A severe disease of the lungs later known as COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, or just simply the Corona(virus) was reported on the 31st of December, 2019. I greeted 2020 – this promising year that supposed to bring many good things, in Barcelona feeling a little bit down, because I couldn’t share this “important” moment with my boyfriend, friends and family. Soon isolation became a reality.

The novel virus that paralyzed my world appears to have been born in a Wuhan seafood market. COVID-19 quickly has spread widely from its origin, by now infecting nearly 1.2 million people around the globe. I’m blessed. I don’t know anyone who has been infected.

World Health Organization published data, information, and recommendations, updating and advising on the next steps that shall be taken. One after another, countries shut their borders closed. Governments put more or fewer restrictions on their citizens and residents. Medical personnel helped victims all day and night long, hoping that the pandemic, as well as the world crisis, will finally end.

Until yesterday evening, people living in Dubai were technically allowed to go out during the day. Curfew (a national sterilization program) that began on the 26th of March was to apply from 8 pm to 6 am. In this period street of the city shall be disinfected; therefore, people were obliged to stay home unless they worked in vital sectors and the job required them to step outside, or there’s an emergency.

Although it was advised to – during the daytime, leave home only to buy essential goods, it was still possible to escape for a run or stroll as long as certain precautions had been followed. Equipped with masks, gloves, an antibacterial spray we – the couple – sneaked out sometimes.

It felt surreal to wander the streets. A city that used to teem with life was uncomfortably quiet. Empty. Abandoned.
We avoided people like they were some sort of danger, a threat, severely ill humans, zombie-like creatures.
Keeping the recommended distance of 2 meters, we maneuvered around. A person walking on the same side of the road was given a wide berth, a neighbor was left in an elevator by oneself unless we didn’t want to wait for another lift, then it was fine, we took the risk.

Being right here, watching, and participating in current events brings strange emotions. Even though I can’t remember those times as I was born in an independent country, omnipresent danger suspended in the air, an enemy without the face, a threat to life… All of this takes me to gray, a sad era in the history of Poland – Polish People’s Republic.

I know that it indeed is an unfortunate comparison, but my generation doesn’t know much about terror, chaos, cataclysm. Stories about national martial law (1981-83) and the following years are something my brain keeps pinning together with our current situation. Misery.
It was this feeling of danger, a sensible presence of enemy lurking around the corner, waiting to attack.

But the virus doesn’t need to wait for the dusk to come. It can attack anytime. Thus we’re asked to stay home.
The curfew now wasn’t implemented to reduced the civil liberties of citizens, and residents like it took place in Poland during soviet jurisdiction. It’s apparently necessary to slow down the enemy until we will get the weapon to annihilate it.

Just when I thought that everything was going to relax a little bit, the sterilization program in Dubai has been extended for another two weeks. This time modified to 24h per day, which means completely no walks, runs whatsoever. I guess we just have to embrace it.

What terrifies me is how people can ignore the situation and selfishly carry on throughout the day, having all the bits of advice, rules, and regulations for nothing. Perhaps some individuals can’t comprehend the level of threat. Perhaps these people don’t want to cooperate because of conscious ignorance or simple stupidity. Who knows?

I know for sure that it won’t end unless we put ourselves together and take things seriously.
The truth is that it’s a pain. We, members of modern Western Civilization, are not used to restricted freedom. Restricted freedom is, in fact, a discrepancy.

The struggle is real, and it’s vast, but this is what it is, and what has to be done has to be done. We found ourselves in a new, strange world. If we want to get our little pleasures and possibilities back, we do have to pull our socks up, and patiently wait until the scientists create a successful vaccine.


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