It was Sunday afternoon. The family was relaxing and watching television when they first heard the reporter say, “China is suffering from a deadly virus known as corona virus or Covid-19.”

Everyone stared at the television screen with curiosity that turned into alarm. Their hearts were pounding hard. Later that day, Hiba, the eldest daughter of the family, researched on the internet and found more about this disease from multiple sources. Every time she encountered a new fact, she prayed for safety from the deadly virus.

Weeks passed and it felt like people forgot about this new and highly contagious virus as it was something that was happening to people in China and there was nothing they had to be concerned about. Slowly and gradually, people stopped taking measures to prevent themselves from catching coronavirus. Several countries had closed borders with others to prevent the spread of the contagious disease. Life was back to normal.

Hiba and all her family members planned to visit Bahrain and spend some good time together. They thought since the virus was mainly affecting China, it was safe to fly to Bahrain. They all were extremely excited and after the start of the school’s spring break, they flew to Bahrain, Hiba’s dream country, unaware that a terrible experience awaited them.

Hiba’s family comprised four members, including her. Hiba’s father was a businessman, her mother was a housewife and she also had a sixteen year old younger brother. She loved her family and had planned this trip month ago. After they finally reached their destination, they booked into a hotel and had dinner and slept early as they were tired. They would do sightseeing the next day.

At eight in the morning, they ate breakfast and got ready to enjoy exploring the place. As they stepped out of the hotel, the management provided them with masks. They were completely surprised and looked at each other in complete amazement. However, they shunned the idea of using the mask as a preventive measure and went to the Moda Mall.

The mall was a little far from the hotel and hence everyone was hungry again. Upon reaching the mall, they hurried to the food court where they saw nearly everyone wearing masks. They made fun of them, that the people were still scared of coronavirus and ate Falafel, one of the famous foods of Manama. They enjoyed themselves a lot and later returned to the hotel to spend the night there.

The next day when Hiba’s mother woke up, she saw that Hiba was having high fever and that she was constantly coughing. Terrified, they took her to the nearby hospital and came to know that Hiba had coronavirus. The family immediately became depressed and sad, and upon the doctor’s prescription started to take measures to protect themselves.

Hiba was kept in quarantine, and upon research the doctors found out that Hiba got infected as she sat beside a virus-infected patient in the aircraft. The doctors tried their best to treat Hiba and after 14 days her condition was stable enough for her to be discharged. All this time her family was kept away from her.

Finally, when she was a little better and the doctors gave her the permission to travel and the family returned to their homeland.

This incident made them learn the biggest lesson of life that, “Prevention is better than cure.”

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 25th, 2020

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