Time to reflect, Regret, and reset

Eid is now with us, marking the end of a unique Ramadhan experience that most of us would rather not have had, and it is incumbent upon us to reflect on whether Ramadhan met its spiritual, cultural, cultural awareness, and pandemic induced requirements.

I can reflect that it must have been difficult for those of you who have embraced Ramadhan in the past as a spiritual time of strength in union, being able to worship together at the end of each day, knowing that you have shared the same community and religious experience, finally coming together to give thanks for the experience and renewal of your faith.

Culturally of course, bans on family gatherings and community Iftars was always going to make this Ramadan different, and so it proved. However, while there were certainly none of the large community tents, institutional and restaurant Iftars of previous years, it appears that the same could not be said in respect of those of extended families, and maybe friends.

We all know people who have defied the directions of the Supreme Committee regarding social distancing, family gatherings, wearing masks, and intra-community travel, and what have they achieved? It is not like our community here in this wonderful country to openly defy authority, yet it has happened, and for what? Maybe regret?

A thirty-minute evening walk when the streets are deserted at sundown, a weekly supermarket trip for essentials, fresh fruit, vegetables, and water, and pharmaceutical needs, that is it since March 25th! We have not, do not, and will not enjoy lockdown, but needs must!

This pandemic, despite what the lunatics and conspiracists say, is a killer, and really, I am not ready, in the words from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ to “shuffle off this mortal coil”, yet.

What the future holds for us in the wake of COVID-19’s initial onslaught is so far uncertain. Even if either ‘herd immunity’ is proven, or a vaccine is discovered by a scientific research community that has lost a great deal of its societal reputation and respect, the financial, trade, and tourism consequences are barely measurable.

In a positive vein however, as a good friend advised me, it is an opportunity for us all to reset! To take stock individually, societally, and nationally of where we are, what we have, and what we will do.

 

Oman Observer

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