SALALAH: When there is a problem in physical form, people tend to forget all other problems. Same is the case in Salalah where a low pressure has brought rain and thunderstorms so much so that most of coastal areas in the Dhofar Governorate received heavy rain for the last four days.
People here are so much occupied with the news of rain, waterlogging, flood and overflowing of wadis that they have forgotten that the world is facing far bigger problem than this in the form of Covid-19 pandemic.
Hardly anyone is seen taking about the Covid-19 in Salalah now and that is reflected in people’s behaviour also. Pre low pressure, everyone was overcautious while meeting and greeting. They mostly ensured that they were wearing a mask and exchanging things with caution and sanitising hands immediately after, even after any small exchange of things.
“This has gone out of their mind temporarily, as I have seen people seeking neighbour’s help while removing their vehicles from waterlogged areas, they were freely exchanging keys and talking without maintaining the standard social distancing norms. I am sure they were not doing it deliberately, but caution need to be taken again a bigger problem,” said Abdullateef, resident of Al Quof in Central Salalah.
He also noticed people not wearing masks while discussing the low pressure standing in front of their houses and watching the overflow of water on roads.
People were seen showing solidarity with those who got their vehicles submerged in one wadi (canal) or the other. The number of onlookers was much more than the real rescuers. One can only guess about the norms of social distancing in such situations.
Social distancing is being maintained compulsorily due to the rain and not many people coming out of their houses. Waterlogging and authorities’ advice not to venture out in the wake of the low pressure impact is also forcing them to stay at home.
People, however, are advised not to take any of the problems lightly. While the phenomenon of rain will come and go, the threat of the pandemic is very much there. Caution is the best precaution at this point in time.