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Invisible Enemy

27.03.2020

 
Lana Giorgidze, editor, humanrights.ge 

The New 2020 Year had just started and the world received an unbelievable news –the deadly virus, which first appeared in Wuhan Province of China, then spread in the entire world. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated the spread of the COVID-19 as pandemic. It is the first respiratory disease, which was declared pandemic.

By March 27, across the world, 536 397 people were infected with COVID-19; among them 24 112 have deceased and 124 395 people have recovered. The figures are changing every second. To stay safe from the virus and help the healthcare system to survive it is necessary to #StayHome. I am one of those, who takes part in this campaign. It is not a fancy campaign, launched by an NGO or government; it is the appeal to everybody to #StayHome for their lives. 

On March 21, for the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19, the state of emergency was announced in the entire territory of Georgia. It means that everything is now regulated with the Government’s resolution. Cafes, bars, restaurants, cinemas, trading centers… everything was closed except pharmacies, groceries, banks and petrol stations. 

I am writing about it but still do not believe that it is reality. I do not remember anything similar happened in my life before. It is very difficult to admit and put up with the situation. 12 years ago, during the August War of 2008, I first felt fear that I could lose everything. We really lost people and territories but even then, I did not feel like now because we hoped for the support from the international partners, who would call on Russia to cease fire. When you have a hope, you feel stronger and do not lose power. Now, whom can apply for help? Entire world is in need. Thousands people died in China; every day, hundreds people die in Italy and Spain, in the USA and Iran, in our neighboring Turkey, etc. Hope is from nowhere; no vaccine, no medicine that could assist us to overcome this disaster, halt geometric progression of the death. 

Now we are in the War – the war without armed forces, it is a biological war! We are fighting invisible enemy who mercilessly and rapidly kills thousands people. We have heroes in this war too – people who gave their breathing apparatus to the dying young people to enable them to breath; the people, who give food to the elder people to protect them, who are in the particular risk group, from going out in the street and come across the invisible death. The war has heroes too – doctors, nurses, journalists, police officers, soldiers, the members of the special groups for the management of critical situations. Every pharmacist, shop-assistant are in the war. Socially indigent person, who does not know how to buy food and thinks that it is all the same what will kill him and his family members – hunger or the virus. So, he leaves his house and goes out in the street to earn money. 

The war has anti-heroes too: people, who took advantage of the situation and decided to earn money by deceiving people; banks, who instead postponing the debts, increased the payments with thousands GEL for people; the traders, who raised prices on food products and sold face masks five-times expensive than its usual price. 

Everybody cannot be a hero but apparently neither everybody can be a human!  

In addition to the biological war they launched information war and feed people staying at home with huge amount of fake news. Not everybody can differentiate trustworthy and fake news.

People, wishing to survive, started to drink various liquid prepared with various suspicious receipts, to drink various medicines for the prevention of virus. Some people started to convince themselves that the virus is a myth and that nobody has seen any single dead person or thousands of coffins in the streets of Italy.

If before, people were lazy to go out, now, when they are requested to stay in, everybody wants to go out and walk. People started walking in groups in Lisi Lake, Turtle Lake and to the shops. It is difficult for everybody to believe the reality. Therefore they act as if long-wished holidays have started. Me and people like me just walk from the kitchen to the living room then to the balcony and try to entertain ourselves in these hard times. 

Fanaticism became very visible now. Some “believers” try to attack and insult you. They are behaving so because they try to convince himself/herself that she/he is more believer than you are; that she/he is a victim and takes a path of a martyr and you are an imprudent. 

Everybody believes in something – some of us are Christians, others Muslims, Witnesses of Jehovah, etc. We do not have right to insult each other and claim that only we are the right and best of all. The belief is a matter of heart and mind… it is not a matter of only a heart because a mind is essential for a human, who can judge, forgive, love and accept different opinions. 

This war is a challenge for the entire world and nobody can predict the outcome. The world has sacrificed much and unfortunately the battle still goes on.

Many resources are now available via internet: you can visit museums, watch theatre performances, concerts, read books, scientific works – all online. But you need strength, positive mood and time. If you work remotely it is another challenge to be an honest employee, a good housewife to fight against bacteria and a hero mother (father) to entertain, amuse a child and give correct information to her, who is missing people, playing in the yard and even going to those places, where she/he was not happy to go before. 

Staying at home is a threat for the families, who live on a bombshell – where women, children and old people are victims of domestic violence. Now, harassers have 24 hours to make the lives of the women, children and old people disaster. Therefore, I hope the law enforcement officers will have correct strategy to better protect the potential victims.

There are many problems, which will emerge and start floating on the surface; but we all must be aware that even in this situation we have one hope - #StayHome and take care of yourselves and others.

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