Friday, September 17
02:49 AM

Total lockdown: Tough on bachelors, bonding time for families


The four-day Eid al Adha lockdown, which ended at 4am on Saturday, was tough on bachelors while families had ample time to indulge in board games, binge-watch Netflix shows, attend online family gatherings and cook elaborate meals. 

To contain the spread of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling the impact of the pandemic implemented a nationwide complete lockdown during which movement of individuals and vehicles was prohibited and commercial activities were completely closed during the four days of Eid al Adha.

The people who Muscat Daily spoke with said they found new ways to spend time. “I used my time to enjoy with my family. I indulged my passion for cooking, giving my wife a break from the kitchen. We also resorted to board games and watched shows on Netflix. All that we did was a family affair. We can’t complain,” said Khalfan Saif, a resident of Seeb.

Fuad al Farsi from Amerat used the four days of lockdown to bond with his family. “I work in the oil field, so this Eid I was lucky to be home. I made good use of the time being with my family; it was a great time for us. The first day was the usual Eid activities and preparing special dishes. The second day was dedicated to mishkak and the third day to shuwa. We kept ourselves busy and we did not feel bored,” he said.

However, for bachelors, the four days seemed a long time. “It was quite difficult as for the first time in my life I experienced a situation where restaurants and shops were closed for four days in a stretch and nobody could step out. To make matters more difficult, I did not have a food warmer and my small fridge was packed to capacity with food I had ordered from different restaurants,” said Govind Arjan, a bachelor who stays in Ghubra.

“Some food got spoiled in the fridge and had to be thrown away. I had bought a small rice cooker a day before the lockdown in case of an emergency but somehow managed without cooking any food for the four days,” he added.

Mohammad Jamalluddin, who shares a room with four others, said the four days were both good and bad for him. “Normally in Eid, I visit my relatives in Gala spending quality time with 

them. We also get some good food from well-wishers. This is also usually the time to earn some extra money but everything stopped this Eid. I was exhausted economically and mentally,” he said.

He added that no one likes to stay locked up and that the pandemic has taken away hope for many. “Thankfully, I live with sharing friends. We shared our time and food with one another. I also got ample time to call home and talk to my sons.”

Jamalluddin and his roommates cleaned their kitchen and faced a small challenge when they ran out of vegetables. “But we somehow managed,” he said.

Some restrictions will continue in the evenings till July 31. ‘We thank people for their commitment to follow the rules and remind everyone that evening closure of commercial activities and a ban on movement of persons and vehicles will be in place from 5pm to 4am till July 31 in Oman,’ a tweet by the official Twitter handle OmanVSCovid-19 stated.

Authorities urged citizens and residents to continue observing the COVID-19 protocols and preventive measures as they did in the past. ‘Everyone should continue to take precautions and wear face masks, while social distancing and other precautions need to be followed,’ the Ministry of Health stated in a reminder. 

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