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More ‘family time’ amidst COVID-19

9 May 2021 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Besides proving effective in controlling the spread of infections – an average of 668 new cases reported in the last three days – the night movement restrictions are being seen as an opportunity to strengthen family bonding

 

Many customs and activities associated with Eid will be missing this year. Looking at the brighter side, however, the restrictions are also an opportunity for people to explore familial bonds like never before. 

As people stay indoors owing to the preventive measures, the impact is being seen in the way children learn, the way familiesearn livelihoods, and how safe they feel in their homes.

In Oman, citizens and residents are currently staying at home during evenings in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. While some may complain about the situation, many are happy to be able to spend more time with family saying this is something that had been neglected before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting May 8 to May 15, every one is required to stay indoors from 7pm to 4am with the objective of controlling the spread of the virus that has till date taken the lives of 2,120 people in Oman.

However, new cases have been declining. On Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced 2,006 new COVID-19 cases in the last three days – average of a little over 668/day – taking the total to 201,350. Of these, 184,647 have recovered, accounting for a recovery rate of 92 per cent.

Abdulaziz al Zadjali, a government employee, said the night movement ban has given him more time with family. “We are always preoccupied with our jobs and daily routine, hardly finding enough time for our families. But due to the night movement ban, we are getting to see each other more often and spend more time with our children. We should take this as a blessing. I am sure bonding with our children has increased as we are now doing many things together,” he said.

The lockdown has offered opportunities to youths, too, to improve their relations with parents. For many who earlier went out in the evenings to be with friends, homes are now filled with joy after sundown. 

“I used to go out on a daily basis just to be with my friends. But now we are home and I have come to realise that being with family is precious. I now have enough time to talk with my parents about current and future plans in a more relaxed manner,” said Mohammed al Farsi, 22.

Couples, too, are making the most of the night movement ban. “I am spending more time with my husband. We get to do all things together and I think by doing so, we are understanding each other better. This time has been spent well and positively by both of us,” said Sumaiya al Abri, a government employee. 

 

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