, who was wearing a mask.

Some workplaces and offices in Kuwait have provided sanitizers and masks at the entrance to oblige their employees to sanitize before entering. “In our office, there are verbal rules to avoid shaking hands. We cannot be close to each other too,” an office worker said. In malls, signs at every entrance inform and remind the public about the disease and how to prevent this virus from spreading.

In Kuwait, there are 56 reported cases and most of them are recuperating in hospital. All of the cases are for people who visited areas heavily infected with the virus, such Iran and Italy, and there has been no local transmissions yet, according to the ministry of health.

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