“Staying at home for a period, not on your free will, is not easy to accept. Yet, we all made do acclimatising ourselves to the situation,” says Yuthar al Rawahi, founder and honorary life president, Oman Cancer Association. Enjoying the past few months with more time for the family, Yuthar says the pandemic taught people around the globe to be disciplined and not to take anything in life for granted.
The COVID 19 pandemic, even though until now its origin is not determined, has negatively impacted our societies in many ways, the most important aspect being that we have no knowledge of when and how it will end or if we will return to how we were before socio-culturally, says Yuthar, who believes that respecting the imposed semi-isolation or lock down and social distancing, even though irritating, has proven to be effective. The socio-economic health deliverances and the provision of normal interactive education for our children are the main impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Staying at home for a period, not on your free will, is not easy to accept, yet we all made do, acclimatising ourselves to the situation.
Personally, I was extremely happy to be in my house with my husband and my children, who are living with us. With this situation, many pending jobs in our house were tackled, like clearing our stores and our offices, archiving our work and keeping only the essentials. This gave us an opportunity to share with those who are in need,” she said.
Acknowledging that more time at home gave her more time for spiritual activity, she said she spent more time reading the holy Quran and going deeper into further understanding her religion.
“I also became savvy with new technologies and understood how to benefit from them. I have improved and benefitted from virtual communication with my children living abroad and my other family members and friends, locally and globally. We increased our knowledge through virtual conferencing and webinars,” she said, adding that here family members spent their time together exercising and doing yoga, besides improving their sleeping pattern, with ample time for sleep. She also had more time to try out new recipes and prepare healthier meals.
The negative impact of the lockdown, Yuthar said, is that people lost their personal freedom. “We miss visiting and sharing with our families and friends, especially during times of mourning and other emergencies. Isolation was very disturbing but thanks to the Almighty and because of our strong faith, we were not affected at all psychologically, as many other people in other countries did. We endured, but we do miss enjoying a stroll on our lovely beaches, playing with our grandchildren in the open and visiting our modern malls or parks.”
Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic depends on how people deal with it, she said, asserting, “We have to be positive, strong and respect the rules of our government, as it is in our hands to defeat it. The pandemic brought back to our lives the importance of discipline and not to take life for granted. I would like to thank His Majesty the Sultan and the Supreme Committee for COVID-19 for their swift, correct and successful action plan to protect all of us in Oman.”