SALALAH: Children are missing treats; youths are missing friends while elderly people are missing the humdrums of family gathering due to the fact that everyone decided to make this Eid strictly a close family affair in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
Missing is park visits and gift shops for which children would keep a list ready – whom to tell buy what and where to go on the occasion of Eid.
All due to Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions put by the authorities following instructions from the Supreme Committee for Covid-19. The authorities are taking no chance in keeping both citizen and residents informed about the Covid-19 situation in the country and the dangers of not following the pandemic protocols of maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene etc.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) were seen making public announcements about the restrictions during the Eid holidays with request to remain indoors as much as possible and step out only in case of emergency. They were also seen talking about measures to avoid any kind of gathering and consequences for those who dare to violate them.
Mostly people were seen following the guidelines, as most of them were prepared for the situation after hearing from the Supreme Committee about the restrictions.
Not going into details of benefits of the restrictions, which are in place as a precautionary measure to combat the Covid-19, Akram Ali, a geologist by profession, admitted the religious benefits of remaining at home during the Ramadhan and Eid. “I utilised my time by doing prayers on time and reading holy Quran daily. I do not remember when did I read full holy Quran, but during Ramadhan I finished by reading it daily. This Eid day I am happy that I have completed holy Quran, which is like a gift to me by me.”
He also noticed to have developed self-discipline and routine among his children. “We made it a point to do ‘namaz’ prayers together and by being with family altogether we were able to know many things about each other. This Eid, thus is dedicated to our close family and we are happy to follow the instructions of the Supreme Committee.”
Mirbat resident Abdullah also has same feelings. Though he has been missing his friends and extended family members on the occasion of Eid, he is enjoying being exclusively with his family. He admitted that her mother was very happy that he was relishing the food cooked by her.
“Otherwise we would hardly remain at home during Eid. We roam around here and there, visit family and friends or receive them at home at a given time. This Eid is entirely a family affair and I liked being with them on the first day of Eid,” he said.
Omanis generally indulge in age-old social customs and Eid traditions, but this year they are compelled to limit themselves to virtual celebrations and greetings due to the pandemic. “Being at home has its own advantages,” they said.