OpinionOthers

Omicron and fear of the unknown in Kuwait

By Sahar Moussa

We are living in the age of uncertainty, where every day a new sickness, virus or threat appears – first COVID-19, then the Delta and now Omicron variants, and God knows what is next. We are living in the time of coronavirus, where we are lost and not sure what is going on or what will happen in the future. Many people died and lost loved ones. Many people took their vaccines, and many did not.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classified the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in some southern African countries, as a ‘variant of concern’- it also named it Omicron. People infected with Omicron so far seem to show milder symptoms than those in Delta patients. Many are asymptomatic; others suffer from coughs, fatigue, body aches and headaches.

There are many questions on people’s minds nowadays. Are we going to live in constant fear? Are we going to wait for a new variant to mutate every few months? Is there going to be another lockdown worldwide? Will I lose my job or my life if I was not lucky enough? Is this how we are going to live from now on? Is this the new normal?

World leaders are getting paranoid, shutting their borders and airports against travelers coming from South Africa and nearby countries. Scientists are wondering, is there a need to change the existing vaccines or can it fight the new variant? So many questions and too many speculations. This virus became the new monster that is threatening the chain of life in every aspect- economically, mentally, physically and psychologically.

Although Kuwait has announced that it has no plans to shut down the airport or close land or sea borders, and that the health situation in Kuwait is “super excellent”, people still did not get over the first coronavirus wave that hit the country and paralyzed almost everything. People are still trying to stand back on their shaky feet, struggling to catch up on what they have missed. They are still trying to overcome the mental and psychological strains that they went through since the start of the pandemic in February 2020.

Nowadays, as we are constantly in a state of high alert, this monster is affecting the new generation – the so called “coronavirus children” who were born and raised seeing people wearing masks, keeping social distancing, being remotely educated and locked up in their homes; sadly thinking that this is a normal life, which in my opinion goes against their nature.

I hope that we are not going back to square one because the world cannot bare another relapse, lockdown or a new virus. If that happens, we are more likely to be expecting more depression, suicides, as well as psychological and financial issues in society. However, within this extremely difficult situation, we must stay positive and adapt for the sake of our children so they will not stop dreaming of a better future.

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