Ramadan 2020

Muna Al-Fuzai

The holy month of Ramadan will soon be over. It is a month of great sanctity and importance for fasting Muslims. But despite the fact that Muslims have performed the duty of fasting, the fear of an outbreak of the coronavirus and government measures taken in this regard in all Muslim countries, including Kuwait, have deprived them from practicing many social Ramadan rituals and traditions that they have been accustomed to since childhood. 

I think the atmosphere of the holy month this year is sad, especially since many social customs have stopped completely. There are no visits between families and friends, no prayers in mosques, Ramadan evenings or cafes open until dawn. Everything is shut down. I think much of the joy of Ramadan was characterized by large family meetings and gatherings, especially since family gatherings are an important matter for Arab families, which has disappeared this year.

It’s normal to say that everyone misses the atmosphere and spirituality of Ramadan, but there is hope is that the crisis will be over soon. The population of Kuwait as in the rest of the Arab countries is confronting exceptional circumstances, most notably a complete curfew, but the public were granted two hours in the evening for walking in their area of residence. I believe that despite commitment by some people to follow the measures of social distancing and putting on masks outdoors, however the high figures recorded daily confirm that commitment to health rules is not working for everyone.

There are those who believe that getting infected with the virus means going to the hospital and being treated. This is something I think is not true. There are light symptoms that do not require going to the hospital. Also, the health system cannot fully absorb all cases, including those that may just be of seasonal flu, but unfortunately I think there is a lot of ignorance and misconceptions among some people.

The problem also is that there are those who believe everything they read on social media.
I personally only trust and believe the statements of the ministry of health. I have stopped listening to the statements of the World Health Organization these days, especially with the entry of international global political conflicts. The last thing I need to hear is a political view on a medical issue.

Technology has formed an ideal way to solve the problem of social divergence, as it has become a bridge to communicate with friends and family, as well as activating “online services” to purchase needs, after these features were neglected for a long time. I think it is natural that most people miss the atmosphere they were used to in Ramadan. But, despite the harsh lifestyle imposed by the pandemic in Kuwait, the crisis is global and requires a person to remain at home and stay safe.

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