Thursday, September 21, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 5, 1445 H
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The realities of COVID-19 could be timeless…

Ray Petersen
Ray Petersen

If Oman does not get its act together!

I fully support the Supreme Committee and the Ministry of Health in their revelations of recent days, with respect to the COVID-19 situation in the Sultanate.

Oman has failed to appreciate the gravity of the situation, with far too many taking a position that says, “It can’t happen to me,” for whatever reason. The naivety, and that is a ‘nice’ way of putting it, of 300 people attending a wedding is simply beyond any form of understanding at all, while groups of young men continuing to congregate, and families, “Oh my God, have they no care for their children?” who still meet for extended family iftars, are quite obviously living in a different world!

Last week, a social media user in Muscat commented that his neighbours had a ‘family Iftar’ with four carloads of guests. He was vilified and harangued on the media by them who insisted upon their cultural and religious rights, and that he was wrong to speak out. The reaction by some users was appalling, and reaffirms for me the unpleasant, other face, of social media. That poor man… all he was doing was insisting upon what the authorities had determined… No mass, or extended family iftars. No large, or group gatherings.

We also have the situation highlighted of the labour ‘camps’ and accommodation! For too long the unsanitary living conditions of labourers, mainly from South Asia has been tolerated as ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ However, now that there are health risks and consequences for the general population, there needs to be a rethink on this topic.

The comment was made by the authorities that a sponsor had “shrugged off his responsibilities,” which makes it imperative that the same authorities do not shrug of theirs, to ensure those with that attitude are prevented from doing so ever again.

The ‘illegals’ too, working in the ‘black economy,’ sheltered by their friends, evading health authorities and ROP are said to number more than 100,000, so we could have that many ‘ticking corona bombs,’ in our community, and that’s not good enough!

Minorities are agitating for freedom from lockdown in the USA, with guns on the streets, and in the UK with rampant gangs of ‘lager louts’ imposing their brand of rule, and both nations death tolls are rising daily. If we tolerate the personal ‘freedoms,’ and defiance of the authorities here, not only will I and many others have ‘wasted,’ seven weeks of lockdown, but many more will perish.

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