Eid Mubarak everyone! What a blessed time this is, when we all commemorate the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim readily gave in order to follow the command of Allah. And we too follow suit and sacrifice an animal and feast with friends and family.
Obviously, things are pretty different this time, as they were earlier on Eidul Fitr. We are still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, with the infection being more widespread now. Social distancing and hygiene measures
are what have kept people safe, as medicines and vaccines of this infection have still not appeared on the scene.
Many of you must have enjoyed yourself with the sacrificial animals your family got for Eid. Some of you must have taken the goat or cow for walks, patted it with pride and fed it with love. And there would be some of you, like myself, whose family didn’t bring any animal home, instead they assigned their qurbani to an organisation, mosque or group, that were doing it collectively for others. I am sure it must have disappointed a few for they didn’t get the chance to play with the animal, but that was the best thing to have done in the current situation. I hope this didn’t let you feel done for long because being safe is better than being sorry.
I am really surprised and sorry to see so many people going about life as if it was still 2019. No mask, no social distancing and clearly most people are out on non-essential errands that aren’t worth falling sick or dying for. Just because a complete lockdown is not taking place as it had been imposed earlier in March/April, it does not mean things are under control and we can do whatever we please.
I can’t imagine why it is so hard to take precautions to save our own selves and our loved ones. Just because we can’t see the virus does not mean it is not there. And just because we are bigger than this microscopic menace does not mean we can overpower it. Therefore, going about life as usual is not the wise thing to do as the infection is all around. And the troubling part is that if one person in a household gets it, they are most likely to spread it to others in the house and those who come in contact.
If you are having the animal sacrifice done at home, let an adult handle this as there will be at least a couple of butchers to deal with and some onlookers too. You can make sure that everyone is wearing a mask and all the blood and waste is being properly disposed off, and as little mess as possible is made. And since the rains have started now, all the flooding will just spread the waste all over the place, so request the adults to do the sacrifice at only designated places and take extra care of hygiene.
It is also best to forgo Eid traditions of family barbeque, dinners and parties, and replace it with a smaller family time where you can still enjoy all the food that one waits for to have on Eidul Azha. This will also make things easier for your mother who would probably not have the maid on Eid. Crowds and those who are not part of your household should be avoided as much as possible.
I know a lot of people who have not brought home all the meat but have given money to charity organisations to do their qurbani and distribute the meat to the needy ones. There will be other Eids and feasts to for us to enjoy, but for that we have to sail safe and sound through this pandemic and live till another Eid.
The governments all over the world are urging people to follow all the required precautions and rules to curb the spread of Covid-19, but it is only when we, the people, take responsibility for our own safety and follow all the standard operating procedure, or SOP as we commonly call it, can we hope to keep the infection rate down.
I have had arguments with people who say that everyone is going about their daily life without any problem, the streets and markets are full, the virus is not affecting them so why will it affect us? My answer to this is that when people fall sick due to Covid-19, nobody gets to see them because everyone avoids them, they are completely isolated and have to pass days and weeks alone in their agony, with others only coming near all covered in personal protective gear so as not to get infected too.
And the worst part is that when someone dies due to the coronavirus, the loved ones don’t even get to say a proper goodbye or see their dear departed one. But all this misery and tragedy is not in the public eye because nobody wants to be a witness to it unless it is the immediate family or the medical professionals who have to care for the patient.
We have a long fight still ahead of us, the doctors too are fighting very hard with this virus to save lives and come up with vaccines and medicines. There will be many occasions that will test our self-control — whether we give in to the temptation to socialise and let down our guard, or we will stand firm and keep on social distancing and avoiding all unnecessary activities.
It shouldn’t be hard to convince ourselves to care for ourselves, should it? I am sure, most of you are wiser than many adults and are doing everything to keep this virus away. Have a blessed and safe Eid everyone!
Published in Dawn, Young World, August 1st, 2020