We now live in a world that feels and looks different to the one we were in just over a month ago. As I write this, I can hear the call to prayer from outside but cannot hear anything else. There is no honking of horns, no shouting, no construction noise, no street sellers calling about what they’re selling, no planes flying overhead. It is, for the most part, silent. Those of you who have experienced this part of the world will understand just how eerie that is. This is the city that never sleeps and has a constant loud hum of noise at all hours due to the seething mass of humanity that lives here. This is the city which has roads that are constantly crowded and bustling with all manner of vehicles and occasional livestock, honking and shouting and crashing together.
I’ve been here for eight years, and have experienced a few different situations that have forced people into their houses, but nothing as quiet as this. It is incredibly strange and rather unsettling. I went out yesterday to get some things and there are people out, but no buses and traffic on the roads, and everyone is moving quickly with a sense of purpose- no chatting.
My students have written a bit about the current situation and I thought I might include an excerpt written by a Class 9 student.
“At the moment it is complicated how I feel about the Global Pandemic of Covid 19. Many countries have been locked down just to save them from the virus, but they have not only locked us down, they have locked down the factories, the garment industry and transportation. People who are daily labourers are starving. A single microorganism has paralysed civilization.
I complain of boredom, and it is horrible to be stuck inside our apartment, but as a middle class family we haven’t had any problems yet. We have enough of what we need and have all our family at home. My father told me that, ‘we people always complain that we don’t have time to spend with family, but now Allah has blessed us.’
I pray to our creator and I believe that this will be over and we can recover.”
There are many people here who are not only vulnerable to the virus, but also to the fact that they cannot earn any money to feed their family. Many people in this community earn a daily wage, which, due to lockdown, has been taken away from them and there is no margin for them to face the future with. On top of that, with all businesses currently closed, food prices are skyrocketing, further damaging those who are already struggling.
Like all of you, I am missing seeing ‘my people’ all the time. I feel very far away from my family, but am very grateful for modern technology and also grateful for my community here, who are another kind of family.”
Written by our global worker, Carley.