By Ahmet Abdulaziz….
Unfortunately, even when I wanted to write something else for this column, I could not write it, because like all people around me, there is no news but the Coronavirus outbreak.
We in the TRNC, have been reading the news about coronavirus, for quite some time. We all took interest in how it surfaced in China, and how it started affecting local lives there, how in a short period of time it was reaching other countries, etc etc. We were reading the news and watching news bulletins on television and on social media, yet we never prepared ourselves for the ultimate and obvious situation.
Yes in our minds we never made ourselves both mentally and administratively prepared to tackle the virus in the TRNC, just because we had decided to take things lightly.
However, the arrival of the Coronavirus became reality a couple of days back. The first patient of the virus was reported in the southern part of Cyprus. A short time later a foreign tourist in the northern part was also found to be infected.
As the news broke, we all expressed our reaction. The general reaction showed that we were never mentally prepared for this situation.
The first general reaction was panic. The majority of the population instantly rushed to the supermarkets, with the aim of storing food and disinfectants etc. A great rush was noticed everywhere, particularly at the supermarkets and medical stores.
There was no bread in most of the markets, by end of that day. People were seen overloading their market trolleys with toilet paper, and foodstuff. There was general chaos everywhere.
However, some people acted sensibly and did not panic. They carried out their routine shopping, realising that there was no sense in storing perishable foods. Unfortunately, most people could not find bread that evening.
The TRNC government on its part took instant preventive actions, but as we all know, the Coronavirus is going to find its way one way or another. The directives about what to do and what not to do have been issued and made public on all forms of media.
Luckily, the instant shock did not last long. Life in the TRNC returned back to normal the very next day. People had realised that if they act sensibly, the possible loss from the virus could be brought down to the minimum. Luckily this is the only way out. Today or tomorrow, or after a short period of time vaccines will emerge to counter this attack, and the epidemic will be brought under control.
However, by that time how many lives would be lost is not possible to even predict. The earlier the vaccines are found and the more precautionary measures are applied, there would be less impact of this virus on our lives.
What we must not forget, however is the fact, that there are hundreds of thousands of people world over who die of cold, influenza, pneumonia, and other such acute diseases, every year. There are innumerable people world over who die from hunger every year. There are hundreds of thousands of people world over, who get sick due to unclean water, etc etc.
Maybe the Coronavirus will make the world realise the plight of the under privileged people, who suffer and die the world over, just because of the lack or absence of medical care.